Onto the Infielders/Catchers for my mid-year report card:
Albert Pujols: A Typical Albert year, as he was on his normal HR and RBI pace, until being sidelined by injury for a couple of weeks. Still will likely hit 30+ HRs and drive in over 100. Finished the first half hitting over .350, while providing his normal presence in the lineup.
Aaron Miles: A- Has provided steady infield play, and an ability to come up with timely hits. Hasn't had as many 2B starts as Adam Kennedy, but has simply outplayed him offensively and defensively, where he has made only 1 error in 90 chances. Hitting over .320 with a .360 OBP at the mid-year point is more than anyone would have expected.
Yadier Molina: B+ Good offensive year for Yadi, who has stepped up his offensive game. On pace for career highs in Avg., HRs and RBIs as well as OBP. Hasn't had his normal success throwing out runners, but that has largely been due to a young and inexperienced pitching staff.
Troy Glaus: B New acquisition has had a good first half in his first year as a Cardinal, providing a steady lineup presence in the 4 or 5 spot. Started slowly in terms of his power numbers, but a June surge has him on pace for 20+ HRs and 90+ RBIs. Has been better than expected defensively, playing a very solid 3rd base. Lacks Rolen's range, but has made some very nice plays. The defensive dropoff has been less than expected.
Adam Kennedy: C+ Has had a better second season for the Birds than his abysmal 2007. Has been at least steady most of the time, and a contributor offensively. Still gives away at-bats at times, but has been more reliable to put the ball in play and make things happen. Has been merely decent in the field.
Cesar Izturis: C+ Izturis has been okay for the Cards, providing the good defense expected, and maybe slightly better than expected offense, but not providing much punch at the bottom of the order.
Brendan Ryan: C After an early season injury, Ryan has provided good infield depth as a jack of all trades. Has been steady in the field, but has had limited production offensively. Has been horrible driving home runners, hitting only .125 with men on 3rd and less than two outs. Nees to improve on his overall .182 mark with RISP
Jason LaRue: C Very slow offensive start, as he was basically horrible in April and May. Has picked up the pace, hitting .350 in June. Has worked well with the pitching staff, and the team hasn't missed a beat defensively when he has started. If he can continue to be productive with the bat, he will be very valuable spelling Molina down the stretch.