St. Louis Cardinals: Five story lines for the Cardinals in the weeks ahead

ssturtz
Apr 11, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; A overall view of Busch Stadium before a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 11, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; A overall view of Busch Stadium before a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
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St. Louis Cardinals
Apr 19, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Dexter Fowler (center) celebrates with teammates Randal Grichuk (left) and Stephen Piscotty (right) after the Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports /

1) Expect St. Louis Cardinals lineup shifts led by Dexter Fowler possibly moving down

A lineup that was supposed to heavily rely on Matt Carpenter and Dexter Fowler is mostly being carried by Jedd Gyorko. Not many people, including Gyorko, would have guessed he would be the St. Louis Cardinals most dependable hitter. It goes to show the lack of star power the Cardinals have in their lineup.

Carpenter is batting .231, which isn’t great, but he has a .373 OBP due to an eye-popping thirty-three walks. Fowler, on the other hand, is barely over the Mendoza line with a .208 average and a pathetic .302 OBP. The hard time adjusting to a new city or the heel and shoulder injuries, whatever it is, Fowler has not lived up to his $82 million contract.

Fowler hasn’t looked comfortable at the plate at times, and manager Mike Matheny has made it clear that tweaks in the lineup could be beneficial for the team. It’s already been done with Aledmys Diaz moving down to the 6th spot so other small changes could be looming.

Bernie Miklasz, a writer for 101sports.com, disagrees with a Fowler lineup change and said it would be a major misstep for Matheny to move him out of the lead off spot. He cited that Matheny was faithful to players like Allen Craig and Matt Holliday even when they struggled mightily. Additionally, Fowler has a proven track record of being one of the top lead off hitters in the game.

I understand Miklasz’ stance, but at the same time the lineup is struggling to score so nothing can hurt, right?

The two hole has been a revolving door for the St. Louis Cardinals, too. What started with Diaz switched to Stephen Piscotty with Greg Garcia and Tommy Pham also getting at-bats in that spot.

It’s almost June and the Cardinals are still working on a productive lineup combination. Better late than never I guess.

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