Cardinals: Nolan Arenado made the defensive play of the year
We often talk about St. Louis Cardinals’ Nolan Arenado’s offense, but his defense should be discussed more after Sunday’s web gem.
When the St. Louis Cardinals acquired Nolan Arenado from the Colorado Rockies, the talk immediately surrounded the type of impact he would have alongside Paul Goldschmidt in the lineup. But his defensive impact was severely underrated — and that was on display on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Arenado made what was perhaps the play of the year, diving for a rocket off the bat of Wilmer Difo, before firing a bullet to the outstretched glove of Goldschmidt. The play, which you can see here, went viral and shows just the kind of impact that Arenado can make on the field.
Arenado, 30, is an otherworldly player and widely considered one of the best players in MLB. He is hitting .289/.345/.535 with 261 home runs and 844 RBI throughout his nine-year career. He has also earned eight Gold Glove Awards through the first eight years of his career and if Sunday’s play was any indication, he’s in line to earn his ninth in as many seasons.
While Arenado’s numbers are down this year, hitting .253/.311/.488 with 26 home runs and 84 RBI, he has remained an incredibly productive player. He’s headed a Cardinals lineup and it’s scary to think where they would be without him, giving president of baseball operations John Mozeliak and the front office yet another reason to thank the Colorado Rockies for accepting a trade package that compared to a ham sandwich in exchange for a player with the pedigree of Arenado.
The Cardinals will need Arenado to step up in the last month of the season for them to sneak into the playoffs, something that looks incredibly difficult after yet another collapse against the Pirates on Sunday. But if this play was any indication, he is up for the task. Boy, will they need him in the worst way.