Following the St. Louis Cardinals‘ loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday, the club fell to 5-4. And as is typical this early in the season, have quite a few statistical anomalies to point out. Apparently, the role of Tony Gwynn in the biopic of the perennial bat-master will now be played by Matt Adams, who near as can be told, is similar to Gwynn only in terms of batting left-handed.
Adams, who is thought to be a burgeoning power hitter and potential MVP type player, is batting .364 with a healthy, but not dominant, OPS of .885. This is because for all of the hits Adams has collected, he has exactly one RBI. Like Gwynn, he is developing a habit of going to the opposite field and lately has been displaying an inside out swing. The idea that Adams could turn into a batting champion was not truly seriously considered, however, a big part of this is due to his response to infield shifts against what was perceived to be a habit of pulling the ball. This makes Adams a better hitter, but the Cardinals need consistent RBI production from his spot.
Of course Allen Craig would love to be in Adams’ position, because Craig has had about as much success getting to first base as a member of the Geek Squad. Batting a Pete Kozma-like .097, Craig has not been in a slump where they are not falling-no. By and large he has not made solid contact and seems completely uncomfortable at the plate. The Cardinals have to hope that will pass soon or else the club will struggle to score runs.
One other stat of note is Matt Carpenter‘s strikeout rate. By and large Carpenter is starting to develop a slash line very similar to his breakout performance of last season, but he has so far struck out in 25 percent of at-bats. This could be from an attempt to develop his power, or more likely from the fact that Carpenter sometimes stares at pitches like they are 3-D art and he is waiting for the picture to appear. That last phrase also applies to the team in general, who through nine games are struggling to establish an identity and offers a picture that is anything but clear.