The St. Louis Cardinals are performing well despite their recent three-game sweep at the hands of the Pirates. This doesn’t mean, however, that fans should stop demanding changes.
The St. Louis Cardinals, despite some hiccups, have actually out-performed my expectations for this team. But, having said that, I- for one- am ready to see changes and am, in fact, making my demands known. (How was that for a sentence full of clauses?)
Let me start my list of demands with Harrison Bader. The time has come for the young stud to get regular playing time at least until he shows that he cannot cut it. I do believe he will regress but I would love to see him show 2017-Tommy Pham-like numbers and performances.
So who would get bumped? I recommend that Fowler get a little break. Either play Bader in CF or RF. Whichever position Bader is in, Pham can play the other. I suggest this for two reasons: (1) it would get Bader in the lineup for a few regular days, and (2) it would put two outfielders who actually hustle in the grass (read: Fowler needs to actually commit to hustle).
Moving on… My next demand is that Jedd Gyorko – for the love of God – play every single day at third base. I recently wrote that Gyorko is better than Carpenter and I’m sticking with it. As I highlight in that piece, while Carpenter has the slightly better defensive metrics, Carp’s sluggish bat (albeit coming alive of late) is affecting the team in ways that his offense has yet to compensate.
In this regard, Gyorko’s offense would be very welcome. In fact, in each game that Gyorko has played, he has contributed nicely with the bat. While Matt Carpenter has an OPS of .579 for the St. Louis Cardinals, Gyorko carries an OPS of 1.182. I had to make that number bold.
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Just imagine adding an on-base-plus-slugging of 1.182 to this lineup… A St. Louis Cardinals lineup that has pieces that should threaten; pieces like Marcell Ozuna (currently carrying an OPS of .601 with a career OPS of .779).
Moving on… My next demand is that Kolten Wong – I cannot believe I’m saying this – needs to be the everyday second baseman. Wong, who started roughly this season, has shown new life of late. This new-found passion has allowed him to post some great numbers offensively, display incredible defensive prowess, and even flash his speed on the bags.
While his batting average remains low (sub-.200), Wong did manage to go 2-for-4 in two of the games when the St. Louis Cardinals were facing the New York Mets recently. Additionally, Wong went 1-for-3 in the first loss of the Pirates series. In these contests, he struck out a mere two times and drew one walk.
So to recap, I’m essentially demanding the likes of Fowler and Carpenter taking a rest while allowing Bader, Gyorko, and Wong to play. I’d say this two-game, small-set against the White Sox to be a fantastic time to rest these players and showcase the ones of my demands.
What do you think? Should the St. Louis Cardinals take the time to deeply evaluate these three demands? Perhaps we will see during the White Sox series.