The Cardinals made a huge splash with the signing of Dexter Fowler. With the off season far from over, do the Cards have anything else to do?
According to Brandt, the Dexter Fowler signing went against what the Cardinals said they wanted to focus on this off season: DEFENSE! However, the numbers just don’t add up in terms of a defensive gain for the Cardinals. So, since the Cards seem to have gone against their defensive mindset already, why not gamble a little bit and sign a strictly offensive minded slugger. One suggestion is Trumbo. I prefer someone that has the second most home runs since 2012 at 193. Mr. Encarnacion, come on down!
The Cardinals will not be much better defensively in 2017 anyway. A single signing will not change that. Might as well go all in on the offense.
Right now, Matt Carpenter holds the title of first base, but I am not too comfortable about that. Similar to what Jack Besser said the Cardinals should do in his case for Trumbo, move Carp back over to third and let him rake and play the same defense Peralta would. That leaves the door open at first base for Edwin “Better than Trumbo” Ecarnacion. Want to know why Encarnacion is a better fit?
We know what we are getting defensively.
Over the last two seasons combined, Trumbo does not even crack 200 innings at first with a measly 37 innings in 2016. Trumbo projects much better as a DH only type of guy and the O’s used him as such. Encarnacion on the other hand has over 1000 innings logged at 1st in the last two seasons. Is he an all-star defender? Certainly not, but at least he has recent experience there. Odds are, Encarnacion would be able to be serviceable at first provided he still does what he does best.
Trumbo hit some Trumbombs last season, but Encarnacion hit some of his own.
You think that Trumbo had a lot of long balls this year at 47? Well Encarnacion was right on his tail only finishing with 5 less. In fact, EE has not hit below 34 home runs since 2011 while Trumbo has only hit over 30 three times in that span. So although both guys had powerful seasons, Encarnacion has been hitting the ball over the fence more consistently than Trumbo has.
Also, when thinking about a slugger, you usually assume that they strike out a lot. Trumbo lives up to that steryotype while having a strikeout rate of 25% for his career and 25.5% for 2016. Meanwhile, EE struck out only 19.7% of the time (league avg 21%). Not even a fluke, his career K% is 16.2%, so EE is not prone to big strikeout numbers compared to other sluggers.
When the count maxes in the other direction, EE trumps Trumbo in walks too. Trumbo walked in 7.6% of his plate appearances, which is right around league average. however, EE blows past the average and walks 12.4% of the time at 11% for his career. EE possesses good discipline at the plate which is a good sign for a slugger. Overall, Trumbo posted a WRC+ of 123 last season while EE posted 134.
Can I have an Encarnacion for Christmas?
While Encarnacion has the better numbers in recent years, he is 33 years old and is most likely looking for a long term contract for more security. However, Trumbo could potentially be better than EE in the future due to the age difference. All in all, both players are extremely talented and would make good additions to the Cardinals lineup. However, I’m still a part of Encarnation.