Juan Yepez's role with the Cardinals this season
I'll be frank again, I don't see much of a role for Juan Yepez on this roster, and I don't really blame the Cardinals for feeling the same,
For as productive as Yepez can be at the plate for the Cardinals, does his bat and terrible defense outweigh the bats and gloves of the following players? Nolan Gorman? Brendan Donovan? No. Tyler O'Neill? No. Dylan Carlson? No. Lars Nootbaar? No. Alec Burleson? No. Jordan Walker? No.
That's seven players he's behind the pecking order on for five positions. That means on any given day, there are two players on the bench who I would say are more valuable to this club than Yepez is. Again, this is no shot at Yepez. I love his energy and the talent he has at the plate. But it's just hard to imagine him having more than a very minor role on this very talented roster.
Once Nootbaar is back, some have argued that Yepez should remain on the roster over Taylor Motter. That way, the Cardinals can just be more strategic about how they give Donovan and Edman off days so that they can go without rostering a backup shortstop. While this could work to get the most talent possible on this roster, I just don't see the logic behind it. Yes, Yepez is a far better player than Motter, but if Yepez replaced Motter on the roster, is he really going to play more than maybe once a week with some pinch-hit opportunities?
I don't think the Cardinals would start him in the corner outfield spots when their top five guys are healthy. They have too many options to consider over him. He could DH, but again, how often is that spot actually going to be available with Nolan Gorman playing as well as he is, and all of the different names the club would like to rotate into that spot? He can play first base when Paul Goldschmidt needs a day off, but Alec Burleson seems to be their preferred option there.
Do the Cardinals really want Yepez sitting on the bench most days, hoping to get a spot start every 5-7 games and some pinch-hit opportunities? Should injuries pile up for St. Louis at some point this season, Yepez could easily see his role increased a ton for the club, but in the meantime, I don't see Yepez being a significant part of this roster.