St. Louis Cardinals: Mike Shildt singing the right tune

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ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 19: Mike Shildt #8 of the St. Louis Cardinals walks back to the dugout after making a pitching change during the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on September 19, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 19: Mike Shildt #8 of the St. Louis Cardinals walks back to the dugout after making a pitching change during the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on September 19, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /
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St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt has done well in the eyes of many in his brief tenure so far, and comments Shildt made today were all the things fans should want to hear.

While you might be thinking that I am referring to the decision that he made today to put Alex Reyes into the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen to start the 2019 season, I am referring to something that is a bit more cultural than logistical.

It is no secret that the Cardinals have struggled with left handed pitching for years, but the more important thing in my eyes is how fixated the Cardinals front office has been to have a left handed pitcher in the bullpen, no matter how talented they are or how intelligent the move is.

This goes back pretty far too. From guys like Randy Flores in the mid-2000’s to Marc Rzepczynski in 2012 to Brett Cecil and Chasen Shreve today, the St. Louis Cardinals front office has demonstrated time and time again that they will throw money at lefties who are less talented solely because they are lefties.

That will hopefully change with the advent of Mike Shildt’s Redbird reign. Based on his words, there’s a chance that it might.

This comment can be interpreted in several different ways. People have been interpreting this as the philosophy behind the distribution of arms between the major and minor league teams, and that’s what he is saying on the surface.

If you think about it though, you can see how this would translate over to lefties and righties in the bullpen. For too long, the Cardinals have valued having a below average left handed reliever over another average right handed one when building the roster, and it has cost them in crucial situations time and time again.

The Redbirds did go out and acquire Andrew Miller, which gives some credence to the argument that the team is still concerned about having a lefty in the bullpen. However, Miller was also one of the top relievers in the free agent class and has All-Star potential, so he’s an exception.

In any case, it is nice to see the Cardinals focusing on what’s important: talent. With the plethora of elite players coming from the likes of the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros in the American League, it is time for the St. Louis Cardinals to step back up into the elite echelon of World Series contending teams.

Next. Five bold predictions for the 2019 season. dark

With Paul Goldschmidt, that is exactly what the Cardinals have demonstrated that they want to do. This team is in position to make noise in the strong NL Central, but they’ll need all the talent they can to do it. Hopefully, this is a sign that Shildt won’t worry too much about playing matchups, and focus on making the St. Louis Cardinals the best team they can be.

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