Injury to Dylan Carlson could open spot for potential Cardinals wunderkind

Dylan Carlson's injury in Spring Training could open the door for Victor Scott II to claim a regular role in the outfield for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals
Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The St. Louis Cardinals suffered another blow to their outfield in the penultimate Spring Training game of 2024, as Dylan Carlson left the game with a wrist injury after colliding with Jordan Walker while pursuing a fly ball. If the injury lingers, the Cardinals may have no choice but to promote Victor Scott II, the speedy center fielder who was recently assigned to Triple-A Memphis.

A long-term injury would be an unfortunate situation for Carlson, as he was facing an opportunity to play nearly every day because of injuries to fellow outfielders Tommy Edman and Lars Nootbaar. The Cardinals ideally wanted to give Scott more reps in the minor leagues, but with Michael Siani the only healthy player on the 40-man roster who can play center field, the Cardinals could be starving for upside.

Carlson is gunning for what could be his last chance in a Cardinals uniform, which would make a serious injury devastating to his future chances with the team. After coming off of two down seasons that paled in comparison to his performance in 2021, and starting slowly in Spring Training this season, Carlson had turned on the jets and will likely finish his spring hitting .271 with three home runs.

Scott also had a standout spring, as he hit .316 with four stolen bases, wreaking havoc on opposing defenses with his game-changing speed. Many fans were clamoring for him to begin the regular season on the Cardinals roster, and if Carlson's injury is serious enough to cause him to miss a few games, they're likely to get their wish, albeit in a cruel, monkey's-paw sort of way.

If Carlson's injury stretches beyond a few games and Scott proves that he belongs at the major league level, the Cardinals will need to make a decision regarding their outfield to make room for the electrifying speedster. Alec Burleson may be the one pushed out the picture when Carlson returns given Burleson's defensive limitations, which would be a shame after his phenomenal spring performance.

Fans are yet to hear about the severity of Carlson's injury, but if his wrist pain renders him unable to produce power, a stay on the injured list could be looming. Nobody likes seeing one of their players go down, but if the Cardinals are smart, they'll use this opportunity to let Scott shine.