St. Louis Cardinals: Encouraging signs from Arenado, Goldschmidt

The big bats for the St. Louis Cardinals showed signs of improvement over the weekend, signaling an increase in offense for the struggling team.

The St. Louis Cardinals struggled mightily over the weekend, losing a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. While it may have appeared there was not much offense, the team did get some significant contributions from their two big offense producers in Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt.

On Saturday and Sunday, Arenado and Goldschmidt were a combined 11 for 17. Arenado walked once and had seven hits and four RBI. Goldschmidt, meanwhile, had four hits over the weekend but was left on base a total of five times.

A Baseball Savant post from David Adler noted Arenado is leading the league in pulled extra-base hits for 2021. So far, he has 26 extra-base hits including 11 homers and 15 doubles. Overall, Arenado is now hitting .287/.333/.522 and an .855 OPS, with a 132+ wRC.

Matt Graves wrote about Goldschmidt’s struggles, but noted that he’s showing signs of improvement lately. After this weekend, he is now hitting .250/.316/.406 with an OPS of .722, and has a 103+ wRC.

It has been quite frustrating to see the inconsistency at times for the team’s two power hitters. Could the team place Goldschmidt back in the second spot in the batting order with Arenado following and have Tyler O’Neill bat fourth? Could manager Mike Shildt do some serious lineup tinkering and have O’Neill bat third in the order with Goldschmidt and Arenado following? Maybe flip flop O’Neil to second in the order and Dylan Carlson in the third slot followed by Goldschmidt and Arenado.

The tinkering could provide a jolt with moving Carlson or O’Neill around in the order, generating more opportunities for production for themselves as well as Goldschmidt and Arenado. O’Neill is now hitting .278/.309/.611 with an OPS of .920, and a 149+ wRC. Carlson is now hitting .277/.360/.432 and an OPS of .792, and a 122+ wRC.   Getting those two on base and having their speed could help Goldschmidt and Arenado catch a break and create a string of offense for the team.

Whether it is a jolting lineup change or just a streak of luck with the current batting order, Goldschmidt and Arenado must continue upon their improvements displayed over the weekend. The Cardinals need all the offense they can get from their two big bats and if they can bring some teammates along for the fun, that will be all the better.