Questions Remain for Cardinals’ Defense After Offseason Focus of ‘Being More Athletic’

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The St. Louis Cardinals (3-9) return home after being swept by the Yankees (8-4) in New York over the weekend. General manager John Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny were both asked about how urgent the need is to turn around their rocky start.

Here are their quotes from before the 6:08 p.m. game against the Pittsburgh Pirates (6-6) on Monday:

Mozeliak on maybe moving Matt Carpenter to other positions:

“My hope is we don’t have to go down that path, but everything has to be on the table right now. This current model isn’t working so if we have to do something different to find ways to win, we have to be open to that.”

Carpenter was initially placed in the starting lineup Monday, but Matheny later announced he would be scratched due to an injured finger.

Mozeliak on Matt Adams playing in left field:

“I honestly feel like for Matt Adams to get playing time in left field, it’s a hard place for him to do this in the big leagues. At the time we were trying to be creative and find a way for him to get some at-bats, but I think it takes away from our main goal from a defensive standpoint. But arguably as you sit here 3-9, you’re trying to get the offense going as well as keep the defense going so it’s always that push/pull, which is tough. But I do feel like there is a better way to stay stronger defensively than perhaps Matt (in left field).”

Adams has appeared in five games in the outfield this season, after never playing in the outfield in the majors before 2017. He has made no errors, or assists in 27 innings this season. According to BaseballReference.com, his defensive runs saved above average is -1.

Mozeliak on overall team struggles:

“Obviously, this is clearly not how we wanted to begin the season… I think anytime you start off slow, you have a tendency to compound things. Even though you are trying to make things better, you sometimes make things worse. It’s not as simple as pushing one button to fix it, or there’s not one simple thing to get it right… The simplest approach would be everybody to do their job and do it right. I think we have the talent to be successful. I think this team still has better days ahead of it, but it clearly has to get out of this current lane we are in.”

Mozeliak on Yadier Molina’s defense:

“Usually from a defensive standpoint, passed balls just don’t happen. Maybe there is something physically bothering him or something that isn’t quite right, but I have not spoken to him or haven’t had anyone medically bring anything to my attention.”

Molina allowed a passed ball in each of the last two games in New York. He allowed eight PB’s in all of last season, which was the most in his career.

Matheny on Greg Garcia and Jose Martinez getting the starts Monday:

“Just trying to get (Garcia) going and keep him going. He’s doing a nice job and he brings a lot of excitement and a lot of energy and takes a great at bat and right now we need to just get it all put together… You can see how big of a shot in the arm that was to get that two-out RBI last night and get us on the board. And then he continues to grind through his at bats… And you could say the same thing about Jose Martinez. Every time he gets an opportunity he’s taking a big-league, tough, grind-out at bat.”

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Comments

One Comment

  1. Nancy Rapps says:

    Seriously, folks, the bottom line is that we let Matt Holliday go and didn’t replace him. It has put a tremendous amount of pressure on EVERYONE to try to pick up the slack. So everybody’s pressing, and you end up 4-9 to start the year. We don’t have an ‘uh oh, I don’t wanna pitch to that guy’ kind of player. When you let 20+ HRs and 65+ RBIs walk, you have to find a way to replace that offense!!! You can’t put it all on Dexter Fowler’s back…I think that’s part of why he’s struggling, too.

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