Through 20 games the St. Louis Cardinals sit at 11-9 and probably have the record they deserve. Despite getting excellent starting pitching in almost every start so far, the team has been crippled by its lower half of the league offense. There are many reasons for this, and a lot of it has to do with slumps by key veterans expected to do more than what they have so far.
One of the bigger issues has been the consistent lack of productivity from the triumvirate of Matt Holliday, Jhonny Peralta and Allen Craig. In Monday night’s 2-0 loss to the New York Mets, the club only managed to scratch out six hits and was unable to muster any type of significant threat. Craig has been better of late, hitting .295 in his last ten games and posting two hits on Monday. There are reasons to think that he will eventually fully break from his slump and be the player the club knows and depends upon.
Peralta is in the process of increasing his BABIP, so he still projects to be the player the Cardinals signed. Of the three, Holliday poses the most concern. While in the past slow starts have been commonplace for Holliday, this one is different.
According to Fangraphs, Holliday’s line drive percentage has dropped from 20.8 percent to 12.5 percent on the season so far. Of equal concern is his fly ball to ground ball ratio has dropped precipitously as well. The Cardinals can absorb one slump, even two, but for them to reach the goals the team set forward one of these three will have to return to form.