The St. Louis Cardinals tried something different at third base in the final game against the A’s that should be more common. What was it and why?
Recently, the clear issue with the St. Louis Cardinals is the disappearing act that the offense pulls on any given night. I applaud Mike Shildt for finally changing something though as in the last game against the visiting Oakland Athletics, Shildt decided to give the struggling Matt Carpenter (.200 BA, .702 OPS in the last two weeks) a rest at third base and get a player in who has been a lightning bolt in his short time after his debut.
Of course, I’m talking about the 24-year-old Tommy Edman who was called up to replace Jedd Gyorko in his first stint in the majors. So far, Edman has played in just 12 games but has made his presence well known with his .421 batting average and .737 slugging percentage.
Clearly, Edman won’t be able to keep up this torrid pace, but how many times have we seen players come up and catch lightning in a bottle to give some spark to the lineup for a while? Why not let him split time with Matt Carpenter at third base until Carp heats up or Edman loses it?
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I’m sure me writing this will cause Carpenter to come right out of his slump, WHICH OBVIOUSLY, I would be okay with, but until then, why not keep putting him on the edge of his seat? Too many players on this team are comfortable in their spots. Let’s put Carp on edge and let him sit against lefties and maybe more because of another great thing about Edman: he’s a switch hitter.
Defensively, Edman is just as good or better than Carpenter so that’s not an issue, so again, why not let the kid play?
Tommy Edman was a player at the beginning of the year that I pegged as someone who would probably come up and help the team this year (this was not an uncommon thought, I am not special). As a former 6th rounder in 2016, even making it to the Majors has been a win for not only Edman but the Cardinals draft and development team. It’s not the first time they have capitalized on a later round talent but Edman has the potential to be around for a bit.
The Cardinals gave Edman number 19 (some of you may not believe means anything) and personally, that makes me believe that the team has him in their plans moving forward for giving him such a low number.
Leading off and playing third base on Wednesday night, Edman showed he was up to the task, getting two hits in four chances and while those behind him did not capitalize on his hits, how often have the Cardinals gotten that kind of production from a leadoff man lately?
Matt Carpenter is not the .217 hitter that he is right now. He will get better in time but for now, there is not one good reason why Edman should not be starting at least three times a week and leading off.