If you have never been to a Texas League game, this summer provides the best possible chance to see a roster stick together in Springfield. The SCards can’t help but notice that both of the teams immediately around them last year won titles, and promotions could be hard to come by in order to crack even the Memphis roster.
That doesn’t mean the opening day roster will have no movement, just that Palm Beach sounds much nicer this time of year than Missouri. Jack Flaherty already showed how it will work from the Memphis side, as Connor Jones became the first pitcher to swap between both clubs. That means a relocation back to Florida, something everyone should get used to by June.
An entirely new outfield also gets top billing, although Randy Arozarena recently went to AAA and could be the piece that needs to keep a bag packed. Lane Thomas joined the organization last summer via trade, and he is joined by fellow newcomers Granden Goetzman and Victor Roache. They are important cogs on the offensive side that will be anchored by Andrew Knizner, Edmundo Sosa, and a cast wanting to take the next step.
In order to keep the games close, an imposing rotation will do just the trick. Jake Woodford joins Ryan Helsley and fellow top prospect Conner Greene, who was an All-Star for Toronto at the AA level. Greene joined the organization in the Randal Grichuk deal and also holds a coveted 40-man spot so is one to watch early this campaign.
Hector Mendoza and Sam Tewes both are on the radar as possible early adds to Memphis, but they will need to earn it as St. Louis makes bullpen moves this month. In adding a couple of veteran arms to the pen, the Cardinals will need to demote a pair to the Redbirds.
And in turn that only makes Springfield the beneficiary of stronger arms, a must in the lethal Texas League where attrition rules. I can’t wait to get down to Hammons Field and see how all the new pieces fit the puzzle.