St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist Bernie Miklasz warned us a while ago that the St. Louis Cardinals should trade Matt Adams at the own risk. Miklasz made this warning before the acquistion of Peter Bourjos and before Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus went off the market.
Adams is expendable. If all goes as expected, Oscar Taveras will be the right fielder on Opening Day rather than spending more time in Memphis. It’s always possible that Taveras gets more seasoning in Memphis being that he only played in 47 games last year–all but one in AAA. I feel that having Taveras playing every other day in platoon situations would not be to his benefit during the upcoming season.
There’s the question of whether Taveras projects better as a corner outfielder rather than center. In 5 seasons in the minor leagues, Taveras logged 211 games in center and 70 in right field.
With Carlos Beltran‘s time with the Cardinals at an end, right field is, in theory, free. You could play Allen Craig in right with Adams at first but I don’t see that happening in the long term. A lot of that has to do with his injury history.
As Bernie writes, even if Taveras does move over to center, Stephen Piscotty is expected to arrive in late 2014 or in early 2015. For the Cardinals, it is always a good idea to have a backup first baseman to Allen Craig on his days off. This season, Craig started the lion’s share at first while Adams logged in 60 games. If you have to, Matt Carpenter can play first base. With Jhonny Peralta and Daniel Descalso, it’s now possible to also play Carpenter at first.
Prior to the acquisition of Bourjos from the Angels, I would have said that Taveras will play center and Piscotty starts in right field come the start of 2015. Now? It’s kind of hard. Piscotty could come off the bench though. Adams, in theory, remains blocked due to Craig’s injury history as Craig is better off at first base than the outfield. However, I trust in general manager John Mozeliak to make the right call.