Aug 29, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter (13) celebrates his run on a wild pitch in the fifth inning of their MLB baseball game with the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
The largest assumption here is that Yadier Molina will be ready to return from a late season left thumb injury once postseason baseball rolls around for the Cardinals. One report from STL Today emphasized that the 33 year-old backstop has made tremendous progress and shows optimism that Molina could return by Friday. Tony Cruz has received the bulk of time since Molina’s injury, therefor figures to make the roster regardless of Molina’s status.
Wong, Peralta and Carpenter will inevitably earn a spot because of their starting roles, but first base remains an intriguing option for the Cardinals. St. Louis had four different players with double digit starts at first base in 2015, but frankly enough the odd man out could be the one they anticipated for a breakout year in Matt Adams.
It’s not easy to leave off a hitter who arguably provided the biggest hit for the Cardinals in the 2014 playoffs, but the problem is that Adams’s recovery from a quad injury could limit the Cardinals power game that otherwise exists with multi-position players Mark Reynolds and Brandon Moss.
Greg Garcia also makes a strong bid for a postseason sport given his ability to play sound defense from multiple infield positions and his recent production as a pinch-hitter. This would likely leave 2012 NLDS hero Pete Kozma off the playoff roster, who failed to record an extra base hit in 99 at-bats this season.