The St. Louis Cardinals head into Game 2 of the World Series with their most potent offensive bat at less than 100%. Carlos Beltran is perhaps the greatest postseason hitter of the decade, but he bruised his ribs in Game 1 of the Fall Classic after robbing a would-be home run off of the bat of Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.
Without Beltran the Cards likely don’t wind up winning the National League, so his health is going to be pivotal for the Redbirds moving forward. In the short term; St. Louis needs a great final series from Beltran, but the long-term impact of these bruised ribs is rather complex. Beltran signed a two-year deal with the Cardinals in December of 2011, which means the World Series could easily be the last time we see Beltran in a St. Louis uniform.
Moreover, the 36-year-old free-agent-to-be is looking to cash in this summer. However, his well-earned payday might be coming from a team with more cap space — the Cardinals have invested a lot of money in players like Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina as of late. All in all; Beltran’s injury is huge for the Cards in this series, yet his long-term MLB career is much more important than this Fall Classic in particular.