St. Louis Cardinals: Predicting the 26-man roster two months out
This is not going to be a long section, but it is a section that has some question marks. To begin, the Cardinals are going to have Dexter Fowler in right field. There’s no way around that, as they weren’t able to find any takers after the team was reportedly shopping the outfielder who will be 34 on Opening Day.
Predictably, it will be Harrison Bader in center for similar reasons. The Cardinals have committed to Bader and assuming he has even a mediocre spring, he is a lock to be out there. When we get to left field, that’s where things get interesting.
My heart screams Dylan Carlson, but I just don’t think it’ll actually happen out of spring training. Why? One, he’s not on the 40-man roster. Two, the Cardinals have committed to seeing what they have in the outfield and left field is there spot to see that. For this reason, I believe that the final two position player spots will go to Lane Thomas and Tyler O’Neill.
Both players are 1A and 1B on the depth chart at left field and should split the time pretty evenly in the beginning part of the season. What left field or even the entire outfield looks like in July could be drastically different, but for now, the four guys you should see out there on Opening Day are Fowler, Bader, O’Neill, and Thomas.
There’s an argument to be made for Justin Williams to make the team over Ravelo, and this could be a coin flip. Williams is on the 40-man and broke out at AAA last year (.856 OPS with eight homers in 160 at-bats) with a good amount of power from the left side. A lefty power bat is something the Cardinals had on their shopping list this winter and it wouldn’t surprise me if Williams snagged a spot with a good spring.