Last spring training, Joe Mather was thought to have a shot at winning the starting job at third base job when camp started.
But by the time camp ended, largely thanks to a wrist injury, he found himself ticketed to the minors.
Mather says he's healthy again -- recently saying that he plans to try to win the starting job at the hot corner despite the emergence of David Freese and the signing of Felipe Lopez. And if he is, the corner infielder and outfielder might make an interesting case for a spot on the major league roster.
I don't see much chance of Mather winning the job at third, barring a total collapse of both Freese and Lopez. But, while the outfield picture was full last season, it's the most likely landing spot for the 27 year old.
The Cardinals don't really have a good gloved fly chaser to back up the starting three, save for Skip Schumaker, the club's starting second baseman. With the infield now pretty thoroughly covered, the ability to play good defensive outfield could break all ties when it comes to selecting the 25th man.
The Birds have several players who can play multiple positions. But not really anyone besides Schu who seems like a decent candidate to play centerfield on an extended basis if Colby Rasmus should be injured or struggle at the plate.
Of course, how much Mather is considered depends on his ability to hit. A .241 batter with eight homers in 133 at bats for the Cardinals in 2008, Mather didn't hit a lick with his bad wrist hampering him last season at Class AAA Memphis.