The Colorado Rockies are in need of a first baseman thanks to their recent injury and the St. Louis Cardinals have an extra first baseman whose time has honestly come to an end with the birds on the bat.
I love rumor pieces as many of you who read my regular stuff know. Yesterday, our writers here at Redbird Rants started kicking around the idea of the now-need for a first baseman being faced by the Colorado Rockies. Enter the idea of shipping off the St. Louis Cardinals first baseman, Matt Adams.
I am not a Matt Adams fan as many of you who read my regular stuff know. I love his home runs but have never been a big fan of his abilities at first nor his lacking ability to actually manufacture hits at the plate. I also hate how susceptible he is to shifts.
Anyone remember when I kept begging Adams to bunt to beat the shifts? Anyone?
This spring Adams reported having lost an incredible amount of his baggage and attempting to lose a great amount of his at-the-plate baggage. This at-the-plate baggage had come in the way of strikeouts and home-run-or-nothing at-bats. While he was successful at reducing his weight, he is not having the best luck at the other items.
This spring, Adams is batting .296/.375/.667 which is fairly much par for the course in spring for Adams. In these at-bats (twenty-seven thus far) in twelve games, Adams has amassed eight hits. Of these, three have been home runs. See the HR-or-nothing trend? To further exemplify this, Adams has K’d eleven times this spring already.
A quick glance back in the 2016 season shows similar details. In 2016, Adams appeared in 297 at-bats posting a .249/.309/.471 slash line with sixteen home runs in his seventy-four hits and eighty-one Ks during the season. All-or-nothing.
This offseason, the St. Louis Cardinals were rumored to have started listening to deals involving Adams. Nothing came of those. This was likely due to Adams’ lacking value. All of those things could be moot now as a new opportunity has presented itself.
Sunday, during their spring training game facing the Cincinnati Reds, Rockies first baseman Ian Desmond suffered a hit-by-pitch directly on his left hand hurled from Rookie Davis. On Monday, the news broke that Desmond is set to have hand surgery on Wednesday and will be out indefinitely.
In his absence, the Rockies are set to explore their internal options of Jordan Patterson, Gerardo Parra, Stephen Cardullo, and former St. Louis Cardinals backup first baseman Mark Reynolds. Let’s look at these numbers.
Patterson, twenty-five years old, made his MLB debut in September of 2016 and is less-than-likely to be the choice to replace Desmond. He slashed .293/.376/.480 in AAA in 2016 and .444/.474/.500 in his mere nineteen at-bats in the majors in 2016.
Cardullo, twenty-nine years old, made his MLB debut in August of 2016 and, like Patterson, is probably less-than-likely to be the choice to replace Desmond. He slashed .308/.367/.522 in AAA in 2016 and .214/.254/.411 in his fifty-six at-bats in the majors in 2016.
Parra appeared at first base for the first time in his MLB career in 2016 in nineteen games. He seems a gamble to me but the experiment exists for the Rockies from last season so there’s that… In 2016 he slashed .253/.271/.399 in his first season with Colorado.
Reynolds, the veteran of these names, has been with the Rockies since he was not offered a contract by the St. Louis Cardinals following the 2015 season. In 2016, Reynolds patrolled first for the Rockies in 115 games. This right-handed batter posted a .282/.356/.450 in 2016 with fourteen home runs.
In terms of desiring a left-right pair, the Rockies have Parra and Patterson are the lefties in this mix, while Reynolds and Cardullo are the righties. This in mind, then, Para and Patterson are the two names that might prevent any Adams interest.
More from St Louis Cardinals Rumors
- Cardinals: Pros and cons of free agent targets for St. Louis
- Cardinals: Alex Reyes and Delvin Perez should be cautionary tales
- Cardinals: One move they don’t want to see each NL contender make
- Cardinals: 6 stars St. Louis should trade for this off-season
- Cardinals: Should Cody Bellinger be an option for St. Louis?
Comparing these two then, it seems that Parra might be the greatest competition to any Adams interest. Parra’s .253/.271/.399 shows weaknesses to Adams’ .249/.309/.471 in regard to OBP and SLG. Additionally, Parra hit a mere seven home runs in home-run-friendly Rockies Stadium while Adams slammed sixteen in pitcher-friendly Busch Stadium.
What does this amount to, you might ask? If I were a betting man, I would put money on the fact that Adams would flourish in the home run way in Rockies Stadium. Would the Rockies put their money on this risk? It won’t cost much as Adams is under his arbitration-avoided salary of $2.8M for 2017.
What might be of interest to the Rockies, in addition to his home run prowess, is the fact that Adams will face arbitration again at the end of the 2017 season and will remain under team control until 2019.
Who would the Cardinals want in return? Very likely no one at this point since the farm system seems quite strong. I’m not saying that the organization wouldn’t accept some young arms, etc., but I wouldn’t be surprised if the St. Louis Cardinals would simply be willing to part ways with Adams for the roster space and salary savings.
What do you think? Should the Cardinals pick up the phone and call the Rockies or should they wait and see if the phone will start ringing for them? For my money, I hope that Mozeliak called Colorado to express his condolences and to drop hints about Adams and his availability.