Hey all, I’m introducing a new segment today called Power Rankings. I’m assuming all of you are familiar with the concept of Power Rankings, although this weekly Power Rankings column will be strictly devoted to the Cardinals. Each week on Monday, I’ll Power Rank nine Cardinals based only off their performances from the previous week. I’m going to try to keep a balance of pitchers and position players although it’s obviously subject to change.
The Cardinals had a lackluster week, going 4-3 against the lowly Mets and Phillies.
9. Jaime Garcia
Ah Jaime, you tricked all of us Cardinal fans once again. Right after I write a glowing column about your revitalized dominance, you promptly responded by giving up four runs in only five innings to the Phillies. To literally add injury onto insult, your back where you feel at home, on the disabled list with shoulder soreness. We should have known it was too good to be true, Jaime, we should have known.
8. Mark Ellis
With Kolten Wong headed back to the disabled list, Mark Ellis is likely to get more at-bats in the coming weeks. That’s not good news. Ellis struggled in his five games this week, only getting two hits in 12 at bats, although he did produce two RBI’s in Sunday’s win over the Phillies. If Wong is going to be out for an extended period of time, the Cardinals are going to need more production out of Ellis.
7. Matt Carpenter
Usually when the Cardinals offense is clicking, it’s because of their lead-off hitter. That wasn’t the case this week, as Carpenter only hit .200, with a mere two extra base-hits. There shouldn’t be reason to worry for one of the Cardinals most consistent hitters, but with an already struggling offense, the Cardinals can’t afford a prolonged slump from Carpenter.
6. Matt Holliday
Matt Holliday’s power numbers have taken a hit this year, yet his on-base numbers continue to be solid. This prompted the odd move of Mike Matheny placing Holliday in the two-hole on Sunday instead of his usual third spot. Holliday had a solid week as he chipped in four RBI’s and three doubles. Holliday also earned his 1,000 career RBI on Monday, solidifying his spot on the most important Cardinals Power Rankings column to date. I’m not sure which one is the bigger achievement
5. Carlos Martinez
Finally, the talented Martinez earned his well-deserved chance to pitch as a starter on Monday when the Cardinals skipped Wainwright’s start in order to give the ace more rest. Although the Cardinals kept Martinez on a short pitch count, the 22-year old was able to pitch his away around four walks in four innings to limit the Mets to one run. Martinez followed this up with another solid start on Sunday, where only one hard hit ball led to three runs for the Phillies. However, Martinez was able to recover and keep the Cardinals in the game by going five innings with five strikeouts. Martinez at times has been dazzling, blowing balls past hitters at 100 mph consistently. With the injuries to Wacha and Garcia crippling the Cardinals pitching rotation, Martinez is going to have to step up and keep the rotation afloat. I have faith Carlos.
4. Yadier Molina
Molina dug himself out of a little funk by hitting .364 over the past week with 8 hits and added three walks to raise his on-base percentage. Molina also threw out a couple of runners; bringing his season total to 15 out of 16 runners thrown out. That’s 94%. When will they learn?
3. Trevor Rosenthal
It’s wasn’t too long ago when I was a nervous wreck every time I saw the Cardinals Twitter account tweet, “Here Comes Trevor!!!.” However, it appears that Trevor has regained his post-season dominance of last year as he had another solid week, earning two saves. With so many of these Cardinal games being close due to their nonexistent offense, it’s imperative that Rosenthal caps off potential Cardinal wins.
2. Jon Jay
It’s becoming pretty obvious that the Cardinals cannot kill Jon Jay. He’s like a White Walker (too nerdy?) or the Transformers movie series. He won’t die off. The Cardinals tried to finish him off by bringing in Peter Bourjos, a move that has failed spectacularly. There have been whispers of trading Jay or even moving Oscar Taveras to centerfield to take his place. Yet, all Jay does is continue to rake. This week, Jay led the team in hits and batting average while playing a solid center field. Keep on living Jon Jay, keep on living.
1. Adam Wainwright
How many times has Wainwright saved the Cardinals this season because the backpack on his back is looking mighty heavy. Every time the Cardinals go into a losing streak, it seems like Wainwright puts together a gem to get them back on track. This week was no different. Fresh off a three game losing streak, Wainwright went eight innings with seven strikeouts, only allowing one run in the Cardinals victory. That was Wainright’s tenth win of the season, which leads the National League. This start reassures Cardinal fans that Waino simply needed extra rest when he skipped his start on Monday as he returned to his usual dominant self.