Fowler should have plenty of opportunities to prove worthy of consistent playing time early in an abbreviated 2020 season, Mark Saxon of The Athletic reports.
Saxon was responding to a reader question about how much leeway manager Mike Shildt will give Fowler, who's had plenty of struggles at the plate over the last two seasons, to work through any difficulties before curtailing the veteran's playing time to some degree. The view is that Fowler has bought himself some slack by displaying legitimate signs of a resurgence in 2019 after a career-worst campaign a year prior, establishing new high-water marks in home runs (19) and RBI (67) while slashing .238/.346/.409 over 574 plate appearances. His overall career body of work should buy him a certain amount of time if he stumbles out of the gates, but Saxon also points out Fowler is likely to have promising prospect Dylan Carlson looming over his shoulder with the high probability of expanded rosters being a component of any 2020 campaign.
Cardinals coach Willie McGee recently expressed confidence in Fowler's ability to up his performance once the regular season begins, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. "I don't count veterans out. Dexter, (Matt) Carpenter . . . I don't worry about their springs," McGee said. "They'll figure it out. They'll have to."
The veteran outfielder had generated an unsightly .097 average (3-for-31) in 12 Grapefruit League games before play was paused, but McGee draws upon his own experiences as a player and his first-hand knowledge of Fowler's talent to make his assessment. McGee, whose current responsibilities include overseeing the big-league club's outfielders, notes he learned to focus much more on process and gradually increasing his frequency of hard-hit balls as his spring training slates unfolded. As such, he feels Fowler, who slugged 44 extra-base hits (24 doubles, one triple, 19 home runs) and posted the second-highest hard-contact rate of his career (37.4 percent) in 2019, can eventually flip the switch once the games start to count. The 34-year-old may need to do just that to keep a significant role, however, as the Cardinals have a plethora of talented young outfielders that could all be viable options for manager Mike Shildt this season if rosters are expanded significantly as expected.
Fowler, who hit .097 (3-for-31) across 12 Grapefruit League contests before spring training was suspended, could be benched early in the regular season if he continues struggling, Dan Buffa of KSDK.com reports.
Buffa uses Matt Carpenter's 2019 as a blueprint for what could unfold if Fowler doesn't demonstrate marked improvement at the plate once the regular season finally gets underway. A similarly accomplished veteran, Carpenter was nevertheless moved to a platoon role last season after struggling for an extended period and was frequently replaced with Tommy Edman, who was much more productive at the plate. Fowler doesn't have the defensive prowess at this stage of his career to keep him in the lineup through an extended slump, either. Buffa points out manager Mike Shildt and Fowler do have an excellent relationship, but that an array of more appealing options that includes the promising trio of Tyler O'Neill, Dylan Carlson and Lane Thomas should supersede any personal misgivings the Cardinals' skipper might have about demoting the soon-to-be 34-year-old outfielder.
Fowler is not in the lineup for Game 4 of the NLCS against the Nationals on Tuesday.
Fowler is sitting for the first time this postseason after going 0-for-11 with one walk over the first three games of the NLCS. Harrison Bader is starting in center field, batting seventh.
Fowler went 2-for-3 with a home run, two walks and two RBI in Sunday's win over the Cubs.
Fowler ended the regular season on a high note after entering the game in a 1-for-26 slide. He led off the first inning with a walk and came around to score the Cardinals' first run, then drilled a two-run homer to center field in the second frame. The 33-year-old concludes 2019 with a .238/.346/.409 slash line while setting career highs with 19 homers and 67 RBI in 150 games.
Fowler is not starting Wednesday against the Diamondbacks.
Fowler will head to the bench for what appears to be a routine breather following Tuesday's 19-inning loss, during which he went 1-for-8 with a solo home run and five strikeouts. Jose Martinez is starting in right field and hitting second in place of Fowler in this one.
Fowler went 1-for-8 with a solo home run and five strikeouts in Tuesday's marathon loss to Arizona.
Fowler led off the game with a solo home run but couldn't get anything going thereafter, striking out in five of his next seven plate appearances. He has now whiffed 19 times in his last 32 at-bats and has posted a paltry .183 batting average with 30 strikeouts across 82 at-bats in September.
Fowler went 2-for-5 with a two-run single in a win over the Cubs on Saturday.
Fowler made a key contribution out of the leadoff role, with his fifth-inning single snapping a 3-3 tie at the time. The veteran outfielder has actually scuffled at the plate during the current month after a solid August, but perhaps his first multi-hit effort since Sept. 12 will boost his bat ahead of the final week of the regular season.
Fowler went 0-for-2 with two walks, a stolen base and two runs in a win over the Nationals on Monday.
Fowler played his leadoff role particularly well Monday, setting the table twice for Marcell Ozuna and crossing the plate with half of the Cardinals' runs on the night. The veteran outfielder's hitless tally did sink his September average to .222, but he's still carrying a .386 on-base percentage since the calendar flipped thanks in large part to his 12 walks during the month.
