ST. LOUIS -- Manager Mike Matheny said he intends to bring a "different look to our bunting approach" next year after having so many unsuccessful bunt attempt cost the Cardinals this season.
Matheny has been aggressive in calling for sacrifices all season and has taken criticism for the timing of some of those calls. But that shouldn't release players from shouldering fault when a lack of execution is to blame. And this has been much more an issue than the actual decision to call for a bunt to be laid down.
"I do believe there's room for improvement all across the board," Matheny said. "I think we could be better. I think they think we could be better."
The list of unsuccessful sacrifices is lengthy with this Cardinals club, though the team does rank seventh in the league with 68 successful attempts. A more appropriate measure would be successes per attempts, though that percentage is not publicly available.
While bunting will be a significant emphasis during Spring Training next year, the Cardinals are also intentional in trying to improve that aspect of the game now.
"Right now what we're doing, without killing these guys ... we are doing more," Matheny said, referring to the pregame bunting work. "We're being proactive. Sometimes it's working out for us. Sometimes, not so much."