The St. Louis Cardinals haven’t been playing as well the last 10 days, but one player has shown more effort recently than we have seen in the past.
He started the season slowly and then got on a hot streak and helped carry the lineup with the other big bats for a few weeks. For someone who said he should be off the team ASAP, he has been playing well enough to change my thinking about the ASAP part. I still believe he should not have any chance at being resigned, but we should all enjoy and take in his performance in his walk year.
Unfortunately, Marcell Ozuna, like the rest of the offense, has been struggling over the last two weeks.
Even with these struggles, I am not worried about Ozuna because of one big change in his game.
Ozuna is showing some hustle on the basepaths.
If you look at the last column though, you will see he has been getting extremely unlucky with the balls he has been putting in play, reason one why I’m not worried.
But I am a big believer that doing the small things in life add up to bring yourself some luck, and that when people do the small things, it shows they really care. Last year, Marcell Ozuna was very poor at doing the small things in the game of baseball. I have no idea why, but it was extremely rare to see Ozuna take an extra base or put in more hustle than was necessary.
More from St Louis Cardinals News
- Cardinals Rumors: 3 pros and cons of signing Carlos Rodon
- Cardinals: Here is Willson Contreras’ first message for St. Louis fans
- How do the St. Louis Cardinals stack up with Willson Contreras?
- Cardinals: The insane asking price the Athletics had for Sean Murphy
- St. Louis Cardinals: Ask me anything with Josh Jacobs – 12/8
This could’ve been a result of a general lack of confidence that we saw in Ozuna at the plate and in the field, but it was ugly to see. This year though, even when his defense hasn’t necessarily been great, his confidence at the plate has protruded throughout his game.
Looking even deeper into the numbers, Ozuna accumulated 4.4 Baserunning runs above average last year. This stat works the same as Defensive runs saved where 0 is average. This 4.4 is actually not bad and is way better than the previous years -5.2, but so far this year, Ozuna has already accumulated 0.6 Baserunning runs above average. He has also already matched his stolen base numbers from last year with three, putting him third best on the team.
On Monday, Ozuna stirred up some dirt with the Pittsburgh Pirates announcers by taking an extra base when up by 12.
In another play this week, Ozuna took advantage of Starling Marte dropping the ball in transition and turned a more-or-less routine base hit into a double.
This is what I am talking about though. The small things like putting in more effort on the basepaths where he could’ve easily relaxed gives me a ton of confidence that he will rebound from this cold streak and be just fine if this extra hustle continues. You can definitely debate if Ozuna tagging up was the right decision, but the main point is that his hustling is a fantastic sign.
Again, I don’t believe Ozuna has a place in the long-term plans of this team, but if he puts up an All-Star year, we all should say thank you as we hold the door for him on the way out.