By Spencer Impellizzeri @Spence_I on April 16, 2014
The St. Louis Cardinals have been dominant in recent years, appearing in the World Series in two of the past three seasons. This year's Cardinals team looks a bit different from those of previous seasons teams as former World Series MVP David Freese, longtime SP Chris Carpenter and outfielder Carlos Beltran are gone. With those new changes, some rough patches could be expected. Here's a look at five early overreactions.
Right now, Yadier Molina is on on pace to hit 32 home runs and drive in 95 runs this season, but expecting that is ridiculous. Molina has never hit more than 22 home runs or driven in more than 80 runs in a season. Molina could very well post career-highs in both categories, but there is no reason to set the bar too high. Molina has developed into one of the best catchers in baseball and the Cardinals should value him for that.
Oscar Taveras is the St. Louis Cardinals' prized prospect, but him replacing Allen Craig in right field? Overreaction. Craig is a career .300 hitter at the major league level and was an All-Star last season. Taking any at-bats away from Craig would be a mistake. Although he is hitting .143 after 13 games, his track record shows that his bat will come around and the Cardinals should be aware of that before making a decision.
The Cardinals signed Jhonny Peralta to be their shortstop with the understanding that he is not a top-notch defender. He has shown that so far this season, but the problem is that he isn't hitting well. Peralta has showed off his power potential, hitting four home runs so far, but he is hitting just .182. The Cardinals invested million over four years in Peralta, so they should be patient with him at the plate.
Trevor Rosenthal is a perfect four-for-four in save situations this season, but he has struggled in other departments, posting a 7.36 ERA while his velocity has dropped. These numbers should concern the Cardinals, but they should be wise to not overreact. This is just Rosenthal's second season as a reliever and first as the full-time closer, and the Cardinals should be patient with him early this season.
The Cardinals face some stiff competition in the NL. The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers are both good again and the Milwaukee Brewers are a much-improved team, but to assume that their run is over is a big overreaction. The Cardinals boast a deep rotation with led by Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha, and a lineup that features a powerful duo of Matt Adams and Yadier Molina in the heart of the order.
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