Despite improvements, Cardinals offense has long ways to go

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Nolan Arenado hits a double during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Nolan Arenado hits a double during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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The St. Louis Cardinals are bad all around, but their offense has a long ways to go despite showing signs of improvement.

When it comes to the St. Louis Cardinals, the main talking point has surrounded their pitching, which has been among the worst in baseball. They have made tweaks to the rotation, removing John Gant, and could still remove Carlos Martinez, who has been among the worst pitchers in baseball.

But the offense has been among the most inconsistent in baseball, ranking in the bottom half of baseball in most categories. Hitting coach Jeff Albert has changed up numerous things, including utilizing video more often, and manager Mike Shildt told reporters (including Zachary Silver of MLB.com) that “The last four days, our at-bats have been significantly better; our walk rate has significantly improved; [and] our two-strike hitting is significantly better.”

However, that inconsistency remains. The Cardinals lost three of four games against the Pittsburgh Pirates, a series that should have easily been winnable. Pirates pitcher Max Kranick, who was making his major-league debut, pitched the bottom of the first with a three-run lead and threw five no-hit innings before being removed after a long rain delay.

Shildt admitted it’s a concern, as it should be. The Cardinals could, and likely will, consider adding another bat or two at the trade deadline. But if they lose the upcoming home series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are by far the worst team in baseball and recently snapped a 24-game road losing streak, then there will need to be serious consideration about selling.

It’s an unimaginable position since the Cardinals acquired Nolan Arenado less than six months ago, but it’s a position they find themselves in after ignoring multiple holes throughout the roster this winter. They are talented enough to overcome it, but as they sit in fourth place in the National League Central and continue to fall back in the standings, the question now is: can they actually climb out of this hole?

Next. Cardinals: St. Louis considering Wade LeBlanc in rotation. dark

This series against the Diamondbacks will tell us all we need to know about this Cardinals team.

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