Tommy Edman recovering from surgery, expected to start season in outfield

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ST. LOUIS – Super-utility man Tommy Edman is recovering from offseason surgery, but he’s expected to be ready by the start of spring training, according to new reports Thursday.

Edman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist in October. The surgery addresses a nagging injury for Edman, who spent several weeks on the injured list last summer due to wrist inflammation.

St. Louis Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak hadn’t publicly disclosed Edman’s injury or any other updates on team health until Thursday in a report from’s John Denton.

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Earlier in the offseason, however, Mozeliak acknowledged during the Winter Meetings that the Cardinals were preparing to open the season with Edman in the outfield, possibly as the team’s starting centerfielder.

This decision comes after Edman was nominated for the National League’s superutility Gold Glove award in back-to-back seasons for his defensive efforts at several positions. He played more than 40 games at three positions (second base, shortstop and centerfield) last season.

As the 2023 season progressed, Edman started earning more opportunities in centerfield due to several injuries among the Cardinals outfield core and the promotion of top infield prospect Masyn Winn. The experiment turned out to be a nice surprise with Edman logging a .990 fielding percentage in centerfield and coming up with several big warning-track plays. His speed also makes him a viable asset just about anywhere.

Prior to last season, Edman had split time nearly half-and-half at second base in shortstop in 2022 and primarily handled second base in 2021. The emergence of Nolan Gorman and Brendan Donovan, two other second base options, has challenged the Cardinals to get creative with their lineups in recent years.

Edman is still a regular in the lineup, having played in 92% of games over the last three seasons, but he embraced more of a platoon role in 2023. Donovan also covers several positions. With some clutter in the infield and the outfield looking a little less crowded after the Tyler O’Neill trade, Edman’s most consistent path to playing time this year could very well come through the outfield.

Now 27 years old, Edman is under team control for two more seasons and could become a free agent in 2025 without a contract extension. He matched a career high with 13 home runs last season and finished with at least 25 stolen bases in his third straight season.

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