The regular-season clock might be ticking down on Marcell Ozuna as a Cardinal. Ozuna, who turns 29 in November, will be entering free agency for the first time and will be at or near his peak. He should have a collection of suitors, perhaps including the Cardinals.
The potential of his hitting 30 homers and driving in 90 runs despite missing five weeks because of a hand injury would seem to corroborate such interest. On the flip side, the Cardinals feel they have a logjam of outfielders.
There are revived Dexter Fowler, defensive wiz Harrison Bader, promising Lane Thomas, versatile (see infielders) Tommy Edman, oft-injured slugger Tyler O’Neill, pinch-hitting specialist Jose Martinez and Randy Arozarena, who batted .358 at Memphis and .309 at Springfield.
Who has to be considered also is Adolis Garcia, who had 32 homers and 96 RBIs at Memphis although his 159 strikeouts vs. 22 walks is disturbing.
And, of course, there is crown jewel Dylan Carlson, the Texas League’s Most Valuable Player at age 20 and who will be considered for a regular spot next spring.