New Cardinals enjoying the National League

by on July 29, 2009 · 10 comments

Anyone following the Cardinals of late, or at least since the two most recent trades, is well aware that Julio Lugo and Matt Holliday are really hitting well right now.  Just how well?

Holliday:  .529/.609/.824 in 23 plate appearances. Holliday has yet to hit his first Cardinal home run, but five of his nine hits are doubles.  So far so good.

Lugo:  .474/.474/.947 in 19 plate appearances. He hasn’t drawn the walks that Holliday has, but he’s certainly seeing the NL pitching well.  Nine hits include one home run, two doubles, and two triples.  Lugo hit for the cycle in his first five at-bats with the team (but alas, not within the same game).

So the two most recently acquired players are working out quite well, but how about Mark DeRosa?

We all know about DeRo’s early struggles, his subsequent trip to the disabled list, and that he will require surgery on his wrist – and injury that may well rear its ugly head again at any moment.  Setting aside the lost time prior to the DL trip, how has DeRosa been in the eleven games since returning to action?

DeRosa:  .293/.348/.756 in 46 plate appearances. DeRo has been the supply of power out of the three new Cards so far.  Six of his twelve hits for the Cardinals are home runs.

Lest we forget, these three players have brought some semblance of order to not only the lineup, but the defense as well.

Couple these contributions with those of suddenly resurgent Rick Ankiel and the steady play of surprising Brendan Ryan at shortstop, and the Cardinals really do have  fearsome lineup.

Early returns on Cards GM John Mozeliak’s moves are good statistically, now the pitching must step up and provide some balance for this team.  Exciting time to be a Cardinal fan.

Writing about the Cardinals and other loosely associated topics since 2008, I've grown tired of the April run-out only to disappoint Cardinal fans everywhere by mid-May. I do not believe in surrendering free outs.
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Jake Wagman July 29, 2009

Holliday looks fantastic wearing the BOB. He’s country strong, fast, hustles and drivers the heck out of the ball. The As play in a cavernous stadium, which may have hurt Holliday’s AL numbers. He may also be benefiting from NL pitching, and being in the heat of a pennant race.

I’ve got no explanation for Lugo, who was straight up dumped by the BoSox, even though they owe him lots of cash.

Though its very anti-Sabermetric for me to say, maybe a change of scenery can really help: After all, look what the Cardinals are paying Adam Kennedy to do in Oakland.

PH8 July 30, 2009

Holliday appears to be genuinely excited to be a part of this lineup and team. He was jumping around like a giddy little kid when Lugo scored in the 15h last night. Can’t help but like that.

Lugo is just gravy in my opinion, anything they get out of him is a plus.

We don’t bring up AK’s name around here anymore for that very reason, Jake. 🙂

gforce July 29, 2009

Newbies doing the job tonight! What a game…

PH8 July 30, 2009

Epic. Just epic.

Mark July 30, 2009

Considering Lugo came for a very expendable part that one is looking very good right now. The problem with him that might come soon is the range that he has given how much that a guy like Pineiro pitches to contact.

By the way what a game last night…

PH8 July 30, 2009

I think they can protect the defensive shortcomings of Lugo by playing him mostly in a platoon situation with Schumaker at second.

There is no player on the roster that should be taking at-bats or defensive chances away from Brendan Ryan at shortstop right now.

Kujo July 30, 2009

I’d say the pitching has stepped up even more than the lineup over the past month. If you exclude Todd Wellemeyer from the equation, our rotation has truly been remarkable this year. Even the bullpen has been very solid.

All in all, July has been good to the Cardinals. Good to see Lugo making such an impact, as well. He looked like he might become a wild card on the roster, and he has been better than advertised so far.

PH8 July 30, 2009

No doubt, but I think most Cardinal fans expect that sort of thing from Carpenter and Waino.

To me, the real surprise has been Pineiro, and the fact that he isn’t 10-5 or so right now is a crime. That’s why it’s important for the offense to get in gear… 🙂

Kujo July 30, 2009

Another reason why Win-Loss records are as good as useless. I’d rather something like Quality Starts be used to judge how well a pitcher has done in general.

PH8 July 30, 2009

Hell, even that is antiquated now, depending on who you ask…

Fungoes made a post about quality starts and FIGS-adjusted quality starts that suggest Pineiro is as much a product of his defense as he is his pitching.

I’d be inclined to argue that he still has to induce the groundballs, but nonetheless, you can find any stat you’d like to make someone look good. 🙂

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