One of the most prominent questions surrounding the St. Louis Cardinals is what the batting order will look like come Opening Day. With Nolan Arenado in town, and Paul Goldschmidt returning for another season, manager Mike Shildt has options — and that’s exactly how he likes it.
Goldschmidt has had success hitting No. 2 in the past with the Cardinals. With baseball continuing to trend in the direction of having your best players hitting second, Shildt seems intent on doing that with Goldschmidt yet again, telling Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch they are “liking what we see there.”
After a slow start to spring training, Goldschmidt has bounced back, hitting three home runs in the last two days. He told Goold that he is not worried about where he is in the lineup, that he is more focused on continuing to translate the work from the batting cage to spring games and eventually to the regular season.
“The first week or so you’re kind of getting one or two at-bats every other day, and it’s hard to starting stringing stuff together,” Goldschmidt said. “You start playing two or three days in a row, getting three or four at-bats, then you start to be a little more consistent. Now more is happening in games. The stats — take them for what they are because you are going to have 60 at-bats, 80, anything can happen — but what you see is more preparing in the game. The timing is there. Everything is more consistent. It’s like, OK, OK, the season is starting pretty soon.”
The Cardinals are relying on Goldschmidt to be his usual steady presence in the lineup once again. But there is less pressure on him to be *the guy* with Arenado in town. But the front office and coaching staff are salivating at the possibility of Arenado and Goldschmidt pairing together in the lineup — and they are about to see it in a regular season game in less than two weeks.