The Cardinals' offense is bad, but Jeff Albert was part of the problem

In the wake of the Cardinals' offensive struggles, fans are pining for the days of former hitting coach Jeff Albert. But people forget that he was part of the problem.
St Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers
St Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

It's no secret that things aren't going well for the Cardinals, and it's all because of their lackluster offense.

Things have gotten so bad in fact that there are several fans who have gone as far as to say they miss former hitting coach Jeff Albert. This is something that definitely was not on most people's bingo cards.

To be fair, since Albert departed after the 2022 season, the offense has gotten progressively worse. Under Turner Ward, things have reached this point.

However, fans missing Albert are also missing a very important detail. While thing have gotten worse under Ward, fans are forgetting that Albert was part of the problem.

Jeff Albert isn't the answer to the Cardinals' offensive problems

Albert served as the Cardinals' hitting coach from 2019-22 and ultimately departed to become the Mets' director of hitting. At the time, Cardinals fans thought that this would finally unlock the potential of the offense.

That hasn't been the case, but the idea that Albert wasn't the problem simply is not true.

In 2018, the Cardinals were in the top five in the National League in runs scored. In 2019, they dropped to 10th in the NL. Their team batting average in 2019 was also slightly lower than where they finished in 2018.

2020 was a shortened season due to COVID, but the Cardinals hit at just a .234 clip that year and were second to last in the National League in runs scored. 2021 was a little better, but only because it was a full season. The Cardinals were 10th in the National League with 706 runs scored, well below their mark of 764 in 2019. They also hit for just a .244 team average.

Only in 2022 were there significant improvements. The team hit for a .252 average that year and was actually tied for third in the National League in runs scored with 772. This is likely the reason why people are missing Albert.

But in truth, that was just one season, and in the end, when it mattered most, the offense didn't show up. The Cardinals missed plenty of chances in the Wild Card Series against the Phillies and were even shut out in the final game.

2022 was also when fans got a false sense of security about the offense not being the problem for the team. That false sense of security carried over into 2023 and even into 2024. And while Albert no longer is the hitting coach for the Cardinals, the system he implemented is still being used. The Cardinals have remained stuck on this analytical approach that continues to not serve them well.

So, while Albert may have been a little bit better than Ward, his absence is not what's killing the Cardinals. The fact of the matter is that the Cardinals are not a good offensive team. They have the pieces to be, but those pieces never click all at the same time, and it's clear that the flaw runs deep within the organization, and it's a problem that Albert played a prominent role in creating.