With a batting line of .105/.205/.128 this spring, Ty Wigginton has been drawing the ire of Cardinals fans everywhere who believe his signing is blocking more deserving players, such as Matt Adams, from making the opening day roster. Believe me, it had me scratching my head too.
However, when you look more closely at the construction of the Cardinals roster, it makes more sense.
Assuming the Cardinals go with an opening day lineup of Yadier Molina (C), Allen Craig (1B), Matt Carpenter (2B), Pete Kozma (SS), David Freese (3B), Matt Holliday (LF), John Jay (RF) and Carlos Beltran (RF), that leaves them with a bench woefully short of right handed pop.
Consider the following bench:
Tony Cruz (R)
Daniel Descalso (L)
Shane Robinson (R)
Ronny Cedeno (R)
Matt Adams (L)
The right handed trio of Cruz, Robinson and Cedeno have combined for just 41 homers in 2,681 at bats, with Cedeno hitting 37 of those in his 8 year career.
In contrast, Wigginton has hit 169 homers in 4,422 at bats in his career, including 11 last year in 315 at bats. He may not strike the fear of God in pitchers, but he at least makes them think twice about grooving one down the middle, plus he keeps opposing managers from throwing a bunch of LOOGY's (left handed one out guys) at us.
If anyone should be dropped from that bench, its Cedeno. Assuming that Descalso is capable of backing up at short, Cedeno is unnecessary. If the Cardinals were to give his spot to Adams, they would have a nice lefty/righty one-two punch off the bench.
Adams has certainly done his part to earn a major league job this spring. He leads the Cards with 12 Rbi's and is hitting .304/.333/.565 this spring.
In any case, don't blame Wigginton for the Cardinals roster crunch, the Cardinals actually needed him. What they didn't need was another light-hitting short stop.