The St. Louis Cardinals offense has gone cold yet again. The key to solving this lies in three hitters and the organization should look into these closely.
This is not a trade piece. This is not a piece suggesting that the St. Louis Cardinals should reach outside of their organization to fix the failures internally. Instead, this post is highlighting three players who- with some attention- should solve a good deal of the Cards’ problems offensively.
While not a trade piece in the traditional sense, this post could well be considered a trade option internally based simply upon the impact that these changes could make. In fact, two of the names examined below are currently sitting in the minors and could be “traded” up to the majors. The other name simply needs attention in the majors.
Let’s start with the name already with the St. Louis Cardinals.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ center fielder has struggled greatly of late. Into today’s game against the Atlanta Braves, Tommy Pham held an 0-for-30. Let that sink in.
Despite his struggles, Pham consistently appeared and appears in the lineup. In previous seasons, 0-fors like this would send a player packing to the minors. Fans need look no further than Randal Grichuk for a prime example of this.
But here we are with Tommy Pham.
To his credit, Pham broke out of the slump today with a single to right field on a 2-2 pitch. Having said that (as of the time of this writing), he had gone only 1-for-3 today with one of those failed at-bats being a strikeout.
**INSERTION- Pham just blasted a 3-run home run making him 2-for-4 today. Perhaps he is back?**
In 2018, Pham has recorded 66 hits in 271 at-bats. That’s a .244 batting average. This wouldn’t look as bad if it weren’t for the prolonged slump of late. To illustrate this damage, Pham had raised his batting average to .368 on April 3 but it then started slipping. His nose-dive started on May 19 and- despite his one hit today- seems to be persisting.
Here’s the solution: send Pham to Memphis. Something isn’t working and Mark Budaska needs to spend some time with Tommy. This would also take him out of the stress of the slump and allow him some head space to fix what needs fixing without the added pressure of a team that is equally suffering.
One more point: Pham is an outspoken and strong personality and we know he would not like a trip to Memphis. As long as the organization helps with the transition, Pham surely would use it as fuel to better himself and return with fire.
With Dexter Fowler floundering in right field on nights when Mike Matheny refuses to use Harrison Bader as the better alternative, the St. Louis Cardinals could use a shot in the arm. Enter then Tyler O’Neill.
Yes, O’Neill has seen playing time with St. Louis this season but that “experiment” was so inconsistent that O’Neill never really got his feet wet.
Here’s the skinny on him at present: he is destroying AAA pitching. He currently has racked up 22 home runs in 65 games (both MLB and AAA). While I believe that the St. Louis Cardinals rely on the home run too frequently, I believe that any hitting at this point would be welcomed.
In fact, O’Neill had homered four times in the past five games as of last night when Memphis’ game was suspended due to rain.
Therefore, I suggest that some phantom injury befall Fowler such that he can rehab without the derogatory demotion to AAA and move O’Neill northward. Add to this, should this occur when Pham is sent down, an outfield of Marcell Ozuna, Bader, and O’Neill is one that I would enjoy watching.
The St. Louis Cardinals need to make this “trade.”
The time has come for the St. Louis Cardinals to admit that Jose Martinez is not working at first. He should work at first (if only for his being so d@mn tall) but simply isn’t. And while his bat is nice, I’m not sold that he will serve this team any better in the outfield which they are “considering.”
Meanwhile, for Memphis, Luke Voit has heated up. Speaking of the Memphis game from Saturday night, Voit had already tripled home a run in the contest that saw the Redbirds leading 3-1 when rain shortened the game.
Today, the game resumed in what would be a double-header and Voit picked up right where he left off. Moreover, Voit set a record today hitting for the cycle for AAA Memphis. This was the first time this has occurred for Memphis since 2000.
In grabbing the cycle, Voit batted 5-for-6 recording six RBIs! Would that sound nice for the St. Louis Cardinals?
Here’s the solution then: the St. Louis Cardinals need to trade Jose Martinez to an American League team for pitching help. This pains me to say because I genuinely like Jose but the Cards need the spot and they need the value he carries.
Yes, they will need to package a prospect or two depending on the “get,” but this would help bolster the bullpen and would allow Voit to rise and fill the first base spot.
The time has come for the St. Louis Cardinals to shake things up offensively and the three names above are the exact solutions to the needed shake up.
If these changes were made, do you think the St. Louis Cardinals would be formidable? Let me know on Twitter and thanks for reading!