Alex Reyes (rotation) and Lane Thomas (outfield) are off to hot starts in Grapefruit League play. How interested the Cardinals are in true competitions, however, remains TBD.
Bader, O’Neill and Carlson seem to be ahead — for now.
Compared to the clearly defined competitions for the rotation and outfield, this one is much more intriguing
"That’s my mentality this spring — to go out and win a job,” veteran says.
Rick Hummel explains how the St. Louis Cardinals catching line of succession might call for Yadier Molina to be behind the plate beyond this season.
The Cardinals got an eyeful in October of Tampa Bay sensation Randy Arozarena and rather then obsess over what could have been they asked how to avoid that happening again. The Cardinals traded Arozarena a year ago to the Rays as part of a deal that centered around Jose Martinez and acquiring prospect Matthew Liberatore. Arozarena rewrote postseason records with his performance. The Cardinals promised a review of their internal evaluation and processes to learn what they missed. Spring is the first glimpse of how they apply those lessons. Hints abound. The Cardinals remain hesitant about trading young players, tracing their misread of Arozarena to the playing he didn’t get. They are publicly committed to Tyler O’Neill, Lane Thomas, and Justin Williams receiving substantial playing time to blossom — so they don’t watch talent manifest elsewhere, as they have with Arozarena or Luke Voit. Arozarena was not an indictment on the Cardinals’ scouting or development — they knew he could hit — but on deployment. The lesson is not entirely one of evaluation. It’s about time. They feel they have identified talent for their outfield, but can they recognize the moment when patience runs out and run production must rule?
Q: Will the Dexter Fowler contract go down as one of the worst in recent Cardinals history?
Q: Is it just me or should we be feeling a little better about the young outfielders raising the bar from last year in terms of overall outfield play across the board?
Q: Would you say the weakest link on the 2021 Cardinals is now the rotation?
Are the Cardinals finally getting serious about letting young outfielders settle spots once and for all?
Sharing playing time at a few positions to maximize the matchups is one plan as spring training approaches.
Q: Could the Cardinals pull off a trade for Clint Frazier? What about Andrew Benintendi? Anything like that likely?
Five virtual Winter Warm-Up topics from columnist Ben Frederickson that Cardinals fans should be discussing
“The expectations of Dexter are more of the same," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt says. "I can’t ask him to do any more than he’s done."
The group is coming off a poor season at the plate.
Q: If Dylan Carlson and Harrison Bader have good spring trainings or are already penciled in, then what happens if Tyler O'Neill and/or Lane Thomas have good springs as well? … Have the Cardinals talked to Dexter Fowler about being traded or sitting on bench if he doesn't do well in spring?
QUESTION: Isn’t it nice that the Cardinals finally have an identity again that is consistent from the front office to the field? It’s an identity I believe in (run prevention, fundamentals, and lineup depth in terms of OBP) Seems like we’re one piece away ... a cleanup hitter. Yes?
QUESTION: Should we expect another dull offseason in terms of upgrading the offense? My fear is the front office uses the excuse that it's hard to measure 2020 due to the shortened season and extended hiatus because of COVID to say they really don't know what they have in (Harrison) Bader, (Tyler) O'Neill, etc.
Carlson and Fowler had bursts of production and Bader set career highs, yet overall the performance of the outfield overall shrank, putting a drag on offense.
QUESTION: The Cardinals need to find a third baseman with pop to bridge the gap until Nolan Gorman is ready for prime time. Any pending free agents fit the bill?
QUESTION: Some arguments online are focused on whether this is the worst Cardinals outfield ever, or just in the last 30 years. With Fowler out, how does the Cards outfield rank?
CLEARWATER, Fla. — Bryce Harper drew big cheers, a pair of walks and a most unusual defense in his spring training debut for the Philadelphia …
JUPITER, Fla. — The math might seem to mitigate against both Jose Martinez and Jedd Gyorko being on the Cardinals’ bench at the start of the season, especially if the roster math says 13 pitchers and four extra men on a 25-man roster.