Now that the dust has settled a little bit on the news of the return of baseball, we can take a look at a few of the items that are going to be an issue in the coming days. Sunday, the teams have to have their 60-man rosters into the league. Who is going to be on it for the Cardinals and where would they be, St. Louis or Springfield? There are other people that are smarter than I that have done this, but I have a series to maintain so let’s give it a whirl.
THE 26-MAN ROSTER
Catcher (2): Yadier Molina, Matt Wieters
Infield (7): Matt Carpenter, Paul DeJong, Tommy Edman, Paul Goldschmidt, Brad Miller, Rangel Ravelo, Kolten Wong
Outfield (4): Harrison Bader, Dexter Fowler, Tyler O’Neill, Lane Thomas
Starters (5): Jack Flaherty, Dakota Hudson, Carlos Martinez, Miles Mikolas, Adam Wainwright
Bullpen (8): Giovanny Gallegos, John Gant, Ryan Helsley, Jordan Hicks, Kwang Hyun Kim, Andrew Miller, Daniel Ponce de Leon, Tyler Webb
Not really much surprise here as this is pretty much the guys you’d expect to be on the roster, no matter if there was a pandemic. The only points that might be in flux would be not taking a fifth outfielder, but I can’t see the team going less than 13 pitchers at all this season and there’s no other hitter you could take off and put a different outfielder on. As for the bullpen, Brett Cecil would be there but we’ve not gotten a lot of information about he’s progressing through his injury that he got at the end of spring. If it’s at all possible to put Cecil on the Injured List, I think they do it. I went with Ponce as another long man because they’ll need someone that can cover multiple innings and they have a lot of left-handed options on the team already, especially if Cecil winds up making the team. I almost cut Gant, because I’m still not convinced having him on the team is a good idea, but I can’t imagine them tossing aside a guy that can go multiple innings with a shortened spring training to make the decision. They’ve stuck with him a lot so far, I imagine they’ll go a bit farther.
Sosa for defensive replacements and to allow for flexibility if Edman winds up playing third all the time. (It’s not like you’ll be pinch-hitting much with the DH, so maybe it’s not as needed.) Gomber gives the innings boost you might need early on, but lost the battle for me with Ponce to stay after rosters make their final cut because of the left-handedness.
Those first couple of weeks, the more arms you have the better I believe. Starters aren’t going to go as deep into games and managers will be figuring out just how to do things with very few off days. Remember, April usually has 3-4 off days in the first couple of weeks. I don’t think you’ll see that at the beginning of this season. Once the starters have made a time or two through the rotation, long relief arms probably won’t be quiet as necessary.
THE SPRINGFIELD TWENTY
Catchers (2): Andrew Knizner, Ivan Herrera
Infield (4): Nolan Gorman, Elehuris Montero, John Nogowski, Max Schrock
Outfield (3): Dylan Carlson, Austin Dean, Justin Williams
Pitchers (11): Seth Elledge, Junior Fernandez, Evan Kruczynski, Matthew Liberatore, Johan Oviedo, Griffin Roberts, Ricardo Sanchez, Alvaro Seijas, Zack Thompson, Kodi Whitley, Jake Woodford
There’s a lot less certainty here. We’re pretty sure on the catchers. Montero, Sanchez, and Seijas are already on the 40-man roster and I don’t think the Cards would want to let them sit at home when they could come up without having to require a waiver move. Every team is going to mix in their top prospects to get them some development, so that’s Gorman, Liberatore, and Thompson. Whitley was in the mix to make the team out of spring training. My dark horse is probably Roberts. He struggled some last year, but we know he has that nasty slider. I think the Cardinals would want to see if they could harness that, because that could make him a very valuable reliever in this shortened season.
How does this compare with your list? Let me know on Twitter!