Fowler, who went 0-for-1 with three walks and two runs in a win over the Brewers on Friday, has thrived since taking over the leadoff role Aug. 6, Stu Durando of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. "We've been comfortable with Dexter at the top for a while now," manager Mike Shildt said. "He's taking good at-bats and went through a stretch recently where he was hitting balls at people and he's getting rewarded more recently. He's working his walks and doing a good job on the bases."
Fowler has 22 RBI over his last 31 games at the top of the order and has an elite .399 on-base percentage over that period as well. The latter figure is partly the byproduct of Fowler's elevated 16.8 percent walk rate over that span, a level of plate discipline Fowler has supplemented with 14 extra-base hits (nine doubles, five home runs). The veteran outfielder's 2019 campaign qualifies as a highly encouraging resurgence following a 2018 season in which Fowler looked finished at times.
Fowler went 2-for-3 with two walks and a solo home run Thursday against the Rockies.
Fowler made only one out in his five plate appearances, though his afternoon was highlighted by a solo home run in the first inning. The effort also extended his hitting streak to four games and he's now managed at least one hit in seven of his last eight starts. For the season, Fowler has an impressive .352 on-base percentage, though that's translated to only 61 runs scored in 134 games.
Fowler went 2-for-2 with a double, two walks and a run in a loss to the Rockies on Wednesday.
Fowler turned in a signature leadoff effort, but his teammates were only able to drive him in once over his four times on base. The veteran outfielder has hit safely in six of his last seven games, although Wednesday's performance was his first multi-hit effort of the month.
Fowler is not in the lineup Sunday against the Pirates.
Fowler has hit .154/.185/.154 over his last six games. Tommy Edman moves out to right field Sunday, with Matt Carpenter starting at third.
Fowler is not in Thursday's lineup against the Giants.
He is hitting .264/.369/.444 with three home runs and zero steals over his last 20 games. Tommy Edman gets the start in right field while Matt Carpenter gets the start at third base.
Fowler is not in the lineup for Game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader against the Reds.
Fowler started both games of Saturday's twin bill and went 5-for-9 with a home run, a double, two runs scored and two RBI. Jose Martinez (shoulder) was activated off the injured list and will start in right field.
Fowler went 1-for-4 with a two-run double, a bases-loaded walk and a run in a win over the Rockies on Sunday.
Fowler was a catalyst for the Cardinals' big offensive day from the top of the order, checking in with one of four multi-RBI efforts for St. Louis in the offensive breakout. The veteran outfielder has three such tallies over his last six games, pushing his monthly RBI total to an impressive 18 and giving him just over half (28) of his 55 for the season since July 3. Factoring in Sunday's production, Fowler is slashing .307/.444/.493 across 100 plate appearances with men in scoring position this season.
Fowler went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run Thursday against the Rockies.
Fowler took Yency Almonte deep in the seventh inning to record his 15th homer of the season and put the Cardinals ahead for good. He's been on a strong stretch of productivity, as he's driven in at least one run in four consecutive games and has 15 RBI in August. For the season, Fowler has turned in a respectable .251/.348/.433 line across 423 plate appearances.
Fowler went 1-for-3 with two walks, a double and four RBI in Tuesday's 9-4 win over the Brewers.
His bases-loaded two-bagger in the sixth inning gave the Cards the lead for good, and Fowler added a bases-loaded walk in the eighth for good measure. The veteran outfielder is quietly putting together a solid August, slashing .268/.382/.464 through 17 games with two homers, two steals, eight runs and 12 RBI.
Fowler is not in Sunday's lineup against the Reds.
Fowler is hitting .271 with two home runs and two steals in 14 games this month. Yairo Munoz starts in right field while Lane Thomas starts in center field against lefty Alex Wood.
Fowler went 3-for-6 with a double, a home run, four RBI and two runs scored Friday night against the Reds.
Fowler delivered a three-run home run over the fence in right center during the second inning, and he tacked on an insurance run in the sixth on an RBI single. The 33-year-old appears to be seeing the ball well at the dish of late, raising his batting average from .240 to .250 while collecting six extra-base hits and seven RBI over his last 11 contests.
|10/15/2019 vs Washington|
|vs Holland (Career)||6||1||0||.167||.286||.167|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2010||AAA-Colorado Springs Sky||27||106||23||36||10||4||2||13||17||27||1||0||.340||.435||.566|
|2011||AAA-Colorado Springs Sky||24||97||17||23||6||1||2||9||15||24||2||1||.237||.345||.381|
|2013||AAA-Colorado Springs Sky||2||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||2||1||0||.000||.333||.000|
|2014||AAA-Oklahoma City Redhaw||4||10||1||3||0||0||0||1||2||--||0||0||.300||.417||.300|