Cardinal preview 07/22/16 If i were a Carpenter

The best part of this preview is that I don’t have to write about Matt Carpenter who is on the DL and was in the midst of a top five MVP season. The worse part is that I don’t get to write about what an incredible season Matt Carpenter is having.

Last year the Cardinals won 100 games, going 38 games over .500. This year has been more of a struggle, the team is currently 51 – 44 only seven games over .500. At this time last year, they were 59 – 34.  After stumbling to 12 – 13 in June, the Cardinals are now 11 – 6 in July.

This may seem crazy but until this June, the last time the Cardinals had a sub .500 record for any full season month was way back in June of 2012.

The Dodgers don’t usually have great timing when they hit the Cardinals after the all-star break but it looks like they are catching a break this time. Because of a rain out on Tuesday, they will miss the Cardinals best pitcher Carlos Martinez. They also are going to miss the resurgent, Adam Wainwright. Which is too bad because I wanted to write about Adam and how he’s turned his season around after a very tough start.  Eric Stephen at TBLA did a breakdown of the starting pitchers for this series.

Cardinals are also missing Brandon Moss who was doing his best impersonation of a normal historical Cardinal slugger. Combined the Cardinals have nine players on the DL.

The DL table below is courtesy of Rotowire:

Carpenter, Matt 3B Oblique 15-Day DL 8/1/2016
Cooney, Tim P Shoulder 7-Day DL 8/1/2016
Harris, Mitch P Elbow 60-Day DL 7/1/2017
Lynn, Lance P Elbow 60-Day DL 9/10/2016
Moss, Brandon OF Ankle 15-Day DL 7/24/2016
Pena, Brayan C Knee 15-Day DL 8/2/2016
Peralta, Jhonny SS Thumb 15-Day DL 8/3/2016
Plummer, Nick OF Wrist 7-Day DL 8/17/2016
Walden, Jordan P Shoulder 15-Day DL 8/1/2016

1st Base – With Brandon Moss out until 7/24 Matt Adams is getting the bulk of time at 1st base, and Matt is a far cry from the Adams who crushed the Dodgers chances in the 2014 NLCS.  Overall Adams is having a fine year but he is really struggling in July hitting only .158 with one home run.

2nd Base – Kolten Wong is getting all the at bats against RHP, but Jedd Gyorko is eating up the at-bats against left-hand pitching. Gyorko is vying for player of the week honors against Justin Turner after destroying his old team earlier this week. Gyorko slugged four home runs against the Padres in four games including three in one day. Gyroko is hitting so well he might start seeing at-bats against right hand pitching.

3rd Base – With Matt Carpenter and Peralta on the DL, Greg Garcia is getting some play here. In typical Cardinal fashion, Garcia is doing great work with season OPS+ of 140 but has slowed down in July.

SS- The Cardinals have their own version of Cory Seager, in Cuban rookie Aledmys Diaz. Diaz is not slowing down and while Dodger fans feel that Corey should be a slam dunk ROY, Diaz is making his own case. Diaz has a higher BA, higher OBP, and higher Slug%. They are neck in neck in OPS+ with Diaz at 143 and Seager at 140. Right now Seager owns the defensive metrics over Diaz but I wouldn’t be handing the ROY over to Corey just yet.

C – Yadier Molina is Yadier Molina.

LF – Matt Holliday is hurting so not sure of his status this weekend.  The 36-year-old Holliday is having his least productive season since his rookie season in 2004, and as the season wears on, even more so as his OPS has dropped each month.

CF – Cardinals expected much of Randal Grichuk this season after putting up a robust 138 OPS+ in 2015, but what they got was so much scuffle he was sent down to AAA to get straightened out. It may have worked because Grichuk has looked more like the player from last year since he returned from AAA on July 5th. Grichuk has four home runs and a .964 OPS since returning.

RF – Stephen Piscotty the 2012 number one pick for the Cardinals has lived up to the expectations that Piscotty was one of the best college hitters to come out of the 2012 draft. Piscotty has been the best hitting right fielder in the NL in 2016 and is not slowing down in July.

Cardinal July Stats via fangraphs:

Aledmys Diaz 174 74 3 11 11
Stephen Piscotty 169 67 5 12 16
Matt Holliday 88 55 2 4 8
Tommy Pham 156 52 3 8 5
Yadier Molina 111 52 2 7 3
Randal Grichuk 155 48 4 6 8
Jedd Gyorko 212 41 4 9 10
Matt Adams 39 40 1 5 5
Greg Garcia 101 39 0 8 2
Kolten Wong 102 39 0 5 3


Aledmys Diaz 0.328 0.438 0.574 0.43
Stephen Piscotty 0.333 0.373 0.635 0.422
Matt Holliday 0.208 0.309 0.375 0.303
Tommy Pham 0.298 0.365 0.596 0.403
Yadier Molina 0.277 0.346 0.426 0.337
Randal Grichuk 0.304 0.333 0.63 0.402
Jedd Gyorko 0.395 0.439 0.737 0.487
Matt Adams 0.158 0.2 0.342 0.231
Greg Garcia 0.25 0.385 0.344 0.322
Kolten Wong 0.242 0.359 0.394 0.323




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