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St. Louis Cardinals

NL Central

Cardinals RHP Miles Mikolas (elbow) won’t pitch in Monday’s simulated game as scheduled. (Source: Jeff Jones on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said Mikolas “won’t pitch in a simulated game Monday.” “For now it’s caution. We’ll see what it is later.” He missed the entire 2020 campaign recovering from surgery on the flexor tendon in his right forearm. Mikolas will have his simulated game pushed back and it is unclear when he will face live hitters during Spring Training.

Category: Injury Updates

MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports that Cardinals manager Mike Shildt has confirmed Jack Flaherty will be the team's Opening Day starter against Cincinnati. (Source: Jon Heyman via Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Not much of a surprise here, as Flaherty is the unquestioned ace of the Cardinals staff and was the Opening Day starter last season as well. Don't let last season's 4.91 ERA fool you, as Flaherty pitched to a much-more respectable 3.13 ERA when you remove one awful outing (9 ER against MIL). Flaherty is currently the SP #11 in FantasyPros Expert Consensus Rankings, but the 25-year-old's pedigree and track record suggest he could certainly outperform his current ADP.

Category: Rumors

Cardinals southpaw Andrew Miller revealed that he tested positive for COVID-19 in early-February. (Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch)

Fantasy Impact: Miller was a late arrival to spring training but has since been fully cleared. "I do have some very minor fatigue, basically from being shut down," Miller said. The veteran lefty will once again pitch in the late innings for the Cardinals this year, and there's a good chance he sees a handful of save opportunities as well.

Category: Injury Updates

Cardinals RHP Dakota Hudson (elbow) is ahead of schedule in his rehab from Tommy John surgery. (Source: Zach Silver on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Hudson underwent Tommy John surgery in September and is expected to miss the 2021 season. He’s ahead of schedule in his rehab and will play catch next month. Hudson has progressed well in his recovery from Tommy John surgery and could enter 2022 Spring Training with no restrictions. The 26-year-old owned a 2.77 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 31:15 K:BB across 39 innings in 2020.

Category: Injury Updates

Cardinals manager Mike Shildt says OF Lane Thomas is poised for an increased role this season. (Source: Jon Morosi on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Shildt noted that Thomas was battling the lingering effects of COVID-19 last season. The team has an opening in left field, and it'll likely be Thomas and Tyler O'Neill competing for at bats.

Cardinals INF prospect Nolan Gorman will get reps at second base this spring. (Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch)

Fantasy Impact: Gorman is roughly a top-50 prospect in all of baseball. Typically a third baseman, he's now blocked by Nolan Arenado at the hot corner in St. Louis. The 20-year-old is best described as a "modern power hitter." He strikes out a lot but also punishes pitches when he makes contact. Gorman will get to the big leagues quicker if he can smoothly transition to second base.

Cardinals bullpen coach Bryan Eversgerd says RHP Jordan Hicks (elbow) is "ready to go." (Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch)

Fantasy Impact: Still just 24 years old, Hicks is now 19 months removed from Tommy John surgery. He opted out of the 2020 campaign and could very well serve as the Cardinals' closer this year. Giovanny Gallegos, Alex Reyes, and Andrew Miller could all be options as well. This is a position battle to monitor in spring training.

Category: Injury Updates

The Cardinals don't view Matt Carpenter as a candidate for the corner outfield this season. (Source: Jeff Jones on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This means that, without the universal DH, Carpenter will mostly be a backup player in 2021. He's blocked at first base by Paul Goldschmidt and at third base by Nolan Arenado. He could see a handful of starts at second base this season, but he's a defensive liability there. Carpenter has virtually no fantasy value entering spring training.

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez said he was never 100 percent healthy last season following his bout with COVID-19.

Fantasy Impact: Martinez has underlying asthma and was never completely comfortable. He said he did not have the strength he once had. It was his worst season of his career in last year's shortened season, pitching to the tune of a 9.90 ERA across five starts. Martinez should not have a problem maintaining a spot in the Cardinals starting rotation where he will be looking to bounce back in a huge way.

Category: Injury Updates

Yadier Molina and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a $9 million deal. The veteran catcher heads into his 18th season with the same team. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: In 2020, Yadier Molina hit four home runs, 12 runs, and 16 RBI with a .262 batting average. Over his entire career, he typically provided a healthy .281 career batting average. The BAT X projects Molina for 11 home runs, 48 runs, 50 RBI, and three steals with a .249 batting average in 446 plate appearances. Over the past month, his NFBC ADP hovers right inside the top 300 picks, which makes him a catcher target later in drafts.

