That seems to be the strategy for the Cubs. Beat, the Cardinals by taking their players. However, when you are a free agent, you don’t belong to anyone. The Cardinals lost in the reverse bidding war. Cards and Nationals offered more overall money. Cubs management convinced Heyward he’d win a championship in a baby bear’s uniform and maybe he does. They actually made the playoffs as a wildcard team last year, beat the Cardinals to advance, only to be whipped by the Mets. Past Cub players have heard this song and dance before, “This is our Year”.
The people of Chicago (all those living and most that have passed) have never experienced their beloved Cubs win a World Series. So, is 2016 “the Cub’s Year”? Maybe, maybe not, you don’t win on paper, you win on the field.
Too many Cardinal fans are fretting this morning. Why? We’ve lost players, great players before. One player leaves, it presents an opportunity for another, “Next man up”. St. Louis you know this phrase. It is in the veins of the Cardinals organization.
Heyward was not Albert. We lost Albert, we returned the next season to the playoffs. Jason Heyward is a terrific player. A great defensive player. He hit .293, a weak .293. He is a capable homerun hitter, but not a slugger. He might hit 20 HRs in Wrigley. Might! This past season for St. Louis, Heyward had 60 RBIs. From a right fielder, you need more production than that. Heyward struggled with men on base. In fairness lots of Cardinals did in 2015.
The upside, the Cardinals now have 2 spots for their young TALENTED, outfielders. Enter Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk, who we got good long looks. Look at the numbers:
Games AB Runs Hits Hr RBI BA
Heyward 154 547 79 160 13 60 .293
Piscotty 63 233 29 71 7 39 .305
Grichuk 103 323 49 89 17 47 .276
Piscotty and Grichuk’s PRODUCTION numbers are better on average. Give these guys the same number at bats as Heyward, they smash his production totals. Also, their defense and base-running skills are nothing to sneeze at.
Many teams would panic if they lost a player such as Heyward. The Cardinals have youth to replace him with, talented youth. They may yet this winter add another outfielder/bat, Piscotty is more than capable of playing 1st. If the outfield ends up being Holliday in Left, Grichuk in center and Piscotty in right, they have a fourth in Tommy Pham and Moss. Matt Adams would have 1st base, with Moss and Piscotty to fill in if needed.
The future is still bright for St. Louis. The Cubs will still have to deal with the Cardinals. Cubs will start the year as media favorites, but the Cards, as Joe Buck once called it……..”They just won’t go away.” The rivalry just got a little warmer.
Cardinal fans, look at the numbers from last year…..this could turn out to be a blessing.