5 difficult roster decisions the St. Louis Cardinals must address ASAP

The struggling St. Louis Cardinals face some difficult roster decisions.
St. Louis Cardinals v New York Mets
St. Louis Cardinals v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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No. 3: Will the Cardinals shake up the middle of their batting order?

Gosh, let's hope so.

A typical lineup for the Cardinals lately has looked something like this:

  • 1. 2B Brendan Donovan
  • 2. 1B Paul Goldschmidt
  • 3. 3B Nolan Arenado
  • 4. C Willson Contreras
  • 5. LF Jordan Walker
  • 6. DH Nolan Gorman
  • 7. RF Dylan Carlson
  • 8. SS Paul DeJong
  • 9. CF Tommy Edman

On Monday against the Nationals, we finally saw this order shake up in a real way.

1. LF Brendan Donovan
2. 1B Paul Goldschmidt
3. RF Lars Nootbaar
4. 3B Nolan Arenado
5. C Willson Contreras
6. DH Jordan Walker
7. 2B Nolan Gorman
8. SS Paul DeJong
9. CF Tommy Edman

In most of these spots, you know exactly what you're getting from the player. Especially in the one-through-three-hole hitters, there's never going to be a question about their offensive outputs. However, once you get to the fourth and sixth spots in the lineup, things begin to get a little bit more questionable.

This ridiculing falls primarily on catcher Willson Contreras and designated hitter Nolan Gorman. Neither of these two players have been carrying their weight offensively, which could mean that a shakeup in their spots in the lineup could be coming.

Contreras, 31, has had some well-documented struggles this season, both at the plate and behind it. His .201 average and 79 OPS+ combine to make him one of the worst everyday starters in the league and would easily be the lowest offensive outputs of his eight-year big league career. Moving him down in the order to take some of the pressures of hitting cleanup off of his shoulders may be the fix, at least temporarily.

In Gorman, the Cardinals have a young, promising player who has been hitting well as a whole, but perhaps has been given a bit too long of a leash. On the season, he has 15 home runs and 46 RBI in just 66 games, but his strikeout rate is still over 30 percent and he has experienced one heck of an offensive dropoff since starting the year strong. In the month of June alone, he has 27 strikeouts in 15 games alongside an average of .115 and an OPS of .424. Neither of these numbers are going to cut it, so he could benefit from something different than Contreras could.

For Gorman, either a demotion or a temporary benching feels like the way to go here. As previously mentioned, Jordan Walker is more than ready to make a move to DH, so this one feels almost too obvious at this point.