Usually, when the word “problem” comes up, it signifies there is something wrong with the situation. The Cardinals do not have this kind of problem, rather they simply just have too many decent outfielders. This is their biggest issue going into the off-season, who will get playing time and who should be available for trade? Let’s take a look at who they have on their current roster.
- Dexter Fowler.
Fowler was signed to a big contract in the 2017 offseason, five years and 82.5 million dollars to be exact. Originally signed to be their lead-off guy with Carpenter moving to the third spot, Fowler ended up being a very valuable cleanup hitter. He batted .264 with 18 home runs. With the large contract and his switch-hitting abilities, Fowler isn’t going anywhere in 2018.
- Tommy Pham
Pham had a huge breakout season in 2018 and is a great success story. You can read about that here http://sixmanrotation.com/a-phamtastic-story/. He was a 20/20 man after gaining a starting position for the first time at age 29. The biggest question is, is Pham a one-hit wonder, or can he replicate the magic he showed in 2017? Teams will not be willing to trade what the Cardinals would want for an oft-injured player who has one good season under his belt, so Pham stays with St. Louis.
- Stephen Piscotty
Piscotty took a large step back after a promising 22 homer campaign in 2016. Spending a little over a third of the season in the minor leagues, Piscotty never got it going. In 107 games, he hit .235 with 9 home runs and a .707 OPS. With the prospect pedigree Piscotty brings to the table, it would seem silly to sell low on Piscotty going into 2018. He may not be in a starting role, but Piscotty is a likely candidate to be on the Cardinals squad.
- Randal Grichuk
Grichuk was acquired in the David Freese trade from the Angels back in the 2014 offseason as the secondary piece behind Peter Bourjos. He has raw power, as shown by back to back 20+ homer campaigns in 2016 and 2017, but has never really put it all together. Still young at age 26, Grichuk has plenty of potential, but not enough stats to show for it. He could be a prime trade candidate for the Mozeliak regime heading into 2018.
- Jose Martinez
Former Minor League batting champion Jose Martinez had a successful first season in the Major Leagues for the Cardinals. A versatile player that also played 33 games at 1st base, Martinez has a little of everything, but excels at nothing. He hit .309 with 14 home runs in 109 games for the Birds on the Bat and would make a perfect 3rd outfielder for St. Louis, which in turn would regulate Piscotty to the bench. His contact skills are good and he takes his walks, not the big bat the Birds are looking for this offseason, but a solid all-around player.
- Harrison Bader
Bader struggled in his cup of coffee with St. Louis. Hitting .235 with 3 homers in 35 games. He had an excellent year in Memphis, hitting 20 homers while maintaining a batting average above .280. He clearly has nothing more to prove at Memphis and the upcoming 2018 Spring Training will be pivotal for what role he will have with the team. He could be used as a piece in a larger trade if the Cardinals choose to take this route.
Beyond a big bat, the Cardinals need serious bullpen help, especially from the left side. With Brett Cecil struggling in the first half of the season and Kevin Siegrist now a Philadelphia Philly, the Cardinals could end up packaging Harrison Bader and Magneuris Sierra for left handed-reliever Brad Hand of the San Diego Padres.
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