For the Cardinals, offense is a bigger need than pitching at the deadline

While starting pitching is something the Cardinals need, fans shouldn't overlook that the offense is an area that needs to be addressed as well.
San Francisco Giants v St. Louis Cardinals
San Francisco Giants v St. Louis Cardinals / Scott Kane/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

We are now four weeks away from the July 30 trade deadline. The Cardinals have completely changed the narrative around their season. At 15-24 in mid-May, they looked like they'd be clear sellers again.

However, things changed on Mother's Day with a comeback win over the Brewers, and since then, the Cardinals have been one of the best teams in baseball. Now, they look like clear buyers with four weeks to go until the deadline.

As you all know, I was all in on selling for a while, but as things stand now, that shouldn't even be on the Cardinals' minds anymore. An obvious need for the team is starting pitching. Steven Matz has been hurt and they need more consistency in the rotation, as well as somebody they can trust to win a playoff game.

However, the need for a starting pitching has seemingly overshadowed what I think is a bigger problem for the team; offense.

Cardinals need offense more than pitching at deadline

Getting Willson Contreras back has helped, and the impending returns of Lars Nootbaar and Tommy Edman should help too. But that doesn't mean the offensive problems are completely solved.

This is not an attack on any fellow Cardinals fans, but I have noticed there are still some who believe offense isn't the problem. The stats will tell you otherwise.

The Cardinals rank 17th in the league in batting average (.239), 21st in home runs (79), 27th in RBI (308), 27th in runs scored (328), and 20th in OPS (.682).

And while the Cardinals are playing much better baseball, they were carried this week by their pitching. Lance Lynn had two quality starts, Matthew Liberatore threw six shutout innings in a spot start, and Andre Pallante gave the Cardinals 5.1 scoreless on Friday. In all but one game dating back to last Sunday's win against the Giants, the Cardinals haven't scored more than four runs.

I'm not trying to sound like a curmudgeon. A win is a win, and I'll take them anyway the Cardinals can get them. But you still need more from the offense. No, the rotation isn't great by any means, and they do need another frontline starter to pair with Sonny Gray to have any chance in the postseason. But even with Matz out, they have five guys that give you a chance to win almost every day and keep you in ballgames. That's about all you can ask.

Meanwhile, the offense isn't pulling its weight. They're stranding runners and not coming through in some key spots, and while they have had some timely hits, this isn't sustainable for the rest of the season.

This is why an addition needs to be made from outside the organization, even when Nootbaar and Edman return. John Mozeliak talked about adding a right-handed outfield bat, and former Cardinal Tommy Pham fits the bill. They could also give Justin Turner a look, though he isn't an outfielder.

Also, they need to stop banking on Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado to return to their MVP-caliber selves. If anything, they're the ones dragging the offense down. But if they stop prioritizing them and make an outside addition, we might finally see some improvement.

Even if the Cardinals were to add somebody like Nathan Eovaldi to their rotation at the deadline, it wouldn't fix the offense. They'd still get shut down by top-level starters in the postseason and not make it past the Wild Card round.

So, while starting pitching is a big need, the Cardinals can't lose sight of the fact that the offense has been a much bigger problem than the pitching.

manual