10 burning questions facing the St. Louis Cardinals as Spring Training begins

Spring Training begins tomorrow, and these 10 questions are burning on the minds of Cardinals Nation.
Houston Astros v St. Louis Cardinals
Houston Astros v St. Louis Cardinals / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Which position players get "squeezed" out of the regular mix?

Right now, the Cardinals have a ton of position players they want to get consistent playing time for.

The primary nine:
Brendan Donovan
Paul Goldschmidt
Lars Nootbaar
Nolan Arenado
Willson Contreras
Jordan Walker
Nolan Gorman
Tommy Edman
Masyn Winn

As well as significant pieces like Dylan Carlson, Alec Burleson, and Ivan Herrera. This doesn't even touch up-and-coming prospects like Victor Scott II and Thomas Saggese.

Finding playing time for each of them will be a unique challenge for Marmol. Those primary nine players plus Herrera should see the bulk of playing time though, with Dylan Carlson serving as the fourth outfielder with his ability to play center field.

So what does that do for someone like Alec Burleson? The DH spot, when everyone is available, will likely be occupied by one of Donovan, Gorman, Contreras, Goldschmidt, or Arenado. Even when Goldschmidt is at DH for a game, the club may decide to slide Donovan to first base to maintain their best possible lineup. Gorman and Donovan can fill in at third base when Arenado is resting. Herrera will obviously catch when Contreras is the DH. The playing time for a guy like Burleson is very muddy right now.

This also makes the path for a Saggese or Scott muddy as well. Barring an injury or someone underperforming, it's unlikely that either will be called upon, as the Cardinals want them playing every day and not riding the bench. Injuries and down seasons always happen though, so that mix will be sorted out as the season goes on.

It is clear though that there are more quality players than there are positions to go around, so a few players will feel the opportunities shrink this year, and that will be an interesting dynamic to watch this season.