While St. Louis Cardinals fans are concerned mostly with wins and losses, fantasy baseball followers are more concerned with on base percentage, runs batted in, strikeouts, and earned run average. These updates are for those fantasy baseball owners looking to get an inside look at the Cardinals players. The updates below include the latest news on the Cardinals from local and national reporters over the last 48 hours.
Player Whose Stock is Up
The book on Matt Adams has always been that he can hit, but that he has no position to play with Allen Craig blocking him at first base and no designated hitter spot in the National League.
Adams still does not have a place to play given the five-year, $60 million contract the Cardinals gave Allen Craig last week. Still, Adams has been so impressive with the bat this spring that he may force the Cardinals to invent a new position. Adams has a .333 OBP to go along with a .565 SLUG so far this spring. He has hit three home runs and leads the club with 12 RBI. Those stats, along with Adams slimmer physique, have GM John Mozeliak talking as if Adams spot on the 25-man roster is assured.
If Adams can just get 350 at-bats this year spelling Craig, hitting in the DH spot in inter-league games, and pinch hitting he could put up respectable fantasy baseball stats. If Craig gets injured, which has been known to happen the last two years, Adams value could skyrocket.
Player Whose Stock is Down
Lance Lynn continued his spring struggles yesterday by getting tagged for nine hits and five earned runs over just 3.2 innings pitched against the Marlins (a team hardly known for their offensive talent this year).
Lynn now has a 7.50 ERA this spring. The good news Lynn is reportedly in much better shape this year. The bad news is the lost weight seems to be messing with Lynn's mechanics causing him to get the ball up in the zone.
Lynn still has two starts to figure it out before the season starts, but his early spring performance is cause for more concern that Lynn is due for the infamous sophomore slump after a very good freshman campaign.
Shelby Miller appears to be losing the competition for the fifth starter spot to Joe Kelly, but Miller still has one more chance to impress tomorrow against the Marlins. Barring a major turn of events, Miller seems destined to begin the year in Memphis and be the first number on Mozeliak's speed dial should an MLB starter go down.
Oscar Taveras continued to wow yesterday with an RBI single and bullet of a throw from right field to gun down a runner at third base. Taveras is also slated for Memphis, but is one disable list stint from being a huge fantasy contributor in all categories but steals.
Finally, there is Michael Wacha who is still with the big league club even though he was just drafted last June. Wacha still has yet to give up a run over 11.2 innings pitched this spring while striking out 15 and walking just one. Wacha has gone from being a relative unkown to being one of the best pitching prospects in baseball in just nine months. He will start the year in AA, but he appears a likely call up sometime this year. With injuries to the starting rotation Wacha could make it up in June. If there are no injuries Cardinals fans may not see Wacha again until September.