The St. Louis Cardinals offense may be hurting because of injuries.
But outfielder Jason Heyward, already written off by some as a bust when he had a slow April and a mediocre May, has been on fire for the last month.
Heyward is hitting .359 since the last week of May with three homers, five doubles, 10 RBI and four stolen bases in five tries.
Over the past two weeks he’s hitting .410 with two of those homers and four of the doubles.
It’s really no surprise that as the weather has warmed up the St. Louis right fielder’s bat has warmed up, too. But the last 30 days have been one of the best months of Heyward’s career.
Historically, Heyward starts off slow and then, usually about by June 1st, he starts to hit his stride and hits well for the rest of the season.
Hopefully that pattern will continue and Heyward not only will help to carry the load with third-place hitter Matt Holliday on the shelf with a quad injury -- but when Holliday comes back, too.
It remains unclear if St. Louis will be able to add some offensive firepower by the trade deadline because the Cardinals just don’t have the prospects to make a major deal in the wake of the death of Oscar Taveras and the trade of Shelby Miller to the Atlanta Braves to acquire Heyward.
But the Redbirds are showing some potenital to improve their run-scoring abilities from within thanks to the rise of Heyward and the contributions of Randal Grichuk.
Batting .295 for the last month with five homers, five doubles and 12 RBIs, Grichuk continues to strike out in bunches with 27 whiffs compared to only two walks. But give the guy a break. He’s only had 189 career MLB at-bats and only half a season of play as high as Class AAA ball in the minors.
There are two key elements to a star major league: raw talent and the ability to learn how to get better.
Grichuk obviously has the talent. His resilience and his attitude lead me to believe he’s got the ability to adapt to MLB pitching and figure out what the opposition is trying to do to him.
Maybe the injury to Holliday is a blessing in disguise, giving Grichuk some much-needed playing time during the middle of the season while the Cardinals enjoy a comfortable lead.
We’ll, hopefully, get a chance to see what Grichuk is made of and then get Holliday back to build a fully-loaded offense in time for the playoff push and the post-season.