I sat there will several other bloggers on Opening Day weekend and listened to Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak talk to us. It was insightful to say the least. One of the things I remember most (and I am paraphrasing) that he said was..
we know we sacrificed defense for some offense in the moves that we made in the off-season.
Fine. The Cardinals added Berkman to give some punch to the line-up and he has certainly done that to this point. Ryan Theriot was added to give more hits to the order. For the most part he has done that. Gerald Laird has been able to spell Molina in the lineup quite admirably. Nick Punto still has the jury out but first impressions are good. That is the offensive side of the game.
Defense. Let’s look at the numbers.
Theriot is tied for league lead in errors with an eye-popping nine for the season. He dropped a flyball to essentially lose the game and a sweep of the Braves. Can we find the numbers to tell us how many groundballs up the middle a former shortstop may have gotten that our present one didn’t? Does the .317 average and 8 RBI’s with 3 stolen bases offset that?
The Cardinals are 29th in the Major Leagues in ERRORS. That is next-to-last for those that need the help. Off the top of my head game losing errors have resulted in a minimum of 5 losses so far this year. Pujols and Rasmus have been culprits already this year.
The defense has let the bullpen down several times already this year. People love to watch an offensive team. An explosion of runs is a thrill for many people. Back to the question at hand. Will the Cardinals be Successful for an entire season by sacrificing defense for offense?
Let’s remember at this point the Cardinals are on pace to win over 90 games. Can they sustain that kind of hitting?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
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