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Harrison Bader to Start 2021 on IL

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MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Miami Marlins Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Just over a week away from Opening Day in Cincinnati, the Cardinals announced on Wednesday that Harrison Bader will open the season on the injured list and miss at least four weeks as he deals with a ‘flare up’ of a right forearm injury.

The 2021 season is going to be an important one for Bader. After 2020 was hard to draw any conclusions from due to all the COVID-19 regulations, 2021 is said to be ‘the year’ to evaluate Bader — to see what he truly brings to the table and what he can do for the ballclub.

You may recall Bader missing a week of games at the beginning of the month, and this injury has been lingering since. Bader had just three hits in 10 Grapefruit League games. This also brings some clarity as to why Dylan Carlson has been starting in centerfield. So with Carlson in center, and Tyler O’Neill the likely candidate in left, this leaves an opening in right field to be filled by Lane Thomas or Justin Williams. John Nogowski is a possibility as well, as he has been taking reps in the outfield.