Cardinals Dylan Carlson tough injury news paves way to a fresh face

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Dylan Carlson is expected to miss Opening Day. Who will replace him in the lineup?

St. Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins
St. Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

After an impressive spring training in which he won a starting outfield spot, Dylan Carlson will unfortunately miss Opening Day and more with a sprained AC joint in his shoulder.

St. Louis Cardinals manager Oli Marmol had sung Carlson's praises when announcing his decision just a few short days ago, propping up the former top prospect's trade value as a result.

“We had some direct conversations of what was needed,” Marmol said of Carlson. “He answered the bell. I think part of it is allowing him an opportunity to show what he’s capable of doing.”

On Monday, Jordan Walker and Carlson collided in the outfield during a spring training game. Walker, for his part, felt horrible after the fact.

"I gave 100 percent effort trying to catch that ball and I feel really bad for running into him," said Walker. I think I saw him too late, as well. When I'm diving for that ball, I'm trying to get into his sights there. I think it was just a miscommunication on both of our parts."

Who will replace Dylan Carlson in the Cardinals Opening Day lineup?

With Carlson on the mend for the time being, his replacement should be obvious to those who watched the Cardinals this spring. Victor Scott II was Carlson's primary competition for a starting outfield spot. Now that Carlson is injured, Scott will be asked to fill his shoes, even if just momentarily.

Scott II is the Cardinals No. 4-ranked prospect, and has a bright future ahead of him. Marmol had plenty of kind words to say about the young outfielder before sending him to minor-league camp just a few days ago.

“He should be super proud of the work he did this spring,” Marmol said. “[We] got to see the way he goes about his business, how hard he works. A very impressive individual, I’ll tell you that.”

Hopefully, Scott II can keep that same energy when the games actually count.