— thanksgilkey (@SimulacruMusial) May 19, 2017
I feel like I may have been parsing through different Twitter feeds than Laura, but I appreciate her question. In my experience, the absence of Oquendo has been a hot topic on Twitter and even on local sports talk radio. The Cardinals have struggled with base running and defense since the start of 2015, when the Secret Weapon stopped coaching full-time with the major league club–it’s fair to wonder whether the team misses his influence.
I certainly think there’s something to it; players like Aledmys Diaz certainly have a comfort level with Oquendo from his time in the organization, and it’s not wild to imagine that the Cardinals younger players could benefit from more time around the defensive guru. That said, the influence of a coach can only go so far; in the end, the areas that the Cardinals struggle with will have to be solved by the players on the field. Responsibility has to fall on their shoulders.