Some things have changed since October, particularly, the waist size of starter Lance Lynn.
One thing that has not changed is the velocity on the fastballs of many of the Cardinals' top prospects.
As Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, closer Jason Motte was paired with youngsters Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal, and Michael Wacha for Wednesday's bullpen session in an attempt to keep the hard throwers together.
Motte came away from the session completely impressed by the young rookies. Motte told Hummel that he wished he could watch the trio instead of work with them.
"Shelby, Wacha and Rosie have electric stuff. If I wasn’t throwing in that group, I could stand back and watch what they’re doing. These guys have got a ton of talent. They’ve probably got better stuff than I’ve got.”
The Cardinals' organization was recently rated by many top baseball analysts, including ESPN.com's Keith Law, as having the top farm system in all of Major League baseball and the talented, young power arms the organization possess is a big reason why.
The fact that Motte, who can run his fastball upwards to 100 mph, feels that these young pitchers have better stuff than he does is certainly not only a compliment, but proof that the rankings are not just a bunch of bologna.
Motte was one of the best closers in baseball in 2012, nailing down 42 victories while striking out 10.8 hitters per nine innings pitched. If Motte is a dominant force, what does that make the trio of Miller, Rosenthal, and Wacha?
The loss of Chris Carpenter will hurt the Cardinals in 2013. There is no other way to slice it.
But with the young, talented, powerful depth the Cardinals have in the coffers, Cardinals' fans should feel good about not only the future of the franchise, but also for 2013. These kids are ready to make their mark and some will be given a chance right out of the chute.
Jason Motte certainly is a believer and so is Keith Law.