It's March 18. Not one of these at-bats have counted yet. If the Cardinals say there is a plan in place and they're working toward it, it wouldn't be the first time that a team had a lousy spring training and then came out going gangbusters because of work done in spring training. Consider:
-- In 2013, the Cardinals led the National League in runs scored during the regular season. In spring training, they scored the eighth-fewest runs of any team in baseball.
-- In 2016, the Cardinals led the National League in home runs hit during the regular season with 225. In spring training that year, that team hit 21 homers in 27 games and only four teams in baseball had fewer homers.
If the Cardinals lag behind during the season, then spring will be harbinger, and that will be a factor in where the heat gets placed and what the Cardinals must do to defend this approach and its results. Stats don't lie. Standings don't lie. When they count.