The St. Louis Cardinals are 57 games into the 2016 season. So let’s discuss how they have done thus far.
- They are 10.5 games back of the Chicago Cubs and in third place, behind the Pittsburgh Pirates. We knew the Cubs were going to be good this season. And they are. The Cardinals have a series this weekend against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Our birds could gain some ground.
- Kolten Wong optioned to Memphis. He’s been slumping and just not playing well. This is something we’ve become used to with Kolten. He’s gone through spats like this before where he will seemingly try too hard and his whole game stinks. He’ll get benched or sent to Memphis to work things out. I, for one, hoped the Cardinals extending Wong to a 5 year/$25.5 million deal would give him the assurance that the team trusts him and wants him to succeed at second base with them. Ease some of his anxiety. Thankfully, the team is in a decent position to allow Wong time to work through it all and get his confidence back at the plate. It will be great to have the player we know he can be out on the field.
- This team isn’t what anyone expected! That’s baseball. And it’s awesome. The team is going to be taking an interesting turn in the next few days with Jhonny Peralta returning to the team … to play third base.
- This opportunity happened with the amazingness that has been rookie shortstop Aledmys Diaz. Holy crap is that kid amazing! Before this week, Jedd Gyorko, Greg Garcia and Wong have had chances at second. With Peralta back, Matt Carpenter is going to get a chance at second. He’s had some success there before!
- And then, first base. Matt Adams has put together a nice little run that shows fans should have never really counted him out. He seems to just need some time to heal and get some reps at the position. He’s become one of the best hitters on the team. And then Brandon Moss. Who knew he’d be such an important part of this team. He leads the team in home runs, most of which come from pinch hitting appearances. Matt Holliday has also gotten some time in at first base as the team has so many options in the outfield now.
- Speaking of the outfield. Stephen Piscotty has become my favorite member of the team. He provides outstanding coverage in the outfield, a great arm and he’s pretty good with the bat. He flat out hustles. Love it. Randal Grichuk has been streaky this season … going through massive slumps at the plate and then coming along with a nice jolt of power every few days. He needs to get more consistent. And it seems to be something he’s working on. Jeremy Hazelbaker seemed to be the find of the offseason in April providing depth in the field and off the bench. He’s dipped a little bit and wouldn’t be surprised if we see him sent to Memphis soon to get some work in and allow Tommy Pham the opportunity to come back and make a difference.
- Matt Holliday has been pretty awesome for an old guy this season! He’s done some great work in the outfield, has been a surprise option at first base and he’s been clutch with timely hits (Booming homers too!). For years, this fan base has given the team loads of crap for his 7 yrs/$120M deal. The team has an option for 2017 and they need to strongly consider using it.