In a recent post, I explained why slugging first baseman Matt Adams’ chances of making the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals out of spring training camp were seemingly scuttled by the decision of the club to carry a reserve centerfielder.
Shortly after, general manager John Mozeliak left the door open for Adams, saying the following:
“I certainly think he’s accomplished a lot in Triple-A, and trying to find at-bats at the major-league level is important,” Mozeliak told reporters. “We do believe he has a chance to have an impact bat at the major-league level.”
All the 24-year-old has done so far this spring is go 8-for-20, with an early line of .400/.455/.700/1.155. Adams has two home runs and seven RBI. Of special note is that both his long balls came as a pinch-hitter, important given his potential appeal as a late-game masher off the bench.
So, how might Adams make the team?
No, I don’t mean entering the burly Adams into the second base scrum.
Though Descalso lacks the range to be a regular option at short, he could serve as a reserve to Kozma. Carpenter winning the second base job is key since he cannot play the reserve shortstop role.
In the case of an injury to any of them, a replacement could be immediately summoned from Memphis.
With Ronny Cedeno performing poorly this spring and apparently holding a non-guaranteed contract, would the organization be comfortable releasing him and going with a relatively inexperienced Carpenter-Kozma-Descalso middle infield?
Adams’ opening day chances may depend on it.
Currently, the five-player bench seems to be shaping up like this: