A weekly Power Ranking of Cardinal position players and pitchers.
The Cardinals got off to a hot-start, taking two out of three from the Rockies, but then dropped three out of four against the Dodgers bringing their weekly record to 3-4. The Cardinals are now tied for second in the N.L. Central with the Reds and are currently 6.5 games back of the Brewers.
Miller must have been starving this week because he struggled to find the plate in both of his starts. Miller totaled eight walks and 13 hits, bringing his weekly ERA to an astounding 10.57. He was only charged with one loss, however, as back tightness forced him out in the third inning of his first start. There’s nothing quite like a back injury to save yourself from further embarrassment.
8. Mark Ellis
The only positive that has come out of Mark Ellis’ poor play was his ability to hold down the eight spot in the weekly power rankings for the second straight time. Ellis managed to strike out more times than he had hits this week and only batted .200. Yikes. With Kolten Wong still on the DL, I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Daniel Descalso at second base while Ellis continues to struggle.
Molina had a dismal week, batting .150 and only mustering three hits. To be fair, one of those hits came off of the dominant Clayton Kershaw so that has to count for at least like three hits. No? Then ,yeah, it was a pretty poor week for Molina.
Even when Wainwright loses it’s a thing of beauty. Wainwright went eight strong innings on Thursday against the Dodgers, striking out seven and only allowing one run on a weekly hit ball that squirted through the infield in the eighth inning. Yet, the Cardinals offense was once again unable to supply enough runs for Wainwright. The Cardinals have now wasted two of Wainwright’s gems this year when their offense basically forgot that there was a game going on.
5. Lance Lynn
It was the best of both worlds for Lance Lynn this week. In game one against the Rockies, he was dominant, pitching eight scoreless innings while only allowing three hits. On Saturday, Lynn was the exact opposite of dominant as he got absolutely shelled against the Dodgers, giving up six runs in only two innings. Lynn did have a scorching case of the blisters against the Dodgers, which caused him pain every time he threw a pitch that wasn’t his fastball. Hopefully this was just an anomaly for Lynn and he’ll get back to his superb pitching after he douses his hand in a tub full of Neosporin.
Peralta provided some clutch offense for the Cardinals on Friday night when he hit a two-out double in the top of the fifth to give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead that they would eventually hold on to. For those of you who we’re skeptical about Peralta coming into the season, please just take a minute to remember that Pete Kozma was the starting shortstop last year. Pete Kozma. It could take Kozma the rest of his career to reach the 11 homeruns that Peralta already has on the season.
3. Seth Maness
Maness played a key role in the Cardinals only win against the Dodgers on Friday night. With Martinez laboring through only 4.1 innings pitched, Maness entered the game in the fifth to face Adrian Gonzalez with two on, one out and the Cardinals nursing a 3-1 lead. Maness did what he does best and got an inning-ending double –play to stamp out the Dodgers rally. Maness then pitched two more scoreless innings and was credited with the win. However, it does say a lot about the Cardinals weekly performance when a reliever sneaks his way up to the top three in the power rankings.
It was another solid week for Holliday who tallied eight hits and hit .296 in seven games. Since moving to the two-hole in the lineup, Holliday has hit better and increased his average. Yet, the downside to the Holliday line-up change is that there aren’t that many RBI chances for the slugger. This week, Holliday only had two RBI’s despite hitting well. It will be interesting to see whether Matheny keeps Holliday in the two-hole or if he moves him back to his usual three spot.
1. Matt Adams
Adams continues to rake and has quickly become the Cardinals best offensive player. This week Adams hit .360 with three home runs and eight RBI’s. Two of those homeruns came in one game against the Rockies. It’s pretty reassuring that Adams is now living up to his stereotype of being a hefty, left-handed slugging first basemen. I was getting nervous earlier in the year when Adams was slumping, something I directly attributed to him shaving off some pounds to begin this season. If Adams keeps on hitting like this, I say let the big man eat.