St. Louis Cardinals: Four Ways to Cope with Loss of Jason Heyward

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Oct 10, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Carlos Villanueva (33) delivers a pitch during the fourth inning in game two of the NLDS against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

4. Reverse treatment

The Windy City’s additions of recent Cardinals’ teammates John Lackey and Jason Heyward spice up the rivalry at the very least, meaning the Cardinals need to respond in some fashion that makes a similar statement to the Cubs. 

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This may not come directly by signing big-name talent off of last year’s Cubs roster, especially since St. Louis would lose a draft pick by signing Dexter Fowler, who is currently the Cubs’ most coveted free agent. Not to mention Fowler’s numbers away from hitter’s parks.

However, the Cardinals could become creative in finding players who understand how to play against Joe Maddon‘s managerial style or have the specific skill set to exploit the Cubs’ weaknesses. Carlos Villanueva demonstrated such prosperity last year when converted into a mop-up relief pitcher, which could prove similar for in-division free agents such as Tommy Hunter or Manny Parra.

Next: Trusting In Tim Cooney

To be honest, the Cubs’ free agent additions don’t give them that much of an edge. The Cardinals still have the best rotation in the division and as we know in this league, good pitching usually wins out. I do not feel that us Cardinals’ fans need to be too bent out of shape about the roster losses/lack of additions. John Mozeliak will grab an underrated free agent or two and whip this roster into shape by the time spring training comes. Winning the offseason does not give you any awards, just ask the 2015 Red Sox.