5 important things we've learned about the Cardinals at the season's 30% mark

We are 30% into the Cardinals season and there are five important things we can takeaway about this club already.
St. Louis Cardinals v Detroit Tigers - Game Two
St. Louis Cardinals v Detroit Tigers - Game Two / Duane Burleson/GettyImages
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Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado cannot carry the Cardinals anymore

I personally hope we can come back to this observation at the end of June and say we were dead wrong, but so far, it looks like Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are past the days where they can carry not just an offense, but an entire team, to success in the regular season.

Back in 2022, both Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado finished top 3 in MVP voting with their elite bats and top-end defense at the corner infield spots. They were one of the best duos in all of baseball, and they were the key cogs for a team that won the National League Central. Now, neither of them is anywhere close to being an All-Star-level contributor.

The signs of decline for both aging stars were there in 2023. Paul Goldschmidt still finished the year with solid numbers, his power had fallen off significantly in the second half and he just was not the same guy at the end of the season as he was earlier in the year.

Nolan Arenado saw a similar drop-off. He was an All-Star in the first half but had a dreadful second half that many (including myself) attributed to his back injury, leading to his worst year at the plate outside of the 2020 pandemic season. Arenado has also seemingly lost his power, although he's been able to hit for average in a way that Goldschmidt has been unable to this year.

I'm writing this piece before the start of the Cubs series on Friday, May 24th, and to this point, Goldschmidt and Arenado have combined for just 7 home runs this year. Goldschmidt's OPS sits below .600. Both of them have slugging percentages lower than .400. Things are very troublesome when it comes to the Cardinals' stars, as their performance comes nowhere near the title of star at this point.

While I would not be shocked to see either or both of them turn things around and produce 15%-20% above league average at the plate from here on out, the fact that it is the end of May and neither guy has turned it on is a major red flag. Even if the pair can turn things around, it is unlikely either of them can help carry a team anymore. They need the Cardinals' other bats to rise to the occasion.