Cardinals Opening Day Roster Prediction 2.0: How Brandon Crawford shakes things up

With a new signing, updated injury statuses, and pitching competitions underway, it's time to take a fresh look at the Opening Day roster.

Sep 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Tommy Edman (19) makes a
Sep 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Tommy Edman (19) makes a / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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Opening Day Lineups

Versus right-handed pitching

2B Brendan Donovan
1B Paul Goldschmidt
LF Lars Nootbaar
3B Nolan Arenado
C Willson Contreras
DH Nolan Gorman
RF Jordan Walker
CF Dylan Carlson
SS Masyn Winn

Versus left-handed pitching

CF Dylan Carlson
1B Paul Goldschmidt
RF Jordan Walker
3B Nolan Arenado
DH Willson Contreras
2B Nolan Gorman
C Ivan Herrera
LF Lars Nootbaar
SS Masyn Winn

The lineup against right-handed pitching is pretty straightforward, with maybe some movement between the left-handed bats in the lineup. If Jordan Walker ascends like many think he will, he's going to force his way higher in the lineup sooner rather than later.

The Edman injury really impacts the lineup against left-handed pitching. When Edman is healthy, I think this lineup can be shaken up depending on if Herrera is playing or not, but when Edman is on the injured list, I think it makes a lot of sense for Herrera to get the start here.

Brendan Donovan has struggled in his career against left-handed pitching, so it may be wise to use him as a weapon off the bench for later in games and prioritize other bats like Herrera, Carlson, and Edman when he's healthy.

I decided to be aggressive if Walker's placement in the order against lefties, partially as a test of his ability to handle being in the middle of the order. Contreras would be a good fit there too, but I also like allowing Goldschmidt, Arenado, and Contreras to consisently hit in the same spots in the lineup with all of the other movement happening. It would actually help Walker out a ton to be sandwiched between two lefty mashers and have Contreras following them up.

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