A promising strike prospect of returning to Earth has become St. Louis Anchorman’s Pancake breakfast: They do it every year. Tyler O’Neill and Dylan Carlson both show signs of what could potentially be a long-term solution to the two-thirds of the Red Birds’ opening games a season ago, and so far, seemingly unknown this year. that the closing has ended.
O’Neill crushed the ball last year, missed 0.560 – ranking 9th in all of baseball – and finished with 34 home throws and 80 RBIs in 141 games. When you put that season together and combine that with his hungry biceps, it’s incredibly hot on the eyes and incredibly frustrating. And I’m not talking about St. Louis-sweat-when-you-step-out-into the hot summer, I’m talking about moving-in-your-try-to-think-anything what- other hot.
Those dreams are now considerably less erotic with O’Neill’s slow start. He’s seen fewer balls faster this year and, in turn, he’s struggled to replicate his power numbers. His .333 slip is not in the top 10 or even the top 100 for that matter.
I wouldn’t completely describe Carlson’s 2021 season as worthy. Hitting .266, with 18 homers and 65 RBIs doesn’t set anyone on fire, but he’s not “as much as RBIs (4) in 23 games”. If it weren’t for Nolan Arenado’s Player of the Month performance in April, St. Louis will be the bigger talk outside of Missouri.
When you add up the average hit drops from this year to last year between O’Neill (down .84), Carlson (down .80) and Paul DeJong (down .70), you get the total reduction. 234. That cumulative average drop is higher than what any of those three players are currently achieving (.202, .186 and .127), respectively. My brand of confusing analytics aside, no current iteration of this group can weather the woes that have plagued them for years now.
DeJong is the one who posted it boy for the setback, as his batting average has dropped each of the six seasons since entering the league in favor of the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
It’s early, and St. Louis was lucky to be 14-10 down and in 5th place on difference despite having the 17th best foul in the MLB. If you’re a Cardinals fan like I am, you know all too well the feeling of immediate despair that comes when it’s clear that an opposing pitcher is dealing.
All hopes of scoring fell on Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, both great, but like any great attacking player, they needed support in the squad. It could be karma catching up with the Cardinals during all these years of Red Devils Magic, or it could be a problem with development, something that I have shouted before on this site.
Presumably, O’Neill and Carlson are mired in fewer and fewer declines. Or they are part of a trend of good but still unsettled talent that is becoming the norm for the St. Louis. I mentioned O’Neill, Carlson and DeJong, but Kolten Wong never reached the heights that GM John Mozeliak promised. Randal Grichuk’s two most productive seasons came after his trade-off. I will give St. Louis a starting spot for Aledmys Diaz because he hasn’t been a staple in Houston’s lineup for the past few years. Having said that, Diaz had as many RBIs (45) last year as his replacement in the short lane, and he played in 29 fewer games and also made 83 fewer appearances than DeJong.
I also like Tommy Edman and Harrison Bader, but any offensive work from them is a bonus. Cards fans have been checking their watches non-stop for years, waiting for the next Albert Pujols, who was promised to show up. And re-signing with a top freelance agency in the past is not something anyone would think about, nor is it to fill a need. If anything, the addition of DH to NL just shows a brighter spot on the team’s shortcomings.
I’ll skip the pitch part of this one “What the hell is going on with the Cardinal’s outlook?” because their decline is largely due to injury, and pitching is not the reason for the team’s post-season failures. If you’re looking for a solution, chances are it won’t come from manager Olivier Marmol. It’s not his fault, the team keeps recruiting from within and ignores whatever the hell is going on with its homegrown giants after being recruited for a year or two. .
Did coach Jeff Albert, who was retained from the staff of fired coach Mike Shildt, simply hit play/pause on the game tape and asked his mates to keep an eye on the ball? It will explain a lot.
Mozeliak’s acquisitions of Goldschmidt and Arenado are great, and he should be applauded for ditching those franchises. However, St. Louis cannot expect to win a title by taking advantage of underperforming organizations, nor can they win by throwing a lot of money at free agents.
I know it’s early, and there’s still plenty of time for O’Neill and Carlson to come out of their slump. If they did, it would break recent tradition, but I don’t think Cardinal fans would care as much as Champ Kind took to heart with Ron Burgundy skipping a few outerwear coats.