St. Louis Cardinals: Four Ways to Cope with Loss of Jason Heyward
October 20, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits an RBI single in the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs in game three of the NLCS at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
2. Add a power bat
The St. Louis Cardinals have collectively finished in the bottom half for team home run totals in each of the past four years, with Carlos Beltran being the only member to hit over 30 home runs under the management of Mike Matheny. Meanwhile, Heyward provides another steady bat for a Cubs’ offense that led the National League in home runs last year, which could prompt the Cardinals to combat more power against power.
Although Bob Nightengale suggested through Twitter that the Cardinals are not seriously invested in the Chris Davis sweepstakes, plenty of other hitters could jumpstart St. Louis’s offense with consistent playing time. Yoenis Cespedes is certainly a viable option, but could also be too risky of a hit-or-miss player on a team that has increased strikeout totals in four of the last five seasons.
Seeing as Cespedes has never played right field, and has been rumored to refuse to play right field in the past. It is probably not likely that Cespedes would be much of an option for the Cardinals, given his lack of experience in right and unsuccessful play in center. His bat would play well in this lineup, but with the loss of Heyward in right, the Cardinals need to continue to attempt to shore up the defense as much as possible.