The Right Guy To Make An Impact

There are so many topics that could be addressed about the St. Louis Cardinals after the first 10 or so days of the 2018 season, and so many are deja vu to 2017. But let’s ignore those right now. Instead, how about a bigger picture look at how some players are doing on their new teams?

And, specifically, how about a look at how the 2017 Miami Marlins outfielders are doing in their respective new homes …

ExMarlins-2We all remember quite well the Cardinals off-season pursuit of an impact bat that was missing last season, and the courting of Giancarlo Stanton. It was even enough to get me to write three posts about wanting to acquire him last October, November and December. (Ah, memories … especially that photo with my December entry.) Yet Giancarlo turned downed the Cardinals, and the Giants, and decided he wanted to be a Yankee. Okay, his right — that’s why he had the full no-trade clause.

So the Cards moved on, and acquired Marcell Ozuna instead. There were some Cardinals fans were who not pleased with that move and would have preferred the Cardinals acquire the third Marlins outfielder, Christian Yelich, instead.

I was reminded of all these things at various times yesterday — when I saw Ozuna single with one out in the bottom of the ninth yesterday, for one thing. When I heard that Yelich was put on the disabled list yesterday with an oblique injury. And particularly when I saw that, for the second time this week, Stanton struck out five times in a game at Yankee Stadium — and heard boos from the fans as well.

It made me wonder how, had he decided differently, the Busch Stadium crowd would respond to two five-K performances to start and end a home stand.

It made me wonder if he’s wondered about that — or how Giants fans would treat him at AT&T Park. (They certainly loved what one of their new guys did on Saturday.)

But, when looking at the stats in particular — the .316/.316/.421 for Ozuna, the .167/.271/.429 for Stanton and the fact Yelich is hurt — it made me appreciate that sometimes a team gets what it needs, despite what fans might want.

Yes, the season is long and we’re not even two weeks into it. Yes, things can change quickly — I mean, are the Pirates really going to keep leading the National League Central? (Though it is kind of awesome they are for the moment.) Yes, the numbers for the three former Marlins outfielders are all going to look much differently once September arrives.

But Ozuna has definitely made an impact, both on the field and even just as a teammate — his reaction to Miles Mikolas’s home run last Monday was fantastic, for one thing, and it’s rare to see him without a smile on his face. So far, so good …

And here’s hoping to continues to be just what the Cardinals needed.

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