With the best offensive depth in the MLB, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny once again faces a conundrum: Who should currently start at first-base? (The Moss-Adams Conundrum)
This is a huge question for the skipper, especially when you consider that the Cardinals are about to play the most important series of the season so far.
This is not a new problem. The Cardinals have been struggling with a lot recently, but at the beginning of the season it was a much different situation–picking between the lesser of two evils. Now Matheny has to choose who to start between two of his hottest hitters: Matt Adams and Brandon Moss.
Matt Adams has been slapping the ball incredibly well recently. In his last 83 plate appearances he’s slashing .373, holds a .422 on-base percentage, and has 24 RBIs. That’s right, in the last 23 games Matt Adams has batting in 24 runs. If Adams continued that pace for the rest of the season he would have 139 RBIs. Adams over the past month has been fairly consistent, making a large case for his role as the starting first-baseman.
On the other hand, Brandon Moss’ hot streak has been considerably shorter in time. But nevertheless, in the past five games Moss is hitting .533 with four home-runs. That’s not a performance Matheny can just ignore, especially when going into a crucial series with the Pirates. Plus, Moss has shown a ton of pop all season in his limited appearances. So far this season so far he has averaged a home run every 10.92 at bats. If he had enough at bats to qualify, that would be the best ratio in all of the MLB.
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This is the problem Matheny faces with Moss-Adams:
Adams has been hot for quite some time, but Moss has been red-hot (where’s the fire emoji?) in the past few series. Do I start Adams and allow him to continue developing into the consistent starting first-baseman for years to come, or do I start the scorching Moss who might be the best option for scoring runs during this important series against the Pirates.
Even though it’s not a bad problem for the Cardinals to have, it will be a very difficult decision.
However, there’s another way out of this conundrum. It involves putting Moss back in the outfield for either Randal Grichuk or Matt Holliday. Neither have had great years; Holliday, seems to be slowly cooling down from a hot streak, batting .254, while Grichuk is batting .222.
If I were Matheny I’d play Moss in right, Piscotty in center, and Holliday in left. That would give both Moss the opportunity to show whether or not his streak recently or not has been a fluke, and allow Adams to continue his role as the starting first-baseman. Plus it would provide the best current lineup for this series against the Pirates.
However, I’m not Matheny. But, unlike a lot of people, I continue to have faith in Matheny’s decisions. It’ll be very interesting to see what he chooses to do with the Moss-Adams conundrum.
Photo taken by David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports