Chicago Cubs will face a reloaded, revamped Cardinals ball club
While it may seem obvious to suggest that a player of Paul Goldschmidt‘s caliber will have a profound effect on the Cardinals, even that statement would hardly do his arrival in St. Louis true justice.
Remember when the Cardinals led the league in errors and were worst in the bigs in terms of fielding percentage last year? With Goldschmidt–a Gold Glove first baseman–on board, they no longer have to give innings to Jose Martinez at first and simultaneously can move Matt Carpenter back to third base.
Also, consider this: St. Louis will get full seasons from Harrison Bader and Paul DeJong, who could be Gold Glove candidates themselves. Throw in Marcell Ozuna–who was actually among the leaders in Defensive Runs Saved in left field despite a nagging shoulder injury–along with Kolten Wong and Goldschmidt, and suddenly this defense practically looks elite. Talk about a turnaround.
Then there’s Goldschmidt’s offensive impact. The Cardinals were sixth in the National League in runs scored despite a mediocre season from Ozuna and a horrific year from Dexter Fowler.
Now, St. Louis adds a guy that has averaged over 31 homers and 102 RBI over the last four years to their lineup. Not only is Goldschmidt a run-producer, but he offers protection for Matt Carpenter and DeJong at the top of the lineup while being protected by Ozuna. Simply put, we could see some massive numbers from the Cardinals offensively.
The Redbirds also made headlines by signing Andrew Miller, but Goldschmidt is a truly transformative player for them both with the glove and the bat. And he could be the reason that St. Louis wins the division this year.