St. Louis Cardinals: Cardinals power can often be fleeting

llevin
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 22: Paul DeJong #11 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a solo home run in the eighth inning during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 22, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 5-1. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 22: Paul DeJong #11 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a solo home run in the eighth inning during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 22, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 5-1. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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St. Louis Cardinals
CHICAGO, IL – JULY 21: Randal Grichuk /

What’s up with the ups and downs of the St. Louis Cardinals power?

Larry:

Tina, let’s talk about the St. Louis Cardinals organization’s recent history with power hitters.

We all know about the strange deluge of home runs in 2016, but that’s been an aberration this decade. In the six years since Albert Pujols departed for the sunny climes of California, besides last year the team has only once cracked the top half of the National League in dingers.

And even with the recent bundle of homers from youngsters like Randal Grichuk and Paul DeJong, we seem on pace for mediocre results this year. What gives?

Tina:

Since Pujols left, the St. Louis Cardinals has been highly reliant on having multiple guys hit ten to twenty homers instead of having a big bopper who could hit thirty or forty.

The unexpected power of Jedd Gyorko, plus the partial resurgence of Brandon Moss (before he dropped off the table at the end of the season), helped boost the 2016 club.

I think 2017’s results begin with the departure of Moss and Matt Holliday. The club hoped some of that power production would be replaced by a full season of Grichuk, but he hasn’t been on near the pace they hoped for, though his recent streak of games with homers was good to see.

Yadier Molina‘s power has faded to where it’s nearly a non-factor. Stephen Piscotty got off to a bad start. Aledmys Diaz got sent down. Dexter Fowler has been on the disabled list. Kolten Wong isn’t really hitting for power much anymore.

Matt Carpenter and Gyorko are really the only guys who have hit homers at a more- or less-expected pace, and so far in the second half Carp’s doing better from an on-base and batting-average standpoint and is hitting doubles, but he’s not hitting homers.

When you need basically all your middling power guys to produce to be even an average home-run-hitting team, it’s no surprise that, when several of them are having a down year, the club has tumbled toward the bottom of the power heap.

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