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After Harrison Bader’s injury, the St. Louis Cardinals will boast an outfield with a lack of plate appearances.
The St. Louis Cardinals fanbase has high expectations with Opening Day a week away. That is obvious after the team made the splashy move in acquiring third baseman Nolan Arenado from the Colorado Rockies. The infield is loaded to the point where Matt Carpenter could be relegated to the bench. But their outfield has taken a hit.
Harrison Bader is set to miss the next 4-6 weeks due to a forearm injury, meaning that Justin Williams will be thrust into an everyday role in the outfield. The Cardinals’ approach Opening Day with a likely starting outfield of Tyler O’Neill, Dylan Carlson and Williams, who have a grand total of 576 plate appearances. To show just how raw this outfield is, pitcher Adam Wainwright has nearly 200 more plate appearances than all three combined.
Cardinals outfield in trouble after Harrison Bader injury
Out of the three players mentioned above, O’Neill has the most plate appearances with 450. In his three seasons with the Cardinals, O’Neill has slashed .229/.291/.422 with 21 home runs, 58 RBI and 94 hits.
Carlson has the second-most plate appearances with 119, and he just made his MLB debut last season. In 36 games, Carlson recorded a .200 batting average, a .616 OPS, three home runs, 16 RBI and 22 hits.
Williams has been to the plate seven times throughout his career, once with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2018 and the other six with the Cardinals last season. The young outfielder recorded just one hit and was walked twice through those limited plate appearances.
We are sure you are wondering just how did Wainwright perform with his 772 plate appearances. Through his 15 years in MLB, Wainwright slashed .199/.225/.302 with 10 home runs, 71 RBI and 136 hits.
It is not a certainty that Bader can return in the 4-6 week timeframe, so Cardinals fans will hope that these three man starting corps of O’Neill, Carlson and Williams can fill in admirably while Bader recovers from his injury.