ST. LOUIS -- The Cards' projected everyday lineup for 2015 doesnt have a lot of sure things. What will Jason Heyward do in his first turn with St. Louis? Will Kolten Wong be more consistent? How about Matt Adams?
Jhonny Peralta is the steady force amid lots of uncertainty.
The Cardinals inked the former Detroit Tiger to a 4-year deal worth more than $50 million last winter and immediately saw a return on their investment. He hit .263 (not bad) but mashed 21 home runs. The latter part was crucial for a team that finished at the bottom of the league in that category.
"Last year was a good year for me," Peralta said at the Cardinals Winter Warm-Up Monday. "To be here for the first time was unbelievable. This year I'll be more comfortable and more confident with the team."
In an age where offense is declining due a number of factors (more power pitchers than ever are developing, performance enhancing drugs are out of the game, etc.), what Peralta was able to do last year was very much needed.
The 32-year old played steady - if not spectacular - defense at shortstop and finished sixth in Wins Above Replacement in the National League among position players and 10th among all players in the NL.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the Cardinals offense in 2015, another terrific year from Peralta (this being the second year of his four-year deal) would be welcome.
Then if the Cards get great production from guys like Jason Heyward, the shortstop says watch out.
"Heyward's pretty good. It was a good move. He's really good in the outfield and will help out a lot," Peralta said.