How would the St. Louis Cardinals adjust their plans should a catastrophe strike the outfield?
St. Louis Cardinals’ Plan-B: Hope that the next Wave Of The Future is actually that and not merely a collection of guys we’ll be waving “bye” to a la Stephen Piscotty, Randal Grichuk, and Magneuris Sierra.
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Following the acquisition of Probably-Our-Best-Player-Now, Marcell Ozuna, the St. Louis Cardinals outfield is one of the top outfields in baseball. After Ozuna, Tommy Pham, and Dexter Fowler, the organization’s embarrassment of riches in outfield depth has been thinned a tad after trading away Piscotty, Grichuk, and Sierra. However, it still remains a strength, but a couple of candidates seem “more ready” than the others if any of the Big Three go down.
The first option would most likely be a timeshare between Jose Martinez for his bat and Harrison Bader for his ability to play all three outfield positions. Bader has nothing left to prove at Triple-A Memphis, and it would be interesting to see how he would handle an everyday role in the bigs… although he is a “Tweety Bird candidate” (def: someone who might run straight through a wall at full speed and knock themselves out on any given play).
After Harry Bay-Bay, Tyler O’Neill is the next Grichuk who the Cardinals hope to be the Guy-Who-They-Hoped-Randal-Grichuk-Would-Become. Make sense? In other words, O’Neill can hit the ball a mile, play strong corner outfield defense, and strike out a ton. If he can get on base a little more often than Randal did, he could be a middle-of-the-order thumper.
For most teams, Plan-B would be a disaster (unless they are a good team). Does Plan-B for the St. Louis Cardinals make them a “good team?” Time will definitely tell!