Robinson and Chambers battle for bench spot

Robinson and Chambers battle for bench spot

Credit: Getty Images

HOUSTON,TX-JUNE 05: Shane Robinson #43 of the St. Louis Cardinals comes up short on a shallow fly ball against the Houston Astros on June 5, 2012 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

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by Brian Feldman, BaseballStL

BaseballStL

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Updated Saturday, Oct 26 at 1:00 AM

(BaseballStL) -- The battle for the backup center field job remains open here in camp and the likeliest candidates for it include Shane Robinson and Adron Chambers. These are two very different guys when it comes to what they bring to the table. Robinson is a right-handed bat that offers better overall defense and a better arm. He's also got slightly more big league experience than Chambers does. Now, Chambers, he's got Robinson on several other areas as well. A left-handed bat, the ex-football player has speed like no one else's business. That's something this team just does not have enough of at all levels. That allows Chambers to cover more ground in the outfield, beat out infield hits and put pressure on a defense by running the bases.

But don't discount what side they hit from the plate. With the everyday lineup set (Matt Holliday in LF, Jon Jay in CF, Carlos Beltran in RF, David Freese at 3B, Rafael Furcal the SS, Daniel Descalso likely at 2B, Allen Craig manning 1B and Yadier Molina the C) that leaves five bench spots. Matt Carpenter, Ty Wigginton and Tony Cruz are locks. It's hard to imagine Ronny Cedeno not making this team after getting a major league guaranteed deal. So there's one spot left on the bench. Well, let's look at what's there. Carpenter is the only lefty among the bunch while Wigginton, Cedeno and Cruz all bat from the right side. You don't really count the backup catcher because that person never gets used since no one else can catch. They're there in an emergency. But of the other four spots, you've got two righties and one lefty. If Robinson were to make this team that'd make it three righties and a lefty. If Chambers were to make it you'd then have two of each, much more balance.

I'm in no way suggesting this will be the final decision maker for that backup job to Jon Jay. But if their performances are close in spring training it could be a factor.

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