In less than a week the Cardinal’s forty man roster will be on display for all to see. Several non roster invites will be competing for future consideration for a roster spot. We’ve finally made it to the point where we get to see things unfold on the field and not merely in speculation.
Its exciting to get the first images of the early arrivals to camp. Even more so to see Jose Oquendo, absent last year due to knee surgery, working with key players on the major offseason concern. It’s hard not to be optimistic about defensive improvement when the three infielders targeted as upgrades are already in Jupiter with Oquendo.
Aledmys Diaz is putting in extra time to fine tune his game and further create a smooth working relationship with his keystone partner Kolten Wong. Diaz will come into camp as the everyday shortstop coming off of his All Star rookie campaign. Wong has the organizational backing to flourish as the everyday second baseman. This may be his last chance to win over the dugout and become the cornerstone at second.
Looking for stability in the infield, Matt Carpenter has been given the everyday first base assignment. Typically an offensive position, Carpenter can easily fill that role and perhaps become a plus defender with the first base mitt.
There will be some position battles. Jhonny Peralta will try to regain his youth and return with a lethal bat and stable glove at third base. Jedd Gyorko will try to build off his 30 homerun season and find everyday at bats at the hot corner.
We finally get to see the new look outfield. Dexter Fowler was brought in to improve the athleticism and centerfield defense while sending Randall Grichuk to upgrade left field. Stephen Piscotty will man right field and hopefully produce monster numbers in the clean up spot.
There will be bullpen battles and possibly a fight for one spot in the starting rotation. Can Michael Wacha overcome his shoulder instability and hold off the electric arm of Alex Reyes? Will Trevor Rosenthal take over a new hybrid role or simply regain the form to be a top flight closer?
I’m not telling you any new information. Every news piece has been covered and every rock overturned.
The one thing I know for certain is that we’re five days ways from seeing our questions begin to be answered.
Thanks you for reading.