Category: Transactions

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that Dexter Fowler is being traded to the Angels. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Fowler is owed $16.5 million in the final year of his five-year contract with the Cardinals. Now 34 years old, Fowler struggled last summer, hitting .233 with a .706 OPS. He should begin the season in an everyday role for the Angels, but he won't start the year with much fantasy relevance.

Category: Transactions

Harrison Bader and the Cardinals avoid arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $2.0 million deal. (Source: Bob Nightengale on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Bader avoids arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal with the Cardinals. He has elite speed, but slashed .226/.336/.443 across 125 plate appearances in 2020. Bader is mainly an option in NL-only league formats.

Category: Transactions

Alex Reyes and the Cardinals have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $900,000 deal. (Source: Bob Nightengale on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Reyes is preparing to pitch the 2021 season as a starter. The former prospect has dealt with injuries over the years, which prevented him from reaching his full potential. Reyes pitched well in 2020, owning a (2-1) record along with a 3.20 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and a 27:14 K:BB over 19 2/3 innings. He will compete in Spring Training for a rotation spot in 2021.

Category: Transactions

John Gant agreed to a one-year, $2.1 million deal with the Cardinals on Thursday, avoiding arbitration. The deal is fully guaranteed. (Source: Bobby Nightengale on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Gant registered a stellar 2.40 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and a 18:7 K/BB ratio across 15 innings out of the Cardinals bullpen in 2020. The 28-year old will likely work middle relief for the Cards next season but has the potential to pitch in higher-leverage situations if things go well.

Category: Transactions

Cardinals 1B Paul Goldschmidt underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow. (Source: Jeff Jones on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Goldschmidt didn't miss any time with his elbow issue as he played in 58-of-60 games this year. He hit .304 with an .883 OPS, which was a nice rebound from a disappointing first season with the Cardinals in 2019. Goldy should be fully healthy entering spring training next year.

Category: Injury Updates

The Cardinals declined Kolten Wong's $12.5 million option for 2021. (Source: Jeff Jones on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Wong had an underwhelming year at the plate this past summer, hitting .265 with one homer and a .676 OPS in 53 games. The Cardinals are reportedly still interested in keeping him in St. Louis, however. Wong still has a lot of defensive value to offer as a starting second baseman.

Category: Transactions

Daniel Ponce de Leon was handed the loss on Thursday in Game 2 of the Wild Card Round when he allowed three runs on two hits with a pair of strikeouts and a walk over an inning pitched in the Cardinals 11-9 loss.

Fantasy Impact: Ponce de Leon entered a 6-6 ball game in the bottom of the seventh inning and instantly gave up a solo blast to Wil Myers. He subsequently walked Austin Nola but punched out the next two batters before Fernando Tatis Jr. took him to the opposite field to break the game open. The St. Louis pen struggled mightily in this one and the Slam Diego offense came out to play. Game 3 on Friday should be a barn burner.

Category: Game Recaps

Giovanny Gallegos blew the save on Thursday when he allowed two runs on three hits with a strikeout over 2/3 of an inning in the Cardinals 11-9 loss to the Padres.

Fantasy Impact: Gallegos wasn't the only St. Louis reliever to struggle in this game but he was the only one credited with a blown save. After Genesis Cabrera walked two batters and struck out Trent Grisham, Gallegos entered the ball game to replace him. The Cards were holding a 6-2 advantage before Fernando Tatis Jr. smacked a three-run bomb off Gallegos. Manny Machado was up next and he delivered the game-tying home run. Gallegos got the next two outs with a Tommy Pham double between them. All in all, a rough but brief day at the office for the 29-year old.

Category: Game Recaps

Adam Wainwright took a no-decision on Thursday when he surrendered two runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts over 3 1/3 innings in the Cardinals 11-9 loss to the Padres in Game 2 on Thursday.

Fantasy Impact: Waino was cruising through the first three innings, only allowing three hits and a walk to the mighty San Diego offense. But he ran out of steam in the bottom of the fourth when he allowed three-straight singles and a force out to give up his first run. He then recorded a walk and was replaced by Austin Gomber, who walked in another run, which was credited to Wainwright. The Cardinals must now play in a pivotal Game 3 on Friday to determine who will advance to the NLDS.

Category: Game Recaps

Paul DeJong went 2-for-2 with a double, an RBI, a run scored, and two walks in the Cardinals 7-4 Wild Card win over the Padres on Wednesday.

Fantasy Impact: DeJong had a day at the dish, reaching base in all four of his plate appearances. The shortstop limped to a .212/.302/.263 batting line in September so the multi-hit performance was a step in the right direction. The Cardinals will look to close out the series on Thursday when they face Zach Davies.

Category: Game Recaps