Option 1: Revert to 5-man infield rotation
To some degree, a second base platoon has already been evident in 2016. Wong has been inserted into the lineup mainly against right-handed hitters, while Gyorko, as planned, has received starts against southpaws.
The Cardinals could still aim to provide Kolten Wong starts every other day, whether it means giving Peralta frequent days off to recover from his thumb injury or resting heavily-tested infielders Matt Carpenter and Aledmys Diaz when breaks are needed.
The largest caveat with the new setup is that it would be difficult to insert Kolten Wong in the lineup regularly. Matt Carpenter would be a near lock with a .392 OBP against right-handed pitching, and Gyorko would likely continue to match up against southpaws. It’s not easy to justify leaving Greg Garcia’s .519 batting average, albeit limited playing time, out of the lineup.
Furthermore, this structure could lead to more inconsistencies of the regulars from an offensive and defensive spectrum. Matt Carpenter made 16 errors at third base in 2014 one season removed from second base and Jhonny Peralta posted a .986 fielding percentage as last year’s primary shortstop.
Asking the two veterans to take on more responsibilities could affect their offensive output. Yet a 5-man infield rotation seems like the most likely option for handling Kolten Wong, likely sending Greg Garcia to Memphis.
Next: Take a trip to Memphis?