The St. Louis Cardinals won a third game in a row against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night with 6-2 vicotry over the NL East leading Braves.
This series has been a big difference compared to what happened just a few weeks ago when the Braves swept the Cardinals in a three-game set at Turner Field, a three-game sweep that started a seven-game slide for the Cardinals.
A big reason the Cardinals won on Saturday night was the bat of Carlos Beltran, who belted home run No. 23 on the season and collected three hits and a pair of RBIs in the win. The performance by Beltran continued a torried month of August for the Cardinals right fielder, who now has raised his average to an impressive .311 on the season.
During the month of August, entering Saturday’s game, Beltran came in with a .372 average and a 1.025 OPS, which are really impressive numbers for the 36-year old.
For awhile, Beltran’s power had disappeared. He went on a long draught, not hitting a home run in July. But he has been hitting for a high average all season long and with Saturday’s bomb, his power looks to be returning as well. He also has 10 doubles during the month, so while he is not putting the ball over the fence, he is hitting more than just singles.
Beltran has put together an incredible August rather quietly, likely thanks to even better months by Matt Holliday and Jon Jay. But his excellent season has caused a number of Cardinals fans to yearn for Beltran’s return in 2014 and beyond.
Unfortunately, I just do not see it happening. The Cardinals likely would love to bring him back in 2014, but beyond just simply does not seem possible or logical, not with cheaper options such as Matt Adams and Oscar Taveras hanging around, needing at bats, at a much lower price.
Beltran has been so good this season that he likely will covet and receive a three-year contract offer from some American League team that can offer the option to let him DH occasionally. Beltran, in fact, would be a perfect candidate to return to Kansas City on a three-year deal to give the Royals young lineup a veteran presence with consistent production. Of course, that would require that the Royals spend money.
The Cardinals will certainly offer Beltran a one-year qualifying offer that he may very well accept if he truly loves it in St. Louis as much as many believe.
But more realistically, Beltran likes money just like everyone else and will receive an offer the Cardinals simply will not be able to compete with because the organization has other options.
Matt Adams and Oscar Taveras are not Carlos Beltran, but they are cheaper and will likely take his at bats starting in 2014.
But for now, Cardinals fans can enjoy Carlos Beltran and the outstanding August he has put together.