Will the Cards Hit Lefties?

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.

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