The St. Louis Cardinals have a power problem — they have none. Like an old beater car with a bad alternator, it seems that each time out, they are lucky to make it home. Some days they don’t even make it home at all. In fact, so far this season, they have been shut out four times. Going into the season, the club was thought to have some of the best hitters in the game, and in particular, much was expected of 1B Matt Adams.
Adams has delivered a consistent batting average, hovering the mid .300s for most of the season. If this keeps up he might be a batting champ, but that is not his main job. His main job is to be a run producer, not the world’s plumpest singles hitter. Yet Adams has deployed an inside out swing repeatedly in an effort to beat the infield shift, a gimmick defense in order to deal with an extreme pull hitter.
To Adams’ credit, he has burned the shift, smacking opposite field grounders and racking up the hits. However, because he walks next to never, his .OBP sits at a pedestrian .322 and he only has eight doubles and just a single home run to show for his approach. The approach is most likely due to the punch and judy philosophy of hitting coach John Mabry, who instead of working to Adams’ strengths, is trying to softball the shift by making him into a Tony Gwynn type of hitter. Adams has no pop because Mabry apparently does not know how to cultivate it, as I mentioned in my suggestion for Will Clark to replace him.
Truthfully, the Cardinals might do just as well to get Petula Clark to replace him; maybe she could teach them a little something about going Downtown.