What The Lopez Signing Means For Cardinals

Joel KochSenior Analyst IFebruary 27, 2010

DENVER - JULY 04:  Felipe Lopez #2 of the Arizona Diamondbacks against the Colorado Rockies during MLB action at Coors Field on July 4, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Diamondbacks defeated the Rockies 11-7.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

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Lopez gives the Cardinals a third, guaranteed bench riderassuming Freese wins the everyday gig at third base. With that in mind, the Cardinals have two infielders (who can play the outfield if needed) and a catcher.

Allen Craig, Tyler Greene, Joe Mather, and Jon Jaynot good news for you.

The Cardinals still need a right handed hitting complement to Colby Rasmus, who will also serve as the fourth outfielder. The team could also use a true backup to Albert Pujols at first base.

This means that the Cardinals should be able to make their decision from one of these two groups for the last bench spot. It will be one or the other, not a mix of either.

Barring some freak injury, last minute signing, or ineffectiveness by one of the four, here are your last two bench guys:

Allen Craig and Jon Jay
Joe Mather and Tyler Greene

Here are the reasoning behind this.

Both groups consist of a natural center fielder who can also play both corner outfield spots (Jay and Mather). The other consists of an infield and outfield presence who can handle the stick with some power (Craig and Greene*).

*Yes, Greene has power. He has seven extra base hits in his Major League career, and 160 extra base hitsincluding 62 home runsin his Minor League career which stretches across four seasons. That's an average of 40 extra base hits over each season, or 50 plus if you count his Minor League career as three full seasons.