The St. Louis Cardinals will have to play better defense to stay in the hunt for a World Series title in 2016.
All anyone wanted to talk about in the offseason was how bad the Cardinals’ offense was going to be because seemingly no big moves were made to improve it during free agency.
Well, the team has proven to its fans that the offense is just fine. But, the team has shown so far the defense is considerably worse from last year. Infielders Kolten Wong and Matt Carpenter led the team in errors in 2015 with 17 and 14 respectively.
As a team, the Cardinals had 96 on their way to winning 100 games. That number made them the second-worst in the National League.
This season, Wong is second on the team in errors with four. Matt Carpenter and Jedd Gyorko each have three.
Cuban infielder Aledmys Diaz leads the Cardinals with five errors. Some of those errors have cost the team a tally in the win column.
It seems every time the offense and starting pitching are producing, the defense unravels the team. The Cardinals currently lead the league in errors with 21.
Just to make a comparison, the Cardinals (12-12) lead the league in errors. The Washington Nationals (16-7) have the least errors (7) in the league and the best record baseball.
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There are three elements to the game of baseball that have to click simultaneously to be successful: throwing the ball, hitting the ball and catching the ball.
If a team only hits the ball during a 162 game season, the losses will start to add up. If a team has good pitching but no offense, it’s going to be a long season for the team and its fans.
The Cardinals have shown the offense isn’t the problem and the pitching can be great.
The defense however, needs to be fixed before this team can be looked at as a serious contender.
The issues defensively coincide with the absence of Jose Oquendo. He was more than just a third base coach, he set players up for success in the field. It was reported on the Cardinals’ website Sunday that Oquendo will not return this season.
So, yeah, in 2015 the team had 96 errors. But it doesn’t have to be that way in 2016. In fact, it can’t be if the Cardinals want to have any chance of winning the ever so competitive NL Central.