St. Louis Cardinals: Plan-B for the 2018 Cardinals

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 9: Alex Reyes
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 9: Alex Reyes /
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ST. LOUIS, MO – AUGUST 9: Alex Reyes
ST. LOUIS, MO – AUGUST 9: Alex Reyes /

Spring Training always brings hope and excitement for the upcoming St. Louis Cardinals season… until an inevitable injury tosses Plan-A out the window.

In recent years, February and March for the St. Louis Cardinals has lent as much of an air of predictability as it has anticipation for “game that matter.” The front office claims that everyone’s jobs — except for stalwart catcher Yadier Molina — are up for grabs.

Yet, as Pitchers and Catchers leads to Green Hats and Adam Wainwright’s 5th Start, it becomes clear that the only true competition has been for the last spots on the bench and in the bullpen.

The only wrench that ever gets thrown into the spokes of John “Steinbeck” Mozeliak’s “best laid plans” is when the unpredictable, but infinitely unsurprising major injury occurs. In 2017, it was Alex Reyes’ elbow. In 2016, it was Jhonny Peralta’s thumb that thrust Aledmys Diaz into the spotlight as the Shortstop of the Future…at least for a year.

Still, just because Plan-A goes awry doesn’t mean all is lost. In late February of 2011, staff ace Wainwright went down for the year, but that season ended up okay. In fact, the last two World Series campaigns for the St. Louis Cardinals were, in many ways, blueprints for poisoned seasons.

However, the 2018 Cards don’t have the antidote of an “MV3” or an “Albert Pujols/Chris Carpenter Beastfest.”

Let’s take a look at what this year’s club does have…if the predictably unthinkable happens.