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The St. Louis Cardinals appear to be using their final Spring Training game to provide a preview of things to come.
Teams are using these final days of Spring Training to fine-tune their rosters and line-ups. The St. Louis Cardinals appear to be doing just that in one final game before they head to Busch Stadium for Opening Day.
According to The Athletic’s Katie Woo:
As Woo notes, Adam Wainwright can be swapped out for Steven Matz. Wainwright will pass Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson when he makes his seventh home opener start for the Cardinals on Thursday. Gibson still holds the record for overall Opening Day starts with 10. This will be Wainwright’s sixth Opening Day start.
Cardinals Opening Day lineup
Albert Pujols appears set in the fifth spot in the lineup behind Nolan Arenado. Pujols returns to the Cardinals as their designated hitter. It will be his 22nd consecutive opening day start.
The top half of the lineup does appear to be loaded with Dylan Carlson, Paul Goldschmidt, Tyler O’Neill, Arenado, and Pujols. Carlson appeared lower in the lineup last season and struggled to find consistency. Cardinals’ new manager Oliver Marmol is key on match-ups and clearly sees Carlson being successful leading off.
Paul DeJong has a lot to prove after an offseason full of rumors he would be replaced at shortstop. He’s showing signs of improvement throughout the Spring and appears set to start Opening Day.
Yadier Molina will bat seventh and join battery mate Wainwright for their 306th start together. Warren Spahn and Crandell hold the record at 316. If Molina and Wainwright remain healthy, this is a record that could very well topple this season.
The speedy and reliable Harrison Bader and Tommy Edman round out the lineup.
This lineup did prove successful Tuesday as the Cardinals defeated the Miami Marlins 7-0 at Roger Dean Chevrolet in Jupiter.