St. Louis Cardinals: Short stop epidemic must come to an end

michaeldavidmiles
KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 27: Aledmys Diaz #36 of the St. Louis Cardinals is attended to by team trainers and manager Mike Matheny #22 after fouling a ball off the plate that struck him in the face in the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium on June 27, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 27: Aledmys Diaz #36 of the St. Louis Cardinals is attended to by team trainers and manager Mike Matheny #22 after fouling a ball off the plate that struck him in the face in the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium on June 27, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Cardinals have experienced some illness at the short stop position in their recent history. What looked to be solved seems to be resurfacing. Perhaps a good dose of vaccination is necessary.

The St. Louis Cardinals thought they had found their short stop for the foreseeable future in Aledmys Diaz but, of late, he has struggled. While he was impressive in 2016, 2017 has fallen away and has landed him being optioned for work.

Likewise, the St. Louis Cardinals thought they had the short stop of their future in Delvin Perez but he too has experienced struggles and was just recently moved lower in the organization to “work.”

The position of short stop is typically the most athletic player on the field for any MLB team but the Cardinals seem to have fallen on bad luck after a string of successful short stops including the names of Ozzie Smith, Edgar Renteria, and David Eckstein.

Looking at these names, the data is terribly impressive. First up, Ozzie:

Standard Batting
YearAgeTmLgGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSOPS+TBGDPHBPSHSFIBBPosAwards
19 Yrs25731077893961257246040269287935801481072589.262.337.328.666873084167332146379
162 Game Avg.162679592791552542503796737.262.337.328.666871941121345
GPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSOPS+TBGDPHBPSHSFIBBPosAwards
STL (15 yrs)19908242716099119443385027664433102876423.272.350.344.694932463128211315472
SDP (4 yrs)583253622362665166419112914746196166.231.295.278.5736662139128397

…and defensively:

Standard Fielding
YearAgeTmPosLgGGSCGInnChPOAEDPFld%RtotRtot/yrRF/9RF/GlgFld%lgRF9lgRFGAwards
19 SeasonsSS25112477226521785.212905424983752811590.978239135.225.03.9664.784.77
19 SeasonsTOT25112477226521785.212905424983752811590.978239135.225.03.9664.784.77
PosLgGGSCGInnChPOAEDPFld%RtotRtot/yrRF/9RF/GlgFld%lgRF9lgRFGAwards

See why the man was known as the Wizard and now sits in both the St. Louis Cardinals hall of fame and the MLB hall of fame?

Moving to Edgar Renteria, another short stop on another World Series title St. Louis Cardinals team. These are his offensive numbers:

Standard Batting
YearAgeTmLgGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSOPS+TBGDPHBPSHSFIBBPosAwards
16 Yrs21529066814212002327436291409232941087181182.286.343.398.74194324124131997642
162 Game Avg.1626826139017533211692285489.286.343.398.74194244182763
STL (6 yrs)9033759335749797320797145114850308421.290.347.420.76898141110212384431
FLA (3 yrs)39317421565237450578121148939126254.288.342.357.69989559421030112
SFG (2 yrs)1967777037618230387010260112.259.316.344.66076242251768
ATL (2 yrs)2731216109218733970326127288108166.310.374.451.8251134933141020
BOS (1 yr)1536926231001723648709455100.276.335.385.72189240153650
CIN (1 yr)963332993475140536422465.251.306.348.6547710471630
DET (1 yr)138547503691362221055633764.270.317.382.69984192190251
NL (14 yrs)18617827701610312019378231227982791016261018.288.346.400.74695280920728916641
AL (2 yrs)291123911261693085861812515792164.274.327.384.711864323438101

…and these his defensive numbers:

