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Cardinals Reason #15: The First Base Battle

With the season around the corner, the position battle going on in the Cardinals camp is heating up.

Heading into Spring Training, the only position that was up for grabs was first base. Matt Adams and Brandon Moss are currently battling it out to see who will be the starting first basemen when the season opens in April. Likely, the position battle will be decided by who is swinging the bat better in Spring Training.

As of right now, Moss is running away with the battle. He is batting .308 with a .333 OBP and 5 RBIs. Adams is batting .240 with a .333 OBP and 4 RBIs. Though the sample size is small and the only major difference between the two players is their batting average, that will likely be the determining factor for Manager Mike Matheny when he sets out his batting lineup at Pittsburgh.

As for right now, Matheny doesn’t want to tip his hand. When asked about Adams and Moss, he simply replied, “They both look good.”

A dark horse who may emerge as the starting first basemen on Opening Day might be outfielder Matt Holliday. The Cardinals have been working Holliday in to get reps at the first base position. This move would open an outfield spot for Tommy Pham, who would help the team with his tremendous speed and his potential at the plate. Because Busch has a spacious outfield, Pham’s speed could potentially be a game changer.

Whoever wins the battle, they will be an important in the Cardinals’ lineup. For the last couple seasons, first base has been the Cardinals’ weakest position in the batting order. The Cardinals’ first basemen, last year, only combined for 18 home runs, which is the third worst in the NL.

I predict that Moss will win the battle between him and Adams. However, because the Cardinals have really shown their wiliness to try Holliday at first base, he will likely be the Opening Day starter. The Cardinals have always been high on Pham and this may be the move to work him into the lineup. This is definitely a position battle to keep your eye on as the season inches closer and closer.

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