Now happily married to his high-school sweetheart, feeling strong in his workouts, and excited about the new additions to the St. Louis Cardinals lineup, “Big City” Matt Adams is anxious to get into the 2015 season.
“I really think that the Central is going to be a fun race this year,” said Adams at the Winter Warm-Up. “Everybody in there’s going to be tough and it’s going to be a battle, day in and day out, but that’s what good baseball is all about. So, I think it’s going to be fun.”
Armed with some suggestions from Jose Oquendo, Adams has been in the cage since December, again working on his at-bats against sliders, curveballs, and changeups too.
“We’re tweaking some stuff, trying to make it better,” explained Adams. “It all comes down to just getting out there and just seeing the live arms. Doing some stuff in the cage and then just really narrow it down when we start the live batting practice down in Jupiter.”
Both John Mozeliak and Mike Matheny have been clear that Adams is the starting first baseman and is expected to get upwards of 500 at-bats but Mark Reynolds was signed as a free agent to provide a power boost from the right-side of the plate, either spelling Adams or coming off the bench.
“That’s a question for Mike,” said Adams of how the playing time might sort itself out. “Whatever’s the best fit out there for us to win ballgames is what Mike’s going to do and I’m all for that.”
Limited to 130 plate appearances, Adams hit just three home runs against left-handed pitchers in the regular season. However in the postseason, two of his three home runs came in dramatic fashion against two of the toughest southpaws in the game.
“That’s huge–that was a huge confidence builder for me,” admits Adams. “Being able to do it off Kershaw and Bumgarner, that really made me feel good. But 2015 is a new year, ’14 is over and ’15 is a new year so we just got to get back to work.”
The 2013 season is also bygone–but Adams plated 17 homers in 319 plate appearances and months like June of last year, in which he hit 6 HRs in 62 PA’s, provide for the belief that bigger power numbers await the 26-year old first baseman.
“I think as long as I continue to go out there and play the game that I know how to play and continue to believe in myself, I think it’s going to be a fun season.”
photo credit: Chris Humphreys, Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports