St. Louis Cardinals: Low-risk defensive option for St. Louis

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BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 29: Adeiny Hechavarria #11 of the Tampa Bay Rays dives after a hit by Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles in the eight inning during a baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 29, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 29: Adeiny Hechavarria #11 of the Tampa Bay Rays dives after a hit by Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles in the eight inning during a baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 29, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Cardinals are in desperate need of a quality defensive player. Could Adeiny Hechavarria do the trick for St. Louis?

As you probably know, the St. Louis Cardinals traded outfielder Tommy Pham to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for a prospect package containing Justin Williams, Genesis Cabrera, and Roel Ramirez hours before the trade deadline. To clear space for Pham on the Rays 40-man roster, they designated shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria for assignment.

The veteran infielder could be a good addition for St. Louis. Let’s take a look at why.

Why could he be a good fit in St. Louis?

Adeiny Hechavarria is known for his excellent defensive play, and his ability to wow the fans with diving stops and catches. Something St. Louis lacks miserably is defense. They have more errors than any team in the Majors, and also have the lowest fielding percentage in baseball.

A vast majority of those errors come from the infield. Two infielders, Yairo Munoz and Jedd Gyorko, have greater than 10 errors, while Paul DeJong has nine.

Most of these errors have come back to bite us in the butt, paving the way for unnecessary runs and it has even lost us a couple of ballgames. Hechavarria could be a great bench option who could be a major help in the field, which is one of our biggest struggles so far this season.

Why was he DFA’d then?

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Despite his exceptional defense, he has struggled mightily at the plate. Although he hit for .258, which is deemed a solid batting average in the Majors, he had a ridiculously low OPS, which was .621. Which means that 158 hitters in MLB currently have a higher OPS than Hechavarria. Logan Morrison, for example, is hitting a putrid .190 BA, but still has a higher OPS than the former Ray.

Earlier in the season, top prospect Willy Adames took Hechavarria’s starting spot at shortstop, putting him on the bench. The Rays looked to get rid of him throughout the season and designated him for assignment once Tommy Pham joined the ballclub.

If Hechavarria were to come, which Cardinal would leave?

Well, I would expect that the Cardinals would get rid of utility infielder Greg Garcia. Garcia is struggling at the plate as well, hitting a .236/.319/.350 line with three home runs and driving in 11 runs. He does not play often, due to utility infielders Jedd Gyorko and Yairo Munoz outshining him from an offensive standpoint. Garcia’s defensive ability is nothing special either, with four errors to his name so far this season. Hechavarria would come in and take Garcia’s rule, with additional playing time due to his solid defensive play.

Should Hechavarria be a Cardinal?

In my opinion, yes. I believe that our defense is in need of a guy like Adeiny Hechavarria to come in and reduce errors for St. Louis. Though the Cardinals are expecting potential Gold Glover Kolten Wong to return from the DL soon, we need all the help we can get defensively. Greg Garcia‘s days in St. Louis are numbered anyway, and Jedd Gyorko could be a lot better off in a pinch hitter role. So, why not bring in a low-risk solid defender.

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Do you think the Cardinals should give Hechavarria a shot? Do you think him and Kolten Wong would make a great team in the middle infield? Leave your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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