There’s no other way to put it. In order to have a great year, the St. Louis Cardinals are going to need a shortstop that can hit the ball.
Sep 29, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay (19) slides safely past the tag of Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro (13) during the eighth inning at Busch Stadium. St. Louis defeated Chicago 4-0 and clinched the best record in the National League. Image Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
From an offensive standpoint, the Cardinals were one of the worst in baseball when it comes to short stop. Pete Kozma may have been a first round pick but he could not really buy a hit this season.
While general manager John Mozeliak decided to go after a relief pitcher to help the bullpen, despite all the power arms in the St. Louis minor league system, the one area that he should have bothered to find was the Cardinals middle infield.
Is Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro that answer? I don’t know. Maybe this turns into the next Ernie Broglio for Lou Brock trade. Maybe it’s the opposite and comes back to bite us. But a shortstop has got to be acquired this offseason and one that can play for years at a time.
The simple answer is that we won’t know unless an attempt is made. Castro is young. He’ll be 24 in March and is signed through 2019 with a team option for 2020. Next season will be his fourth year in the majors. When he broke through in 2010, he finished fifth in Rookie of the Year voting. Instead of the sophomore slump, he was named an All-Star in both 2011 and 2012. This season was a disaster as far as offense goes but his career numbers look well from an overall perspective.