Should the St. Louis Cardinals be concerned with a heavy left-handed lineup?


The St. Louis Cardinals will have at least five players hitting left-handed in their regular lineup during the 2015 season.

Should the Cardinals be concerned about this?

It really depends on whether the club will be able to hit left-handed pitching. Last year, the team just couldn’t handle the left-handed pitching but offensive stats were down across Major League Baseball. This is a team that hit .254 with runners in scoring position during the 2014 season and .253 overall as a team.

Will the Cardinals be able to duplicate the magic that they had with runners in scoring position during the 2013 season? It’s too early to tell.

Interestingly enough, as Rick Hummel notes, the Cardinals were “last in the league in home runs and first in fewest strikeouts” for the first time since the 1990 season. Unlike the 1990 season, the Cardinals won the National League Central Division in 2014.

Another important tidbit that Hummel notes is this:

"The addition from Atlanta of right fielder Jason Heyward, shortly after promising Oscar Taveras was killed in an auto accident, is expected to provide a power-speed combination that only a few Cardinals possess. Interestingly, the addition of Heyward means the Cardinals likely will have five lefthanded hitters in their regular eight-man lineup, which, according to Post-Dispatch research, has never happened before. This, of course, excludes the legion of talented switch-hitters the Cardinals have had — from Frankie Frisch to Ripper Collins, from Red Schoendienst to Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee and Tom Herr."

This begs the question of how many teams will seek to start left-handed pitchers against the Cardinals.

Some of the Cardinals left-handed hitters have been able to hit left-handed pitching like Matt Carpenter, Jon Jay, and Kolten Wong. Heyward, however, has struggled against left-handed pitching over the past few years. Matt Adams needs to improve but this is the reasoning behind the acquistion of a power bat that can come off the bench or play first base.