The 2023 season has so far been a bad time for a very good player.
Nolan Arenado, the Cardinals’ superstar third-baseman, has been in an uncharacteristic and extended slump all year — made all the more glaring by the fact St. Louis is off to one of its worst starts ever.
Arenado has fallen short of his typical MVP-like performances on both offense and defense. He’s had seven straight years (not including the pandemic shortened 2020 season) with at least 30 home runs and 100 RBIs, and he’s won 10 straight Gold Gloves — one for every year he’s been in the majors.
But more than a month into the 2023 season, he’s barely batting .230 with just three home runs.
“There are a few things going on,” Arenado said in a post-game interview after another Cardinals loss. “Obviously, timing is an issue and mechanically I’m a little disconnected. It’s unfortunate. I think if we were winning, I wouldn’t be worried about it so much, but the fact that we’re losing, it feels a lot worse because I’m not playing my part.”
There’s no doubt the 32-year-old will bounce back. He’s been one of the most consistent players over the past decades and is widely considered to be baseball’s best all-around third-baseman and a strong Cooperstown candidate.
Arenado was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the second round of the 2009 MLB draft and made his major league debut in 2013. He quickly established himself as one of the top third basemen in the game, earning five All-Star selections and winning a Gold Glove award in each of his first eight seasons with the Rockies.
He has crushed 30 or more home runs in seven different seasons — he’s hit more than 40 three times — and is also a seven-time Silver Slugger award winner.
Arenado’s time with the Rockies came to an end in 2021, when he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals.
His slow 2023 start aside, Arenado acclimated well to being a Cardinal. He hit more than 30 homers and knocked in over 100 runs in his first two season in St. Louis — numbers he may struggle to achieve this year as looks to regain his stroke.
Seven-time All-Star (2015-2019, 2021, 2022)
Ten-time Gold Glove award winner
Seven-time Silver Slugger award winner
Led the National League in home runs and RBIs in 2015 and 2016
Led the NL in doubles in 2017
Helped lead the Rockies to the playoffs in 2017 and 2018, and the Cards in 2021 and 2022