During his time away from the team, Dickerson worked on reevaluating his perspective on the situation, stating in an interview with Bally Sports Midwest that, “…when it doesn’t quite work your way, it’s frustrating. Instead of having a light-hearted mindset to it and focusing on preparation, doing all you can, you can make excuses or be frustrated. To have that off my back and chest, success or failure, I think I’ll go at it a different way next time.”
Ready to approach the game with a new mindset and looking to have some fun, Dickerson’s July campaign, albeit short, was a considerable success. Reminiscent to the earlier seasons of his career, one of which included an appearance in the All-Star Game, Dickerson slashed .314/.359/.571 for a whopping .930 OPS.
With Bader heading to his hometown of New York City in exchange for some much-needed starting pitching, the Cardinals’ outfield has been in need of restructuring. Right field has been entrusted to the young and promising Lars Nootbaar, who like Dickerson has been riding high on a second half resurgence. Tyler O’Neill has reclaimed his position in left (previously held by Dickerson), having just returned from a brief tenure on the injured list.
Despite starting opportunities being mainly reserved for the three aforementioned outfielders, Dickerson nevertheless plays an important role. Not every player can maintain elite offensive production throughout the season, and not everyone can stay healthy, as seen with this year’s frequent injuries of O’Neill and Bader’s considerable setback in June.
Should any issues arise in the Cardinals outfield, Dickerson can offer repose through the occasional start, and will be there to fill in the gaps should the need arise. Assuming he can maintain a semblance of his current hot-streak, which historically he has been able to do, Dickerson will present a considerable force at the dish as a competent backup.
In light of his recent upturn in production however, and with past performance as an indicator of his capabilities as a hitter, an argument could be made that Dickerson has earned himself a second chance to prove himself worthy of being a daily starter. However, it’s hard to see the Cardinals making such a move.
With the divisional race heating up in the final months of the season, the omnipresent necessity for better hitting is as big as ever. Though most eyes will be fixated on the nearly 10 years younger, red-hot Lars Nootbaar, slugger Tyler O’Neill, and other promising talent in Memphis, Dickerson has proved that his capacity for hitting is still nearly if not exactly where it used to be. He’s set to be a solid contributor in the Cardinals’ hunt for another title, starter or not.