St. Louis Cardinals Opening Day Lineup: Jason Heyward Debuts

St. Louis Cardinals Opening Day has finally arrived. The Cardinals’ lineup against the Chicago Cubs will include Jason Heyward for the first time, and Adam Wainwright will take the mound for his first start of the season. As revealed by Yahoo! Sports, Heyward is going to hit second in the batting order and play right field on April 5. He was a huge offseason acquisition from the Atlanta Braves and is crucial in providing a lot of offense at the top of the order.

Third baseman Matt Carpenter assumes the leadoff role and will look to continue setting the table for the rest of the lineup. Left fielder Matt Holliday bats third and shortstop Jhonny Peralta will assume the cleanup role. The rest of the Opening Day batting order for the Cardinals has first baseman Matt Adams fifth and he hits before catcher Yadier Molina, second baseman Kolten Wong, center fielder Jon Jay, and Wainwright in the ninth spot.

In the 2014 MLB season, the St. Louis Cardinals finished 90-72 and won the National League Central. The team beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the divisional round of the NL Playoffs but ended up losing to the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS. The Giants would go on to win the World Series and the Cardinals would have to begin re-tooling for the 2015 campaign. As previously reported on the Inquisitr, though, there was also some bad news for the team, as outfield prospect Oscar Taveras died in a car accident in his home country.

Following the loss of Taveras, the Cardinals completed a trade with the Atlanta Braves to acquire Jason Heyward and pitcher Jordan Walden for Tyrell Jenkins and Shelby Miller. Losing Miller hurt the depth of the starting rotation but gaining Heyward immediately improved upon the outfield. In 2014, he posted a 0.271 batting average with 40 extra-base hits and 20 stolen bases for the Braves. He also won a Gold Glove for the team and will look to bring that great defense to the NL Central.

Having Opening Day against the Chicago Cubs is also a fitting revelation, as this is the team many baseball analysts are predicting could make a run at the World Series for the next few years. The Cubs will first have to deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, and the teams will open the 2015 MLB campaign. First pitch is at 8:05 p.m. ET, and ESPN2 will be carrying the game nationally as Adam Wainwright faces off against Jon Lester.

[Image Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images]