Sunday, November 24, 2013

Johnny Peralta signing sets the Cardinals lineup. But what about their bench?

With the signing of Johnny Peralta, the Cardinals starting lineup is set for 2014.  As of right now, the 2014 lineup would look like this:

C - Yadier Molina (Right handed)
1B - Matt Adams (Left handed)
2B - Kolten Wong (L)
SS - Johnny Peralta (R)
3B - Matt Carpenter (L)
LF - Matt Holliday (R)
CF - Peter Bourjos (R)
RF - Allen Craig (R)

Jon Jay (L) will be relegated to the bench and Oscar Taveras (L) will likely start the season in AAA.  However, once Taveras is ready its likely that the Cardinals will trade Jay to make room for him.

With Daniel Descalso (L) likely acting as utility infielder and Tony Cruz (or some other seldom used catcher) acting as Molina's backup, the Cardinals will still have two spots to fill on their bench.

Shane Robinson (R) could fill one spot, as the 4th or 5th outfielder, but the Cardinals could use a right handed hitter for their bench, particularly one who can play the infield (2B, 3B and 1B), as they've got an abundance of lefty-hitting infielders.

Pouring over the options, I think the Cardinals should pursue Jeff Baker.

Not only is he capable of playing 1B, 2B, 3B and the corner outfield spots, but he kills lefties.  For his career, he has hit .298/.353/.522 against left handers, including 35 homers in 751 at bats.  Plus, even though he is 32, he showed no signs of slowing down in 2013, hitting .297/.390/.653 including 10 homers in 101 at bats against lefties.

He would be the perfect compliment to a primarily left handed infield and would basically fill the role that Ty Wigginton was suppose to fill last year.

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