Feldman: Big offensive upgrade may not come soon if at all - KMOV.com

Feldman: Big offensive upgrade may not come soon if at all

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(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) By Rob Carr (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) By Rob Carr

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (BaseballStL)- The Cardinals ranked 23rd in Major League Baseball in runs scored during the 2014 regular season with 619.  They were 23rd in slugging percentage (.369) and 14th in batting average (.253).  If you’re looking for an area for the team to improve before the 2015 season offense would certainly be the appropriate place to start.

However, after listening to GM John Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny talk for about an hour at Busch Stadium Monday morning – seriously, who talks for an hour?? – it doesn’t appear as if making a huge splash is something they are intent on doing.
For the 2,493,107th time in his tenure as GM, Mozeliak said the Cardinals will be “opportunistic” with regards to offensive upgrades in the winter.  He says he isn’t quite sure exactly how that upgrade would fit and is even less sure as to who would be out there for the Cards to target – whether that’s in free agency or via trade.
It would make strong sense, given the youth and potential of those projected in next season’s lineup, for Mozeliak to be patient and let these guys go into next year with a chance to show development.  Randal Grichuk, Oscar Taveras, Matt Adams and Kolten Wong all have significant upsides based on their respective minor league careers and figure to be much better than they all showed in 2014.
I’m not sure Mozeliak is really in the mood to pull the plug on their development and trade any of those names for someone just because the person he’d be getting back has done it before.  It sure sounds like he’s going to go into next year with what he has – with maybe a few adjustments on the bench – and see where everyone is at come July.
If at that point he isn’t seeing the production at a certain position that he wants to see and starts to question whether they’ll ever reach their potential, then I could envision him making a larger move to upgrade the offense.
Look, it’s good to be patient and let certain things play out over the course of time.  But it’s another thing to be too patient simply because they’re your prospects who you drafted, developed and debuted. 
Three years down the road who in the heck is going to be this team’s #3 hitter?  It won’t be Matt Holliday.  He has two more guaranteed years on his contract and even if his option for 2017 is picked up it’s highly unlikely he’s anchoring this Cardinals lineup at the age of 37.  At least he shouldn’t be.
Finding the future cornerstone of the lineup is priority numero uno for the St. Louis Cardinals.  It could be here right now (i.e. Taveras).  It may not be.  Finding out which one that is needs to be determined rather quickly.  That’s why I still think he’ll give these kids a shot next year. 
But if there isn’t substantial progress made over the first half of the 2015 season, you could see a blockbuster move made around the trade deadline nine months from now.

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