Cleat Geeks

Into the Cardinals Nest: Should Cardinal Fans Be Worried After Spring Training?

The 2016 Cardinals have come off a crazy off-season and launched into spring training with lofty expectations. However, the underwhelming performances by the team during spring training have left many in Cardinal Nation wondering if their favorite team may have trouble heading into their regular season. Despite their struggles in Grapefruit League play there are several positives that the Cards can take from Jupiter to St. Louis and translate into success.CardinalsJupiterFlorida

Some of the Cards’ new faces have definitely made an impact. Right fielder, Jeremy Hazelbaker has proven that he can get some runs. He’s had 9 runs on 11 hits, two of which were homers. He also has a little speed when it comes to base running. He has 4 stolen bases to his credit thus far. If they play him consistently at right field, those numbers can only get better. Another bright spot is the Korean newcomer, Seung Hwan-Oh. While he hasn’t had much of a workload yet, he has  kept his hits and walks per inning average to a 0.78. That’s a kind of guy the Cardinals could use to keep guys off the field in the later innings.Oh

Much of what made the Cardinals great in 2015 is still there as well. Randal Grichuk has done well in spring training. He has driven in 25 runs on 41 hits with 6 homers and 5 RBI’s so he still has the potential to deliver some offense. Once he finds his power again, he will be tough to stop. Another big ingredient to the Cardinals is Stephen Piscotty. While he is not a power hitter, he has driven in 5 runs, had 12 hits and 3 RBI’s. He also has 3 stolen bases.  Piscotty has gotten on base a lot through spring training. He has a .419 on base percentage in spring training as opposed to the .353 he had last year, which is a bit of an improvement. He is proof that not everybody needs to hit for power. Sometimes, all you need to do is see the ball well. Piscotty’s numbers should pick up once the season starts.

CardnalsPiscottiSpring training can sometimes be a sign of how good a team is out of the gate but not always. As Cards fans, we see our favorite players like Adam Wainwright or Kolten Wong struggle and many begin to  think that the season is automatically over because they aren’t automatically performing to the high standards of last year’s 100 win plus team. It is important for fans to realize that there are always cracks that need patching up every year. No team is perfect. The Cardinals will be OK going into the regular season.   All they need to do is give it time and believe in their team like they always have.

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