St. Louis Cardinals: The new Matt Adams experiment

michaeldavidmiles
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 4: Matt Adams
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 4: Matt Adams /
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The St. Louis Cardinals are set to play the Houston Astros in Spring Training exhibition play on Wednesday and it seems they may be pulling a fast one on fans and the Astros.

The St. Louis Cardinals lineup has been released for today’s game facing the Houston Astros. Several writers have shared the lineup and our very own Twitter group here at Redbird Rants has debated it. To us, we very much like the lineup and think that- to use Tito’s words- despite missing a few key names, this could be the opening day lineup.

DISCLAIMER: I am writing this piece very much with my tongue pressed firmly into my cheek. I mean no harm in writing this piece and certainly do not fault anyone for the things that have led me to write this piece.

So here’s the lineup as posted by Joe Trezza (the MLB.com writer covering the St. Louis Cardinals in place of Jenifer Langosch who is out on maternity leave — all our best, Jen!):

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As I stated above (in all honesty), this is a pretty solid lineup and we at Redbird Rants like this lineup. Yes, it is absent Dexter Fowler. Yes, it lacks Yadier Molina behind the dish. And it even lacks our favorite third baseman, Jedd Gyorko. Nevertheless, we like this lineup.

But hold the press! The St. Louis Cardinals are going to trot out two left fielders? Marcel Ozuna and Adolis Garcia both playing left field? Four outfielders? When did MLB allow church softball rules to apply to Spring Training games?

Maybe… just maybe this is the new “Matt Adams” experiment in left field for the St. Louis Cardinals this season. If you’ve forgotten anything about the Matt Adams experiment in LF, let me remind you.

In all my searching for highlight footage of Adams in left, I found but two. Here’s one of them to remind you of the silly look of Adams patrolling left field.

Again, I could find only two highlight clips of Adams in left. To the numbers then…

Adams played six games in left for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2017 and then followed these by playing 13 games in left for the Braves. Can you believe that?! The St. Louis Cardinals failed experiment (failed for lack of range) in left was rewarded by 13 MORE appearances in a different uniform!

Here’s a quick look at Adams’ numbers in left for his career:

Standard Fielding
YearAgeTmPosLgGGSCGInnChPOAEDPFld%RtotRdrsRtot/yrRdrs/yrRF/9RF/GlgFld%lgRF9lgRFGAwards
201728TOTLFNL19185129.12725020.926-1-5-5-461.741.32.9821.831.81
201728STLLFNL65134.1770001.0000-2-3-701.831.17.9811.831.82
201728ATLLFNL1313495.02018020.9000-3-5-381.711.38.9821.831.81
1 SeasonLF19185129.12725020.926-1-5-5-461.741.32.9821.831.81
6 SeasonsTOT4444053323553.13693338527731329.992-39-129.288.25.9938.968.86

Not great. Nope.

Jump ahead then to today’s two left fielders- Ozuna and A. Garcia. Just for giggles, these are their numbers for comparison:

Standard Fielding
YearAgeTmPosLgGGSCGInnChPOAEDPFld%RtotRdrsRtot/yrRdrs/yrRF/9RF/GlgFld%lgRF9lgRFGAwards
201423MIALFNL1110792.231292011.0005165133.012.82.9811.821.81
201625MIALFNL1111995.117170001.000015131.601.55.9811.801.79AS
201726MIALFNL1521511451335.03203051050.984-211-1102.122.07.9821.831.81AS,MVP-15,GG,SS
3 SeasonsLF1741721611523.03683511251.9864133102.152.09.9821.831.81
5 SeasonsTOT6376295925574.01469141041185.988-815-232.342.28.9852.082.07
PosLgGGSCGInnChPOAEDPFld%RtotRdrsRtot/yrRdrs/yrRF/9RF/GlgFld%lgRF9lgRFGAwards

…and A. Garcia:

Register Fielding
YearAgeTmLgLevAffGGSCGInnChPOAEDPFld%RF/9RF/GPBWPSBCSCS%lgCS%PO
2017242 Teams2 LgsAA-AAASTLCF2019153.15248310.9812.992.55
2017242 Teams2 LgsAA-AAASTLRF9794829.11951771442.9792.071.97
201724MemphisPCLAAASTLCF101086.030282001.0003.143.00
201724MemphisPCLAAASTLRF2424215.045423001.0001.881.88
201724SpringfieldTLAASTLCF10967.12220110.9552.812.10
201724SpringfieldTLAASTLRF7370614.11501351142.9732.142.00
All Levels (1 Season)CF2019153.15248310.9812.992.55
All Levels (1 Season)RF9794829.11951771442.9792.071.97

Admittedly, these are not fair comparisons to Adams as the two left fielders listed today are bonafide outfielders, not some reclamation case hoping to find playing time in some capacity to fit his bat in the lineup.

All joking aside, we know that the St. Louis Cardinals aren’t sending two guys to play in left field today. My guess is that Ozuna is the DH and A. Garcia is getting the chance to show his chops in left. And I’m okay with this scenario.

Next: 6-man rotation pros and cons

If the St. Louis Cardinals could send four outfielders out in a game without sacrificing an infielder, who would you have them send to the outfield? Let me know on Twitter as I look forward to reading your responses.

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