Feb 28, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Oscar Taveras (87) is congratulated after hitting a grand slam against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Marlins 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
I don’t think there’s any denying that the St. Louis Cardinals will once again compete for the World Series championship this year. It’s just a matter of how difficult it will be to accomplish that feat and it depends in part on how they answer the following questions.
Who Plays Second – My choice would be Matt Carpenter but, Daniel Descalso is making a strong push to be starter. This is only the first week of playing games in spring training so, that may change. But, if the season were to start tomorrow, Mike Matheny would most likely choose Descalso. His performance so far has merited that.
Who plays Shortstop – I must say, I’m really disappointed that Raphael Furcal still has a bothersome elbow. I know it’s not the same problem he had last season but, the Cards are in a quandary now. I’m not so sure he’ll be ready to play opening day and really don’t see him contributing as a starter. I really hope I’m wrong but, so far I’m cautiously optimistic at best. After Ronny Cedeneo’s performance today, I don’t think he’s the answer for our starting shortstop either. So, we could do worse than Peter Kozma but, so far, his play has looked promising and right now, I’ll take him over Furcal or Cedeneo.
Who’s the Fourth outfielder – The Cardinals have a few viable candidates for the fourth outfielder to fill in for Jon Jay, Carlos Beltran or Matt Holliday. Shane Robinson, Oscar Tavares are the impressing the most so far but, Adron Chambers and Justin Christian will also make some noise before spring is over. And the Cards also have the versatility and flexibility of Carpenter.
Who’s the Fifth starter – This is easier to answer than you think. The Cards just have to pick one of the many pitchers they have in spring training. My pick would be Joe Kelly. I like the prospect of having Trevor Rosenthal coming out of the bullpen.
If the Redbirds fail to answer even one of these questions “correctly”, it will make their season more difficult to win another ring. And that, would lead to a very long season.
Thanks for reading.