ST. LOUIS – Paul Goldschmidt. Nolan Arenado. Tommy Edman. Three of the National League’s best players in terms of WAR will patrol the St. Louis Cardinals’ infield during this weekend’s Wild Card Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Wins Above Replacement (WAR) is a metric intended to measure a player’s value in all facets of the game by determining how many more wins he would be worth than a replacement-level player at his same position. Arenado (7.9), Goldschmidt (7.8) and Edman (6.3) all finished in the Top 10 among NL players and Top 15 in all of baseball.
Goldschmidt flirted with the National League Triple Crown for much of the season. While he enjoyed a .317 batting average, 35 home runs and 115 RBI, he came up short for the NL lead in all three categories.
Goldschmidt, who earned NL Player of The Month honors in May and August, cooled down with a .245 batting average, 2 home runs and 10 RBI from September on, but feels he and the Cardinals are in a good position for postseason.
“We’ve played a three-game series the whole year, so it’ll probably be a little more similar to the regular season,” said Goldschmidt in interviews after a postseason practice Thursday. “Try to take it pitch-by-pitch, game-by-game, you can’t look ahead. The focus is being ready to go for tomorrow.”
Arenado finished with back-to-back seasons of 30 home runs and 100 RBIs and used all the way up until the final day to set a Cardinals’ single-season record. By turning a double play at the hot corner in Wednesday’s series finale, he broke a team record of 42 double plays turned at the hot corner.
“We’ve had a lot of different contributors throughout the year,” said Cardinals manager Oli Marmol. “What our corner guys have done, Nolan and Goldy, it’s unbelievable. Their ability to take the field every day with no days off. They answer the bell every day. Without them, we’re not here.”
Edman prided himself on versatility throughout the 2022 campaign, playing five different positions at times this season while picking up a .265 batting average, 13 home runs, 95 runs scored and 32 stolen bases.
“We got a bunch of good defenders around me,” Edman told Bally Sports Midwest earlier this season on the team’s defense. We all kind of make each other better. If you see someone make a good play, it makes you want to make a good play as well.”
The St. Louis Cardinals begin postseason Friday with a best-of-three Wild Card Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. The winner will advance to take on the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series next week.