Feb. 11: Q of the Day
As I did last spring, I will take one of your questions each day and answer it on the blog. Please include your first name, last initial and hometown in any question you submit to Jenifer.Langosch@MLB.com. It’s so far a quiet morning at the Cardinals’ Spring Training complex, so let’s get going…
Assuming four of the five bench spots belong to Tony Cruz, Daniel Descalso/Matt Carpenter, Ronny Cedeno, and Ty
Wigginton, who do you expect get the fifth spot? Matt Adams is most deserving, but the Cardinals are reluctant to use him as a bench player.
— Aaron, Washington, Mo.
The Cardinals’ bench did fill out over the winter, particularly with the free-agent signings of Wigginton and Cedeno. Wigginton gives the Cardinals a veteran right-handed bat off the bench and can play several spots defensively. Cedeno has the middle infield spots covered as a backup.
Carpenter or Descalso — whoever doesn’t win the second-base job — will be on the club. So, too, will a backup catcher. That leaves one bench opening and it almost certainly has to go to an outfielder. Though Carpenter, Wigginton and (if the Cards really have to do some shuffling) Allen Craig can slide into an outfield role, the Cardinals really need someone who can step in to play center. That said, look for Shane Robinson and Adron Chambers to make a push for that final fifth spot. While neither has as potent a bat as Adams, the Cardinals have to have themselves covered in centerfield.
The one benefit of having Adams start the season in the Minors is that it would allow him to get regular playing time. Many times that outweighs the desire to carry a player on the bench, where his growth could be stalled due to a lack of at-bats.
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