With the regular season less than 48 hours away, the St. Louis Cardinals find themselves in need to overcome a variety of hard-hitting news.
Finishing up Spring Training with a 11-13 record, the Cardinals have been flooded by roster developments from injuries to new signees. In fact, the end of March marked several significant changes for the Cardinals, that it’s hard to remember what happened.
Here are briefs from the past week of St. Louis Cardinals baseball.
1. Adam Wainwright first start pushed back to next week, Jaime Garcia to start Opening Day
As if last year wasn’t already hard enough, it appears that the Cardinals bonafide ace could miss some time with soreness in the same Achilles area that snapped last April. This comes at a time where it seemed like the Cardinals rotation was close to set, but Adam Wainwright‘s absence could open a short-term rotation spot for Tyler Lyons and will ultimately challenge Jaime Garcia to not let his arm fall off.
2. Matt Holliday injures eye after failure to field ground ball at first base
The injuries keep racking up for the seven-time All Star, who encountered a head collision with a grounder he tried to field at his new position. Matt Holliday is expected to make the Opening Day roster, but a black eye could affect his ability to hit for power, thus field more ground balls without reaching an all-time high in errors.
3. David Eckstein to come out of retirement, start at shortstop amid unclear situation
He was a World Series MVP 10 years ago. He is having his own bobblehead day near the end of the season. And he is now back to playing every day in a Cardinals uniform. It’s hard not to appreciate all of the contributions that David Eckstein gave St. Louis from 2005-2007, but the clubhouse is likely questioning if he can be a better defensive commodity at shortstop than Jedd Gyorko.
4. Veterans encourage position players to conduct more bat flips, while pitchers compete in staredown competitions
It was already odd enough that the Cardinals had a players-only meeting on Monday, but the largest message was to hold larger voices on the team. Assuming the Cardinals stick to this theme, Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty could combine for over 50 bat flips via home runs this season, while Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez could give staredowns to umpires more frequently on close calls.
5. Cubs to keep first round compensation draft picks for Cardinals’ loss of John Lackey, Jason Heyward
Major League Baseball is putting so much stock into the Cubs becoming eventual World Series champions that the league is taking away this year’s compensation picks belonging to the Cardinals from Chicago’s signings of John Lackey and Jason Heyward. As an insult to injury, there is a growing possibility that Chicago may choose St. Louis raised ballplayers with these two draft picks.
If you have read this far and haven’t caught on, don’t worry. It’s the St. Louis Cardinals, an 11-time World Series champion franchise that has fought through various obstacles en rout to five straight playoff appearances.
Most importantly, none of these situations exist.
Happy April Fools Day, Cardinal Nation.