Utility man Tommy Edman has been one of the shining spots on this season's edition of the St. Louis Cardinals. With so much turmoil, it's incredible to see an athlete play anywhere asked and perform as if he's played the position forever.
Edman entered the 2023 season as the St. Louis Cardinal's shortstop. With Paul DeJong struggling, and ultimately getting traded, and the arrival of Masyn Winn pushed to late summer, it was just one of the places he could play.
When DeJong came back from injury and Nolan Gorman needed to log some time as the designated hitter, Edman played second base. If all infield positions were taken, Edman found a spot in the outfield. Cardinals manager Oli Marmol could place Edman at any position on the field and get Gold Glove-caliber results.
Dylan Carlson and Lars Nootbaar split duties patrolling centerfield to begin the season. As the season moved along and the team faced numerous injuries, trying something a little different became necessary. Even if just temporarily.
That something different was having Edman play centerfield. With everything that has gone wrong this season, even this seemed like a huge gamble. It's a gamble that has paid off in a big way. It's just another slot Marmol can plug Edman into and get premium results.
Edman has played at shortstop, second base, centerfield, and rightfield for the Cardinals this season.
In a post-game interview with BallySports Midwest, coach and Cardinals Hall of Fame center fielder Willie McGee said of Edman, "He just does the job wherever you put him and at a high level. I mean, it's just as simple as that. He works at it. I don't tell him nothing. ... He gets it done."
The versatility and hustle Edman provides the defense can make for better offensive options, allowing Marmol to mix and match based on the opponent. This makes Edman untouchable going forward and undoubtedly part of the Cardinals' core group of players moving forward.
Marmol said of Edman, "He changes the game out there [in center], and he’s also the best second baseman here.”
Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas was also complimentary of Edman and how quickly he adapted to playing centerfield. "He’s won a Gold Glove at second base, but he might be one of the best center fielders I’ve ever seen. ... I mean, he made some incredible plays, and he tracks a fly ball better than anyone I’ve ever seen. What he does all around the diamond is really special.”
Edman's skills also make him a lock for winning the NL Gold Glove for Utility Man. Edman won the 2021 NL Gold Glove for second base. He was a finalist for the 2022 NL Gold Glove for second base and utility man, ultimately losing out to his teammate Brendan Donovan.
Edman has been a fun and exciting player for the Cardinals in this challenging season. It would be awesome to see him rewarded with the NL Gold Glove for utility man because he has been clutch for the team no matter what position he plays on the field or where he hits in the lineup.
Here's hoping Edman can add to his trophy case this offseason with a well-deserved Gold Glove for Utility Man.