The Cardinals began a first base battle in Spring Training with many contenders, and now it seems that the field has narrowed
Back on March 20, our writer Eddie Liu wrote an article on the Cardinals’ first base battle and how it had developed through spring training. In his article, Eddie mentioned that the position battle would be primarily between Brandon Moss and Matt Adams, with Matt Holliday as the dark horse candidate.
This prediction was correct for the most part, as Holliday started at first base on Opening Day in Pittsburgh, but then moved back to the outfield after Tommy Pham‘s injury that has left him on the disabled list for the whole month. Since then, it has been Adams and Moss rotating while Stephen Piscotty was accidentally placed at first base one afternoon when Matheny made a typo on the lineup card.
So far, I would have to say that Brandon Moss is winning the first base battle, as he is hitting .241 for the Cardinals with five home runs, 14 RBIs, three doubles, and six walks. While most of Moss’ home runs have come from pinch-hit at bats, Moss has made the most of his starts at first base. He needs to cut down the strike outs and find other ways to get on base in order to keep the job, but he’s the clear favorite as of right now.
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Matt Adams has been a disappointment so far in 2016, hitting .229 in 20 games with only one home run, three RBIs, 14 strikeouts, and only one walk. Adams has had trouble with plate discipline, disrupting his ability to drive in runs. With guys like Aledmys Diaz, Jeremy Hazelbaker, and Stephen Piscotty getting on base at a great pace, Adams must be able to drive them home. In fact, one of our other writers, Perry Gordon, thinks that the Cardinals should trade Adams for a new washing machine. If he continues to disappoint, that truly might be all the Cardinal could receive in an Adams trade.
Overall, while it definitely can be said that Moss is in the lead at first base right now, neither Moss nor Adams has run away from the competition. When Tommy Pham returns from the disabled list, I would not be surprised to see Matt Holliday’s starts at first base increase or maybe Matheny will decide to play Piscotty at first base for a couple games. The best nine hitters need to find a way into the lineup, so Moss and Adams will have to separate themselves from the competition in order to feel comfortable about their job security.
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