For Cardinal Fans, The Countdown to 2020 is Underway
In about four months, Cardinals pitchers and catchers will report to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter Florida.
There have to be player moves between now and then. I don’t expect much to change with the Cardinals starting rotation. That’s a solid collection of arms. And, if Adam Wainwright wants to come back, I’d be happy to see that.
The bullpen is another matter. What will Jordan Hicks be able to offer after Tommy John surgery in late June. Carlos Martinez got mixed results as a closer. Martinez figures to be a part of the staff in some way. Standing pat on the setup men isn’t a good idea. The silly rule change requiring relievers to work to three batters will alter the decision process on which set up men go into the bullpen for 2020.
Catching is obviously in good hands with Yadier Molina. I wouldn’t be opposed to bringing Matt Wieters back. He did a solid job when Yadi had to go on the IL.
The infield is somewhat unsettled in my book. Paul Goldschmidt has first base nailed down. Kolten Wong finally settled in and had a consistent year at second base. I was pleased to see him start going with the pitch instead of trying to jerk everything over the right field wall. Paul DeJong needs to cut down the strikeout total, but you can say that about the majority of hitters in baseball. No problem with DeJong in the field.
Third base provides intrigue going to the off season. Matt Carpenter will be 34 next season. His best baseball is behind him. Tommy Edman has to be in the everyday lineup somewhere. Yairo Munoz could be a factor at 3B too. I would not be disappointed if Carpenter was elsewhere when spring training begins.
The outfield is unsettled. Marcel Ozuna is a free agent. NLCS Game 3 changing dropped fly ball notwithstanding, Ozuna needs to be retained. The man can hit. He scares opposing managers and pitchers. I can live with his defense to get that stick in the lineup.
The rest of the outfield is up for grabs as far as I’m concerned. Harrison Bader has some serious problems as a hitter. Jose Martinez is scary any time he’s out there with a glove on his hand. Dexter Fowler has also played his best baseball. Is Dylan Carlson ready? .292 with 26 homers splitting time between Springfield and Memphis says he probably is.
A left handed hitter with power would be a great addition. Can we find a time machine and bring in the 2000 version of Jim Edmonds?