Standard Fielding
YearAgeTmPosLgGGSCGInnChPOAEDPFld%RtotRdrsRtot/yrRdrs/yrRF/9RF/GlgFld%lgRF9lgRFGAwards
16 SeasonsSS21142051184818017.08936296357012721218.970-15-26-1-34.334.10.9714.484.44
1 Season2B4007.0615001.0001015407.711.50.9854.764.75
2 SeasonsDH22
1 Season1B1001.0220011.0000018.002.00.9959.009.20
16 SeasonsTOT21192051184818025.08944296657062721219.970-14-26-1-34.334.09.9714.484.45
PosLgGGSCGInnChPOAEDPFld%RtotRdrsRtot/yrRdrs/yrRF/9RF/GlgFld%lgRF9lgRFGAwards

Renteria was as amazing as the Wizard in his own right and contributed to the St. Louis Cardinals lore during his years in the gateway state.

Last, and certainly not least of the great St. Louis Cardinals short stops is David Eckstein. Eckstein seemingly came out of nowhere to capture the hearts of fans and the MVP of the World Series.

These are his offensive numbers:

Standard Batting
YearAgeTmLgGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSOPS+TBGDPHBPSHSFIBBPosAwards
10 Yrs1311570550417011414232203539212345376418.280.345.355.70187179188143106393
162 Game Avg.162705623871752924481564652.280.345.355.7018722111181350
ANA (4 yrs)567252022083406149410171708227166198.278.347.353.70087779387654161
STL (3 yrs)39817491564216465678131152815113107.297.357.375.73291587294018140
SDP (2 yrs)25210609451132495023801126681.263.322.330.6528231214182561
ARI (1 yr)18736451430140075.219.301.313.614582011010
TOR (1 yr)763032602772180123212427.277.354.358.711939368921
NL (6 yrs)6682882257333472812010171993917186193.283.343.357.70087919445943211
AL (5 yrs)6432823246836768611210181938428190225.278.348.353.70187872448463182

…and these are his defensive numbers:

Standard Fielding
YearAgeTmPosLgGGSCGInnChPOAEDPFld%RtotRdrsRtot/yrRdrs/yrRF/9RF/GlgFld%lgRF9lgRFGAwards
8 SeasonsSS9749558528302.041881428266793601.97824-193-34.444.20.9734.504.46
4 Seasons2B2822682472373.212054777235177.99600004.554.26.9844.834.79
5 SeasonsDH3030
10 SeasonsTOT12561223109910675.253931905339098778.98223-193-24.464.22.9764.574.53
PosLgGGSCGInnChPOAEDPFld%RtotRdrsRtot/yrRdrs/yrRF/9RF/GlgFld%lgRF9lgRFGAwards

Since the lineage of short stops is rather rich, Cardinals Nation expects this position to hold dominance on the team. That is until recent years. With the likes of weaknesses showing by Diaz, other recent short stop flops include Khalil Greene and Brendan Ryan, just to name a few.

Here’s a look at the social-anxiety-stricken Greene’s numbers with the Cardinals:

Standard Batting
YearAgeTmLgGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSOPS+TBGDPHBPSHSFIBBPosAwards
200929STLNL77193170213470624211535.200.272.347.61964595323165
7 Yrs736283525673226281571490352256190556.245.302.422.723941083593563718
162 Game Avg.1626245657113835320776142122.245.302.422.72394238138184
STL (1 yr)77193170213470624211535.200.272.347.619645953231

More from St Louis Cardinals News

Following the surprising year that Diaz put together in 2016, the St. Louis Cardinals had once again hoped they had found that elusive short stop mastermind (Jhonny Peralta had fared well there for a while too), but this year’s weaknesses are telling a different story.

The short answer is this: the St. Louis Cardinals need to find a cure for the pandemic of poor performances at the short stop position. Can this come from outside the organization? Perhaps, but it could also come from additional playing time for Paul DeJong.

Whatever the solution, I hope the Cardinals find it and find it quickly. What do you think? Who should the Cardinals slot at short stop? Anyone for a return of Pete Kozma? I didn’t think so. Thanks for reading!

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