As the St. Louis Cardinals resume their opening series in Cincinnati it will be the first chance for the team to employ their newly structured lineup against a lefthander as Tony Cingrani takes the hill for the Reds.
Last year, the Cardinals hit just .239/.301 against left-handers and besides looking for an overall upgrade in offense at shortstop, Jhonny Peralta’s .262/.339 career average against southpaws was a key in his free agent signing.
“When you sort of look at where we were the last few years, especially against left-handed starters, we just really struggled,” acknowledged Mozeliak after the signing.
The Cardinals hit .281/.342 against lefties in 2012 so besides the addition of Peralta, there could also be a natural bounce-back to their career averages:
Player 2013 vs LHP Career vs LHP
Yadier Molina .333 .281
Matt Holliday .298 .302
Matt Carpenter .294 .284
Allen Craig .278 .302
David Freese* .275 .312
Carlos Beltran* .252 .289
Jon Jay .220 .269
Pete Kozma .184 .205
*No longer on St. Louis Cardinals roster
Kolten Wong also hit left-handers well (.274 in Memphis) and the work Matt Adams put in during the offseason looked to have paid off and returned him to the form which led to a plus-.300 average against them in the Minors.
Michael Wacha is scheduled to start for the Cardinals.