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- All Hail the New GDT Master
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- Location: Columbus, OH
Here are 3 things Cards hope to learn this spring
And while workouts allow manager Mike Shildt and his staff to evaluate how players pick up on different aspects of the game, spring games allow the players to show how they react to situations in real time. After players shake off the rust of the offseason, spring games are when the competition for roster spots really begins.
As Grapefruit League action ramps up, here are three things the Cardinals hope to learn over the next few weeks.
- The rotation
The rotation locks -- Jack Flaherty, Dakota Hudson and Adam Wainwright -- all made their spring debuts this weekend. But the focus for the Cardinals is on who will take over the two open spots.
We’ve already seen three of the candidates pitch. Kwang-Hyun Kim pitched Saturday, and Carlos Martínez and Daniel Ponce de Leon threw Sunday. Shildt called Ponce de Leon “exceptional” after the right-hander allowed one hit and struck out three in two innings, showing a sharpness to his breaking ball and command with his fastball.
John Gant, Ryan Helsley, Austin Gomber and Alex Reyes are scheduled to pitch in the next two days. Each will have a chance this spring to pitch his way into a Major League rotation spot.
Tyler O'Neill made an impression with a monster shot in Saturday’s exhibition opener, and Harrison Bader did as well with a leadoff home run on Sunday. The Cardinals have left a wide-open path for their young outfielders to take over the open left-field spot or a bench role.
O’Neill is in the mix, as well as Lane Thomas, Austin Dean and MLB Pipeline's No. 17 overall prospect Dylan Carlson, who have all played the past two days. Bader is viewed as the incumbent in center field with Dexter Fowler in right. Infielders Tommy Edman, Brad Miller, Yairo Muñoz and Rangel Ravelo will also get some opportunities to play the outfield this spring.
With Jordan Hicks recovering from Tommy John surgery and Martínez eyeing the rotation, the Cardinals are in the market for a closer, and auditions will be held all spring. Many of the candidates -- Kim, Gant, Helsley, Reyes and Martínez -- are on starter’s schedules, but there are also strict relievers who could fill the closer spot: Giovanny Gallegos, Andrew Miller and John Brebbia.
“We like roles, [but] we don’t feel like we have to put guys in roles,” Shildt said. “I think that’s healthy. Because some games -- we talked about preparing for the black and white and being ready for the gray -- you adjust during the game, going with the game plan, and you’re fluid with it. Having one guy as a lockdown guy is fine, but if we don’t have that, clearly the multiple options will be necessary.”
- Everday Unicorn
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I kinda forgot Andrew Miller was still a Cardinal.
- Hall Of Famer
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- Joined: December 20 07, 2:45 pm
Doesn't sound like Mikolas will be out that long.
I am guessing the early April rotation to be:
I think Martinez starts the year as the closer.