2010 record/finish: 86-76, second place
Manager: Tony La Russa (16th season)
Key additions: OF Lance Berkman, SS Ryan Theriot, IF Nick Punto
Key losses: SS Brendan Ryan, RHP Brad Penny, IF Felipe Lopez
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Outlook: They faded down the stretch last season, and this year they will be without top pitcher Adam Wainwright, who had Tommy John surgery. The Albert Pujols’ contract situation was a distraction during the spring. It still might be an issue during the season, particularly if the team struggles. Berkman and his balky knees need to help carry the offensive load.
Player to watch: LHP Jaime Garcia. He had a brilliant rookie year, but he will need to be even better with Wainwright’s absence.
Will win the Central if ... they can get enough starting pitching to stay in the race.