Who Should Mike Matheny Call When the Cardinals are Down? Jeremy Hazelbaker
It is obvious that the first series of the 2016 season did not go as planned for the Cardinals. Being swept by their divisional rival doesn’t make it feel that this team is a World Series contender. Granted, its still VERY early but that doesn’t mean manager Mike Matheny shouldn’t try to shake things up.
Overall, the Cardinals problem is that they cannot stay healthy. Players are falling like dominos out there; Jhonny Peralta needed thumb surgery, Tommy Pham strained his oblique, Brayan Pena’s knees are acting up and Ruben Tejada seems to enjoy being on the Disabled List.
The Cards have a lot of injuries, but no one around baseball is crying for them. The season is long and strenuous and everyone goes through injuries. It’s part of the game, but the best teams can win regardless.
— The Birds On The Bat (@BirdsOnTheBat13) April 7, 2016
Matt Adams once had so much potential but just like my favorite Cardinal Jedd Gyorko, he could not amount to much. It’s time John Mozeliak cuts his losses and at least gets some value for the first baseman.
On the other hand, Brandon Moss was once good but it’s time to face reality and admit that he is just an aging veteran. Moss did hit 19 homeruns last season but 14 of those were before the All Star break, before his body started to break down.
Holliday proved he is adequate defensively at first base and will only improve. Moss nor Adams are anywhere near Gold Glove potential so starting Holliday is not a massive setback fielding-wise. At the plate, Holliday is easily the best hitter without even a second thought.
Hazelbaker, on the other hand, has impressed so far. In fact, he was the only offense in the game yesterday against the Pirates. The Cardinals are looking for a short term replacement for their injured stars and Hazelbaker is perfect. Hazelbaker has power, speed, and can field all 3 outfield positions. Especially with Pham out, the Cardinals are desperate for another outfielder who can step up and Hazelbaker is a no brainer out in left.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Hazelbaker has made the most of his chance with the Cards. He’s hungry for playing time and is leaving it all on the field. There is no doubt in my mind that he is the best option for the St. Louis Cardinals in Left Field.