St. Louis Cardinals: Five questions ahead of Spring Training
By Josh Brown
1. Who wins the first base battle?
It’s the biggest question heading into the 2016 season — who takes over at first base?
We often hear about Spring Training competitions, but most of the time they are for that fourth outfield spot or that last bench spot. These “competitions” are often underwhelming, but this is one battle that should be worth watching in March.
Matt Adams and Brandon Moss will be the main guys to duke it out for first base. Our colleague, Chris Greene discussed at length the Cardinals first base options, and you can check that out here too— well worth the read.
When Adams broke out in 2013 with 17 homers in just 296 at bats, expectations were sky-high among Cardinals fans — myself included. I saw Adams as the future of the Cardinals at first base and an exciting power-hitting option. Instead, in 2014 Big City hit just 15 homers in 527 at bats, and he only played in 60 games in 2015 after tearing his quad
Moss is the other option. After hitting 15 homers in 337 at bats for the Cleveland Indians, Moss came over to the Cardinals in a late July trade and only managed four homers in 132 at bats. But as Dan Buffa has written, Moss promises more power this season and feels healthy heading into March.
This will be a fun competition to watch. If both Moss and Adams are really healthy, then either guy winning the role out of Spring Training wouldn’t surprise me one way or the other. Still, I believe Moss is the guy you will see penciled in at first base come Opening Day. The 32-year old has a better track record than Adams and averages 23 homers and 75 RBI a year. I’ll take it a step further and say that Moss hits 27 taters this season and racks up 90 plus RBI. If he does, the Cardinals will gladly take that offensively at a position they desperately need strong production from.
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