Cardinals: 5 numbers that matter after the first week of the season

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 14: Nolan Arenado #28 of the St. Louis Cardinals at bat against the Milwaukee Brewers during Opening Day at American Family Field on April 14, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Brewers defeated the Cardinals 5-1. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 14: Nolan Arenado #28 of the St. Louis Cardinals at bat against the Milwaukee Brewers during Opening Day at American Family Field on April 14, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Brewers defeated the Cardinals 5-1. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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ST LOUIS, MO – APRIL 11: Andrew Knizner #7 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after hitting a three-run home run against the Kansas City Royals during the fourth inning at Busch Stadium on April 11, 2022 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO – APRIL 11: Andrew Knizner #7 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after hitting a three-run home run against the Kansas City Royals during the fourth inning at Busch Stadium on April 11, 2022 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images) /

Andrew Knizner has an OPS of 1.431 through two starts

Timing has not been something that young Andrew Knizner has ever had on his side in his MLB career. On plenty of other rosters, Knizner would’ve gotten his chance to be an everyday starter behind the plate years ago. But as any St. Louis Cardinals catching prospect in the past 17 years has found out, it’s tough to find time behind the plate while Yadier Molina is healthy.

However, 2022 could be the year that Molina finally begins to loosen his grip on the starting job as the 39-year-old prepares for retirement and passes on the torch. Through the first week, Knizner only had two starts, but boy did he make the most of them.

Through nine plate appearances, Knizner has four hits and five RBI, one of which was this monster home run against the Royals.

That three-run home run was followed by a three-hit performance in the second game against the Brewers on Friday.

Only amassing 260 plate appearances in his first three seasons in the MLB, Knizner has never had a real chance to get his rhythm behind the plate or standing at it. With more starts in 2022, the 27-year-old is pushing to stay in the long-term plans behind the plate in St. Louis with Ivan Herrera on the doorstep.

In this case, competition is breeding excellence.

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