(Baseball StL) -- A Cardinals team that’s won nine of their last 12, anchored by MVP and Cy Young candidates Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright, continues their run as the best team in the National League.
Even after taking two of three from San Diego and maintaining their two game lead in the Central, can the Cardinals strengthen themselves from within the organization without making a trade at the Non-Waiver Deadline on July 31st? Here’s a group of players that the Cardinals will be looking to for more production down the stretch:
The Cardinals third baseman delivered a two-run double in the Cards 3-2 win over the Padres on Sunday. Freese went two-for-four with two RBIs- his first multi-RBI game since June 25. After a sluggish first half, can Freese crank up his bat and improve on his season totals of .275, 5 HR, and 32 RBIs?
The Cardinals need for a veteran pitcher may increase because of the recent struggles of right hander Lance Lynn. After a frustrating outing against the Padres on Saturday, Lynn had discussions with manager Mike Matheny about looking visibly upset with teammates on the mound. Despite his 11 victories, Lynn appears to be hitting a crossroads in his season.
Edward Mujica answered the Cardinals biggest question this spring after taking over the closer role from Jason Motte, who had elbow surgery. However, the development of Trevor Rosenthal as the Redbirds 8th inning specialist could loom large as the season moves forward. Despite Mujica’s All-Star season, it will be important for Rosenthal to continue to improve his closer-like stuff. If Mujica hits a late season slump, Rosenthal is the likely closer in waiting.
If the Cardinals are in need of a shortstop, they certainly aren’t expressing it publicly. Even though Pete Kozma has struggled at times with the bat, he still continues to get playing time. Meanwhile, the Cardinals potent offense can still carry Kozma’s bat, as long as he makes the routine plays on defense at shortstop.