MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 23: Alex Cincotta of Carlton in action during the round 18 VFL match between Carlton Blues and GWS Giants at Ikon Park on July 23, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

A handful of Carlton's fringe performers have strengthened their bid for a chance at AFL level as coach Michael Voss weighs up changes to his senior side following Thursday's 56-point loss to Adelaide.

The Crows were able to break the game open with their contested and clearance work, offering Voss plenty to ponder as the Blues turn their attention toward a Round 6 bout against a currently undefeated St Kilda outfit.

Carlton may be forced into at least one change for that match after defender Adam Saad had his Thursday evening end early due to a hamstring complaint.

Ruckman Marc Pittonet (eye) was subbed out of the contest but looks likely to be fit for next week's hitout, while defender Mitch McGovern was a late withdrawal to face his former side due to a minor calf issue prior to the opening bounce.

The trio of ailments, coupled with the result of this week's loss, could see Voss look toward his reinforcements for next week's clash with the Saints as the Blues plan to bounce back from their first defeat of the season.

Seen as a potential inclusion after Sam Docherty's knee tear earlier this week, pre-season recruit Alex Cincotta was again among Carlton's best performers in Friday night's VFL win over Richmond.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 23: Alex Cincotta of Carlton in action during the round 18 VFL match between Carlton Blues and GWS Giants at Ikon Park on July 23, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The Supplemental Selection Period pickup recorded 34 disposals, eight marks, four tackles and 10 inside 50s in the nine-point victory, raising his hand to potentially take Saad's place should the former Sun and Bomber be unable to face St Kilda.

Cincotta was added to the Blues' senior list after a strong campaign for their VFL squad last year and has been seen as a like-for-like replacement for the injured Zac Williams, whose knee injury earlier this year opened up a list spot at Princes Park for Cincotta.

Having collected 69 possessions across his past two games to be a leading figure among the Blues' reserves, Cincotta now firms as a chance to make his AFL debut against the Saints at Marvel Stadium in Round 6.

The mature-aged recruit is among several fringe Blues that have built a case for a call-up across the opening four rounds of VFL season, with maligned midfielder Paddy Dow another that has started the season in fine form.

Dow, who claimed the Blues' best and fairest award at VFL level last year, is averaging 29.3 possessions and 7.3 clearances per game at the state league level in 2023. However, with Voss finally having his full midfield contingent together to face the Crows this week a spot in the senior side will remain hard to come by for Dow.

Utility Brodie Kemp has pieced together a strong opening month in the VFL as a defensive option for the Blues to average over nine marks per game after recording a further 10 against the Tigers to tally 23 in the past fortnight.

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If McGovern's hamstring injury keeps the tall defender out of Voss' side for another week, Kemp could take the place of late inclusion Lachie Plowman, who failed to impress against the Crows.

Rookie Jaxon Binns is another that has turned heads in recent weeks, with the Dandenong Stingrays talent booting two goals from 31 possessions last week against North Melbourne. That vein of form continued against the Tigers as Binns amassed 29 possessions and 11 marks against Richmond at Ikon Park.

The contingent of strong VFL performers will be joined by Jack Martin, Jordan Boyd and Caleb Marchbank in looking to return to the senior side, with the trio hampered by injury in recent weeks.