Matt Adams had a hard time staying healthy in the second half of the season, as he frequently dealt with back soreness and spent time on the DL with an inflamed shoulder. He was limited to 118 games and just 69 starts, all of which came at first base. His production at the plate left much to be desired, and with Matt Carpenter set to take on the starting role at first base in 2017, Adams' outlook for playing time seems bleak. There's always a chance he could be traded, but Adams is unlikely to play against southpaws no matter where he is, as he owns a .212 average and .595 OPS in his career against lefties. Given his growing injury history and declining role, Adams is now more of an NL-only consideration, with any mixed-league relevance holding on by a thread.
Adams played in left field for the final four innings of Wednesday's 6-1 Cactus League victory over the Nationals, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Adams didn't see any chances while in the field, but the Cardinals are likely to put him out there again in coming games. Manager Mike Matheny has commented that Adams has looked good running down flyballs in batting practice, and the goal remains to have him serve as a viable enough option in the outfield so as to have him see at-bats on a more regular basis.
Adams may get a look in the outfield during Wednesday's spring training game, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports. With Matt Carpenter locked in as the starting first baseman, Adams has no clear path to regular at-bats, even though the Cardinals are optimistic his offseason weight loss will translate into improved performance. He presumably won't be ready for significant playing time in the outfield early in the season, but it is possible his improved mobility could allow him to contribute as the year progresses. Adams is enjoying a strong spring at the plate, boasting a .294 batting average and four home runs in 34 at-bats, albeit with 14 strikeouts.
Adams went 2-for-2 with a double, solo home run, a walk and two runs overall in Sunday's 9-9 Grapefruit League tie with the Marlins. Adams' second-inning solo home run was his third of spring and second in as many days. Factoring in Sunday's production, he's slashing .296/.375/.667 and is tied for second on the Cardinals with Paul DeJong with six RBI. Despite his recent encouraging performances, strikeouts remain an issue, as he's also whiffed 11 times in 27 at-bats.
Adams went 1-for-2 with a solo home run in Saturday's 2-2 Grapefruit League tie with the Braves. The svelte slugger's fourth-inning blast off Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz was his second of spring and helped bring his average back up to a decent .250 over his first 25 at-bats. Adams' 30-pound offseason weight loss was achieved with the goal of allowing the 28-year-old to bounce back from last season's .249/.309/.471 line and reduce his 24.8 percent strkeout rate.
Adams shed 30 pounds during the offseason in addition to altering his batting stance and swing, Jennifer Langosch of MLB.com reports. Adams is hoping that his weight loss will allow him to become a more agile player, which would especially help his defense at first base. He'll also be looking to use his revamped swing to bounce back from a fairly disappointing season last year in which he slashed .249/.309/.471. With Matt Carpenter still slated to be the Cardinals' primary starter at first base, Adams will likely serve mostly in a bench role in 2017.