The St. Louis Cardinals worked to make moves at the trade deadline to bolster their pitching organization-wide. Which Cardinals will fight the rest of the season to keep their jobs with the Cardinals?
The Cardinals have a lot of big decisions to make over the next few months. Who will stay with the organization, and who will the team use to make moves to improve the team next season? As has been the case for several seasons, this off-season starting pitching will be the primary need for John Mozeliak and the company.
Which players will use the next few weeks to earn their roster spot for next season with the Cardinals? Which players will play to make themselves appealing for other teams the Cardinals could trade within the offseason?
Carlson was expected to be one of the players leaving the Cardinals at the trade deadline. Luckily for the Cardinals, they did retain their talented outfielder. It's a lucky thing because he is one of the more talented outfielders on the roster, patrolling centerfield with Gold Glove potential.
Remaining with the Cardinals this summer, Carlson will be able to show off his skills in the outfield and improve some at the plate. This can help the Cardinals in the long run, making him their centerfielder. It could also complicate things in that Lars Nootbaar has played some at the position.
While Nootbaar can play anywhere in the outfield, Carlson's other option is right field which is a position currently occupied by top-prospect Jordan Walker. The problem being this is the first full season Walker has played in the outfield. And it hasn't been great, but because he is the organization's top prospect, he does receive the bulk of the playtime.
Another problem? Carlson was placed on the 10-day injured list with a foot injury. Not good for his journey to remain a part of the Cardinals.
Once he is able to come back, Carlson will continue working to improve at the plate and show without a doubt he is the team's best option at center field. Otherwise, with improvement at the plate, the Cardinals could deal him for starting pitching.
Much like the fan base, it does feel like there is some apprehension in dealing Carlson. He could become another Cardinal the organization gave up on too quickly.