St. Louis Cardinals: Marcell Ozuna is making good progress
After St. Louis Cardinals’ left fielder had his nagging shoulder worked on earlier this offseason, Marcell Ozuna has had a positive update from the Dominican Republic.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ left fielder Marcell Ozuna has been a slight source of tension for the team this offseason as there is worry that he has not been doing enough to rehab an injured shoulder that was likely the cause of a backslide in 2018.
After being acquired in the offseason after the 2017 season, Ozuna was looked upon to build on his 37 homer, 124 RBI performance in Miami but fell back to the mean. Ozuna finished the year with a disappointing 23 homers and 88 RBI’s while seeing his OPS+ drop from 149 to 106. I recently wrote here about what ZiPS and myself have projected for Ozuna in 2019.
ZiPS was not very fond of Ozuna in their projections and predicted a similar season to 2018 rather than a bounce back to what he produced in 2017. During the Winter Warm-up, there was concern all the sudden when John Mozeliak let it be known that Ozuna may not be ready by Opening Day because of his rehabbing shoulder.
Mozeliak, who had yet to travel to see Ozuna, did so recently.
The reactions to this tweet were very surprising to me. Pretty much all of them were filled with anger and hate towards Ozuna and Mo and to be honest, I don’t get it. What could be the better outcome from Mo’s visit to the Dominican Republic? Isn’t this what we all wanted to hear?
Ozuna is a very important piece for this team in 2019 and his health is going to be the biggest performance indicator. If he’s healthy, he will perform. It’s as simple as that. Ozuna is in a contract year and that will hopefully serve as more motivation for him to perform this year.
Ozuna’s health may be the most underrated x-factor for the 2019 St. Louis Cardinals. With a healthy Ozuna, the 1-4 spots in the lineup will be a force to be reckoned with and the news from the Dominican is about as good as good news can get. Be happy.