By Steve Ungrey on May 25, 2014
You know them well every time they are shown in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform. These are the players who would be hard to replace if circumstances ever took them away from one of Major League Baseball's best teams. Five players are hard to think of in any other uniform, and here they are in no particular order.
Oddly enough, Molina's weakest batting average (.216) came in the Cardinals' 2006 World Series championship season. Since then, Molina has been lights-out every year. Not only has he carried a .300 average or better the past four years, he has been a bedrock to the Cardinals' pitching staff. It's hard to imagine anyone else behind the plate calling a Cardinals game.
A 20-game winner in 2010 and 19-game winner in 2009 and 2013, Wainwright has become of the National League's most dependable hurlers year in and year out. He is a solid No. 1 starter on a tough pitching staff, and Wainwright is also a sure bet for 200 strikeouts every season. If he ever went down due to injury, heaven knows where the Cardinals end up.
When Albert Pujols left for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim following the 2011 season, Adams was the reason why Cardinals top brass weren't too concerned about Pujols' departure. It took a couple of seasons for Adams to swing a hot bat, and he may never match Pujols' power with the lumber, but Adams has become a dependable hitter in the lineup.
His average may be down somewhat, but Cardinals fans will forgive and forget following a red-hot season that saw Carpenter score 126 runs and come within one hit of the 200-hit plateau. This is only Carpenter's third full season in the big leagues, and he has already become one of St. Louis' most feared offensive weapons in the lineup.
Ever since his arrival late in the 2009 season, Holliday has shown the same grit and gusto he had in leading the Colorado Rockies to the 2007 World Series. His power is off this season, but Holliday is still hitting and is still a reliable run producer in the lineup. Holliday has plenty of help and doesn't have to do the job alone.
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