The Outfield Conundrum
By Kujo on Rick Ankiel
If you go to the current Spring Training stats, as of March 8th, the top six hitters in terms of at-bats are all outfielders: Ankiel, Schumaker, Ludwick, Mather, Barton and Gonzalez, with Rasmus and Duncan not far behind. As a group, the outfielders have been very successful thus far in ST:
Player AB BA OBP SLG HR RBI R
Rick Ankiel 21 .381 .409 .524 1 1 2
Skip Schumaker 21 .429 .455 .667 1 5 4
Ryan Ludwick 19 .368 .400 .526 1 1 2
Joe Mather 19 .368 .478 .737 1 2 3
Brian Barton 18 .333 .368 .500 1 2 3
Juan Gonzalez 18 .278 .316 .500 1 4 3
Colby Rasmus 18 .222 .391 .611 2 4 4
Chris Duncan 12 .083 .353 .083 0 0 1
Matt Leach has his fourth guess at the opening day roster up, and he sees the Cardinals sticking with Ankiel, Duncan, Ludwick, Schumaker, and Gonzalez as the five outfielders. That situation would entail a move pertaining to Brian Barton - either offering him back to the Indians or working out a deal with Cleveland in order to designate him to Memphis. The Cards also have Joe Mather, who will turn 26 in July. After a strong showing in Springfield last year, Mather tailed off a bit after being promoted to Memphis. Now we see him lighting it up in Spring Training so far, making a case to make the opening roster.
The Cardinals have the fortunate predicament of having too many capable outfielders. They have the opportunity to have healthy competition in order to give spots to the most impressive players. The Mets are in desperate need of an outfielder to replace Moises Alou - what about a trade of one of our surplus for a prospect?