The Cardinals have featured some of the best pitching in all of baseball. Despite a lot of injuries to the bullpen the birds have gotten terrific performances from Kwang Hyun Kim, Dakota Hudson, Austin Gomber and pretty much everyone they have called on to replace the injured mainstays. The Cardinals offense on the other hand has been the epitome of frustrating. Yesterday’s double header highlighted the struggles of this team as they were not able to pull out game one despite an amazing performance from KK. With the trade deadline passed and their super prospect Dylan Carlson being given up on until 2021, there are really only internal options to consider. What can they do? Here are a few suggestions.
Move Tommy Edman down and Brad Miller up versus righties.
Brad Miller’s power is legit. A former 30 homer player always has had the ability to send the ball over the fence but he is not a guy that can be the protection for Paul Goldschmidt by batting behind him. Miller has the second highest OBP (.390) on the team and the highest slugging percentage on the team (.490). He has shown the ability to get on base by doing more than just hitting homers. Edman has been hitting the ball well lately but he has an inability to get on base at a consistent rate. Miller has a 12% walk percentage versus righties compared to 4% for Edman.
Miller being put in a spot where he is protected by Goldschmidt will force him to get more pitches to hit. This can help the entire lineup because more men on base is like have a powerful bat behind you. The more runners on the more they are forced to piutch to him. Inserting Miller in front and DeJong behind is worth the effort to try and get more at-bats for your hitters that are actually producing. (Hopefully DeJong can produce)
Carpenter leads off versus lefties.
Matt Carpenter has sucked for a while. It seems like his 2018 near MVP season was actually a decade ago and he is just hanging on to finish out his contract. Carpenter still has the ability to get on base, while St. Louis needs power; but they have to take advantage of the positives that each player brings to the table. Despite his issues hitting lefties his consistency at getting on base does not go away.. In a small sample size of 2020 he has a OBP of .389. His numbers in 2019 are what grab my attention, Carpenter was able to keep his OBP at .343. Carpenter is not producing at the level the team needs but if you are going to continue to give him at bats then he needs to be put in a situation that suits him best.
Play Rangel Ravello or Tyler O’Neil
The Cardinals need more power. They are last in the league in homeruns and ISO. Baseball in this era has been built on on-base percentage and power. The Cardinals have had problems driving in runs in scoring position, the addition of two power bats in the middle of the lineup would help them get those runs across the plate.
Ravello’s position is a problem, he is a negative defensive player in the outfield. If you place him beside Harrison Bader you should be able to hide his defensive issues somewhat. His .478 sluggin percentage in the minors would be a welcomed asset in the lineup. He has to be given the chance while Carlson continues to find consistency and Lane Thomas figures out what he is.
Tyler O’Neil has his issues but what do the Cardinals have to lose at this point. Put O’Neil in the lineup and let him find his swing. Give this dude at bats and he will drive the ball over the fence.