Originally posted on The Hardball Times  |  Last updated 1/25/12
It's been a crazy offseason in St. Louis. Along with some new faces—or old ones in new roles—the Cardinals fans will be reacquainted with the second dome on their two-headed ace. New elbow not withstanding, it stands to reason that the youthful Adam Wainwright will return as 1a, not 1b, over the slowly, but gracefully, aging Chris Carpenter. And it's not just some team's ace coming back, not just a Cy Young candidate, but one of the best curveballs in baseball. He'll rejoin a rotation that has some pretty snazzy curveballs, if not as effective.Let's unpack that highly technical term, "snazzy". We'll use Wainwright as a baseline, using two primary measurements—speed and movement. Specifically, vertical drop. Speed will be based on the closest estimate to release point speed (a few feet further back than MLB.com shows it) and movement based on the combined effects of gravity and spin. This is also measured over a longer span of time. We'll call it drop and speed. Here are the major le...
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