St Louis Cardinals: Way-too-early trade deadline shopping list
By Matt Graves
The St Louis Cardinals look like the best team in the NL Central, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need anything at the trade deadline.
The calendar has yet to hit June, but it is never too early to start gathering info on where the St Louis Cardinals look like they could use some improvement.
The 2021 season has gone better than some had expected, even with the Cardinals’ current skid. As of writing, the Cardinals sit tied for first place with the Cubs in the NL Central with a 26-22 record. At their best, the team has reached eight games above .500 but a pile of injuries has started to take their toll on the team.
In the outfield, both Tyler O’Neill and Harrison Bader are on the IL, leaving Dylan Carlson in center. Tommy Edman has filled in at right field, but the injuries have left Justin Williams, Lane Thomas, and Matt Carpenter with a lot of playing time that they haven’t performed well at all in.
Paul DeJong did not have a good start to the year on either side of the ball, but a cracked rib has kept him out, too.
On the pitching side, Miles Mikolas and Carlos Martinez have both spent time on the IL, with the former only throwing 4.0 innings before re-injuring himself. In the bullpen, injuries to Jordan Hicks and Andrew Miller have forced Tyler Webb and Ryan Helsley higher up the depth chart, again with poor results.
The team is 3-7 in their last 10 and the losses have often been ugly; full of errors and walks from players who historically not been those players. It has been an ugly two weeks, but health should help. However, there are clear areas where the team could use some help at the deadline, even when fully healthy.