Why not try Holliday in the second spot?

Posted by Scott Wuerz on August 12, 2013 

If the Cardinals are interested in mixing up the batting order to try to inject some life into the offense, maybe they ought to move Matt Holliday up instead of down.

Holliday, who has pushed his batting average up to the .290 mark with his hot streak since he returned from a trip to the disabled list, seems to attract an awful lot of negativity these days because he hits into a lot of double plays. Nevermind that he hits into so many double plays because he hits the ball hard and often bats with men on base.

But it's not as if he doesn't produce. Holliday is hitting .365 with runners in scoring position this season. And, as much as people like to talk about his numbers in 2013 being a disappointment, he's actually been pretty consistent. May is the only month when Holliday hit less than .276 so far this season when he batted .235 with five homers, his highest monthly total for the year.

Still, if people want to place the full blame on Holliday for leading the league in hitting into double plays -- although the fellow who filled the three hole in the St. Louis lineup before Holliday led the league in twin killings a couple of times before he departed for greener pastures -- maybe the second slot is a better fit.

Traditionally, the second hitter is a high average hitter. Something of a second lead-off man. Former St. Louis skipper Tony La Russa said he liked to have a power source in the second spot who could "do some damage." Holliday seems to fill both of those bills.

He's not only got a 10-year history of being a guy capable of 20+ homers a season. But his .374 on base percentage is only second to Matt Carpenter's .378 among Cardinals batsmen.

When catcher Yadier Molina makes it back into the lineup as soon as Saturday, it will give the Cardinals another RBI bat behind Holliday. So maybe he'll be more valuable to the team getting on base instead of being counted on to drive people in.

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