It’s a little more real now.
Yesterday, the Cardinals announced the 44 players that would be training at Busch Stadium for the next three weeks. This is the group that the initial 30 man roster will be made of. The other 16 (did I do the math right this time, unlike Saturday?) will be announced soon, probably this afternoon. So let’s see who is going to St. Louis.
Just like the beginning of spring training, this summer camp has a heavy load of catchers. Besides Yadier Molina and Matt Wieters, who will probably the only ones on the 30-man, you also have Andrew Knizner, Ivan Herrera, and Jose Godoy. Now, when traveling, teams can take along three extra players as long as one of them is a catcher (two otherwise). Given Molina’s legendary stamina, I feel like it’s unlikely that the club would do that, but I could also see Godoy riding around all summer, since he won’t need any development. Probably depends on what the catching situation is in Springfield with the spare parts.
Let’s run around the horn. Matt Carpenter, Paul DeJong, Tommy Edman, Paul Goldschmidt, Brad Miller, John Nogowski, Rangel Ravelo, Max Schrock, Edmundo Sosa, Kolten Wong. Mr. Kyle Reis and I discussed Nogowski this weekend on Twitter after my post Saturday, so I’m glad that I got that one right. He and Schrock are guys that can help fill in at Springfield without you being concerned that they aren’t getting enough playing time and are close enough to the majors that, if something goes wrong, they can come up without incident. If they add Schrock because of a Wong injury, for instance, can they take him off the 40-man later? Does he automatically stay at Springfield or does he become a free agent? Some logistical issues that I don’t know the answer to.
The outfielders are pretty much what you’d expect in Harrison Bader, Dylan Carlson, Austin Dean, Dexter Fowler, Tyler O’Neill, Lane Thomas, and Justin Williams. Carlson is here, but I’m still not expecting him to go north….um, stay in St. Louis with the club. Most of these guys are going to wind up in Springfield, I think. Again, there’s not as much need for pinch-hitters with the DH, so probably not as many OF are on the active roster as there might have been otherwise. We’ll see, of course.
That leaves 22 pitchers, fully half of the bodies that will be starting out at Busch. That’s no surprise, as we’ve talked about for a while, given how the starters aren’t going to be going long. So we’ve got (deep breath)…..Génesis Cabrera, Brett Cecil, Junior Fernandez, Jack Flaherty, Giovanny Gallegos, John Gant, Austin Gomber, Ryan Helsley, Jordan Hicks, Dakota Hudson, Kwang-Hyun Kim, Carlos Martínez, Miles Mikolas, Andrew Miller, Johan Oviedo, Daniel Ponce de Leon, Alex Reyes, Ricardo Sánchez, Adam Wainwright, Tyler Webb, Kodi Whitley, and Jake Woodford. There are a few folks in here, like perhaps Oviedo, that you might have expected to start in Springfield. They will be there, most likely, but it is interesting that the Cardinals are interested enough to see what they have in the big camp.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the cuts come and when they come. There are 14 too many folks here. Will they all get chopped at the same time, right before Opening Day? Will a catcher and some arms head to Springfield soon after that camp gets established? I imagine there will be some staggering but most will go at the end of camp, especially since the valuation methods are going to be much different this time around.
The 16 that will be announced today or tomorrow will be really interesting. You’d expect Nolan Gorman, Matthew Liberatore, and Zack Thompson, which will make the scrimmages and games in southwest Missouri very watchable (if they’d put them on TV). Who else, though? Could you see Tony Locey, just because of not having much time last year to really develop? Could Jordan Walker or Masyn Winn make their debut in this manner? There’s going to be a lot more uncertainty about this group, I think, which makes it fascinating to see who makes it!