Surprises and Disappointments for the St. Louis Cardinals in April and May
The St. Louis Cardinals finish April and May with a 28 – 21 record. Here are some of the surprises and disappointments so far this season.
The Cardinals right now sit three games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for tops in the NL Central. So far, the season has been good, but not great. At times, this team has treaded water as pitching injuries have taken a toll on the rotation. The offense, once again, is hit-or-miss. One night, they will plate double-digit run totals (with position players pitching), and the very next night, the Cardinals barely get any base runners, let alone runs. As with all major league teams, there are surprises and disappointments.
To me, the biggest surprise so far is a tie between Paul Goldschmidt‘s May and the overall contribution from Cardinal rookies. It’s common for Goldschmidt to get hot during a season and go on a tear, but Goldy is on a career-high on-base streak and just broke the Cardinals’ record for most XBH in a month.
It’s also been a treat to watch “the kids” play: Brendan Donovan, Juan Yepez, Matthew Liberatore, and Nolan Gorman.
Donovan was already a favorite of Oliver Marmol in Spring Training, and that has continued this season. He has the highest OPS and OBP of any rookie in MLB with a minimum of 20 games played. All Juan Yepez since he’s come to St. Louis was hit, hit, and hit. Yepez enters June with a slash line of .278/.340/.796 and a wRC+ of 129.
Then there are the best friends from Sandra Day O’Connor High school in Phoenix. Matthew Liberatore has been able to hold his own in his two starts again divisional foes Pittsburgh and Milwaukee, often showcasing his impressive curveball. Gorman has been blistering the ball with two long home runs over the right field bullpen. His OPS+ since he’s started? 232.
The biggest disappointment this season has been Paul DeJong, and that itself is putting it mildly. It’s been a steep decline for Paul DeJong, who put up 3.7 fWAR and 101 wRC+ in his All-Star season in 2019. Since then, his wRC+ has decreased each year, and he now sits at an abysmal 27 wRC+.
The Cardinals hoped DeJong would be able to turn things around this year. Instead, he is now in Memphis as Tommy Edman and Nolan Gorman take over at shortstop and second base.
Here are other surprises and disappointments.