The Cincinnati Reds will travel to the Show Me State for a weekend series with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals have been a traditional NL Central Division bully and thorn in the side of the Reds. Yet, currently the Cardinals are in the basement of the NL Central and the Reds split a four-game home series with the Redbirds in May.
The young Reds core of Spencer Steer, Matt McLain, and Elly De La Cruz have an opportunity to push their rivals on down the basement even further with three games at Busch Stadium. The three young rookies have helped build a buzz around Cincinnati baseball and a dominate showing this weekend would only increase the hype train.
Steer is the reigning National League Rookie of the Month after an impressive May. McLain won National League Player of the Week partially due to his play against the Cardinals last month. While, De Le Cruz joined the Reds, batted in the cleanup spot and hit the hardest ball of any Red all season in his debut.
Visit to the Show Me State could be proving ground for young Reds players.
While the Cardinals are currently cellar dwellers in the Central Division, they have the talent to turn that around. St. Louis is still led by superstar corner infielders, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, who both have hit double digit home runs this season. With pop like that the Reds young stars will need to be ready to put up runs.
The Cardinals also have a solid young core, led by 23-year-old second baseman Nolan Gorman. Gorman is putting up potential All-Star numbers this season with 14 home runs and 44 runs batted in. Plus, massive outfielder Jordan Walker has been recalled from Triple-A. The 21-year-old has shown flashes of brilliance.
If the Reds can produce this weekend, Cincinnati should add more distance between themselves and the last-place Cardinals in the standings. A good weekend series and the Cincinnati Reds can start to look at the Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers above them. Plus anytime the Reds can get the best of the Cardinals is a good day to be a Cincinnati fan.
The Reds young core will continue their tour of the Show Me State after their trip to the Gateway City, as Cincinnati will head to Kansas City early next week. Undoubtedly, the young Reds will have some ups and downs, but management seems to be all in on giving them a chance. That chance has inspired a fan base and has the baseball universe paying attention to Cincinnati.