Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Holliday: What to do with Struggling Outfielder

Matt Holliday is currently on pace for his worst major league season in his very consistent career. Holliday has had seasons where he was downright elite, but has always made good on season where he played more than 140 games. His only poor season was 2004 when he only played in 121 games and it was his rookie year. Since then, Holliday has put up respectable numbers. Unfortunately for his current owners, he is not pulling his weight this season.

Matt Holliday, 2014

 
H/AB
R
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
Current81/303405402.267
Pace154/5777610764.267

Holliday is 34 years of age. While that can seem old on the surface, it isn’t exactly fall apart age, eespecially for a guy that has been about as durable as you could ask for. However it is not inexplicable for guys to sometimes just lose it physically.

While I don’t think it is time to give up on Holliday just yet, I am a little worried because the Cardinals have plenty of options to replace him in their lineup if need be.

This season has been interesting for the Cardinals in how they’ve had to manage the lineup. The outfield has been especially difficult for Mike Matheny to organize. The Cardinals have brought up Oscar Taveras to the big league roster once again and this does not bode well for struggling outfielders such as Holliday, Allen Craig and Jon Jay. It has especially squelched any hope Peter Bourjos had of more at bats.

Ultimately I still think that Matt Holliday is the best hitting outfielder the Cardinals have, but he is not exactly showing it right now. Luckily for him, the other outfielders are not exactly raking at the plate either.

He has time to get it together and reclaim his spot as the heart of the order guy the Cardinals need him to be. He is currently batting 2nd in their lineup, which gives him plenty of at bats. The next logical move is to move him to 5 or 6. This will limit his opportunities for production a bit more. So that is something to monitor.

I am always willing to take a chance on a quality veteran like Matt Holliday in a buy low scenario. The real question is what do I give up?  I would probably not give up a Top-25 outfielder for him right now, but there are a few sell high exceptions.

  • Charlie Blackmon While Blackmon has been fairly solid season, he is still riding the terrific production he had early on. So he really hasn’t been all that impressive for about a full month now. He may also be in danger of losing more at bats when Carlos Gonzalez returns from the DL.
  • Marlon Byrd Byrd has been a great source of runs, HR’s, and RBI this season for the owners that scooped him up, but it is hard for me to feel safe starting Marlon Byrd everyday. Especially if I can sell high and get a buy low guy like Matt Holliday. I’m not saying that you can for sure do this, but if you can, you need to!
  • Corey Dickerson Dickerson has been a terror for opposing pitchers since gaining full time at bats. The question is will he continue? If he slows down, he may be back to the bench once Cargo is back. Then again, maybe he still squeezes out Drew Stubbs or the aforementioned Charlie Blackmon. Only time will tell here. My advice is sell high on Corey Dickerson.

Back to Holliday. His career has just been too good to give up on. That’s at least what I think.

It is unlikely that he hits 20 homers to close out the season, but I can easily see him hitting 15, and getting to the right side of 85 runs and RBI. He is also a career .309 hitter currently hitting .267. Even if he just finishes this season around .280, he is going to have a better second half break average. I think he could really be a perk for a team making a run at the end of 2014.

 

Tags: Buy Low Cold Players Matt Holliday MLB Outfield St. Louis Cardinals

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