St. Louis Cardinals: Four position battles to watch this spring
By Matt Graves
In the outfield, the St. Louis Cardinals have a lot of volatility. Harrison Bader more or less has center field locked down and the team would be making a very bad move by not giving Dylan Carlson everyday reps in one spot. Outside of these two, the Cardinals have a lot of other outfielders jockeying for a spot.
The easy choice for left field is the slugger who won a Gold Glove out there last year, Tyler O’Neill. This would be my choice for who a) should start every day and b) who will breakout this year. However, O’Neill is going to have to earn his playing time in left.
Outside of O’Neill, Lane Thomas, Austin Dean, and Justin Williams are all looking for playing time. That isn’t even mentioning the possibility of Tommy Edman taking some innings out there or Matt Szczur making the team. The Cardinals’ 26-man roster could feature five outfielders, leaving just one of this group in the minors. Either way, the team badly needs someone to step up and grab the role.
If Bader or Carlson struggle, they will likely lose some playing time too but left field is going to be the spot with the most competition. In the first game, each of these outfielders got two at-bats, with each getting one hit excluding Williams and Szczur.