Opening Day roster projection, first guess

This is one of my favorite traditions here at OYNAG, and it’s a little more difficult and interesting this year with all of the variables. So let’s get to it, and please feel free to contribute. The traffic has been unbelievable, but the comments have been sparse — y’all are always invited to participate, as long as you’re civil and respectful.

Starting pitchers (5)
Adam Wainwright
Chris Carpenter
Kyle Lohse
Todd Wellemeyer
Joel Pineiro

Relief pitchers (7)
Ryan Franklin
Trever Miller
Kyle McClellan
Chris Perez
Josh Kinney
Royce Ring
Brad Thompson

Catchers (2)
Yadier Molina
Jason LaRue

Infielders (6)
Albert Pujols
Skip Schumaker
Khalil Greene
Joe Mather
Brendan Ryan
Tyler Greene

Outfielders (5)
Rick Ankiel
Ryan Ludwick
Chris Duncan
Colby Rasmus
Brian Barton

Notes:
* Two days ago I told 101ESPN’s Brian Feldman, when he brought up the possibility of Barton making the team, that I just couldn’t see it. Now I’ve put it all together, and it looks much likelier than when I said that. BUT…

* One possible alternative is to replace Barton with another infielder. Essentially take 4 outfielders, 6 infielders and Mather who kind of counts as both. I can definitely see that.

* By far the hardest call at this point is the last bullpen spot. I just am guessing right now that if they have that many one-inning guys, they will take a long man in Thompson. But obviously Motte threw really well today, and he could be the Opening Day closer just as easily as he could be in Memphis.

* Next hardest is the last two infield spots. Ryan’s health will obviously be a huge factor here. If he’s out for a long time, it drastically cuts his chances of opening the season in StL. I think Mather will open the season as the 3B, and if Freese isn’t starting, I can’t really envision him on the roster. I just have a hunch about Greene, who right now is one of the early camp darlings, but I definitely would not rule out Barden. Thurston right now appears to be fourth in that race.

* I would not rule out the possibility of a LHRP signing before camp is out.

Now playing on the iPod: the wonderful “49 songs for 49 days” playlist that Mrs. Dude made for me before I left. “Without a Trace” by Soul Asylum is a really, really great song.

And one final thing: Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MatthewHLeach.

-M.

9 Comments

Comments are sparse because one must register with MLB.com to leave a comment, which is just insane. I only registered with MLB.com so that I could complain about being forced to register with MLB.com just to leave a comment!

I like the roster, with a couple comments. Schu and Mather deserve asterisks as infielder/outfielders. Motte could very well end up on the roster, no doubt in my mind that he’s the closer of the future, the near future. Freese will either be the starting 3B or he’ll be in Memphis. At this point I agree with Memphis, since he’s not healthy yet and falling further back each day.

You just have to scratch your head! This line up has lots of???? You just hope for the best. Hey, stranger things have happened. Go Pujols!!!

Hey M,
Is that starting pitching in order, for what you think I mean?

Just from what i’ve seen, which is quite minimal, Manning would be my pick for the 2nd LHRP, looks like he’s gotta pretty live arm. I also agree that Motte is more likely to start closing in Memphis. Plus the only guy I’d switch him with is Thompson but it’s good to have him up for the spot start.

I like T. Greene as well, he’s def opening eyes and has some good wheels. Though I’d imagine he’d be the one to go when Glaus returns barring some miraclous play. Hoffpauir has been fun to watch too, he took a quick turn around 3rd today and got me interested.
-B-

This makes more sense to me than the one above:

Starting pitchers (5)
Adam Wainwright
Chris Carpenter
Kyle Lohse
Todd Wellemeyer
Joel Pineiro

Relief pitchers (8)
Ryan Franklin
Trever Miller
Kyle McClellan
Chris Perez
Jason Motte
Josh Kinney
Royce Ring
Charlie Manning

Catchers (2)
Yadier Molina
Jason LaRue

Infielders (6)
Albert Pujols
Skip Schumaker
Khalil Greene
Joe Mather
Brian Barden
Tyler Greene

Outfielders (4)
Rick Ankiel
Ryan Ludwick
Chris Duncan
Colby Rasmus

To not have Motte in the bullpen would be insane beyond belief….I also like Manning more than Ring but the Cards signed Ring for around $500,000 I believe so there not gonna keep him in the minors or release him if he has a good spring. I thought they might actually carry three lefties this season considering how much of a jam we’ve been in with lefties over the years. It doesn’t make sense that they would sign Manning who had a great year against lefties pitching more than 40 total innings (much more dominant than Ring) then keep him in the minors. Also take a look at their minor league records: http://www.fangraphs.com. Manning is much better than Ring although both have decent stats. Thompson hasn’t even been used in a game yet and I just don’t see them keeping him in the bullpen. I see him as a emergency starter call up along with Blake Hawksworth. As far as the infielders on the bench. Once again, look at Ryan’s stats from the website above (just type in their names in the player search box on the top left). I really don’t see what they see in this guy. His stats are mediocure at best, his defense is alright but figity (TLR has even said something to that effect before). Give these young guys like Barden and Tyler Green a chance because they’ve had some pretty good success so far. The Cardinals for so long haven’t used their farm system enough especially when you try to showcase players for MLB scouts of other teams in a possible trade in the future. Other than that, I trully believe this is going to be one of the top two best teams of TLR’s tenure at STL. The other being the 2004 team. Go Cards!!

I know I just left some lonnnng comment but I made this last week and thought I’d share it…the entire roster and lineup breakdown…I got the lineup order just from what Tony LaRussa has said so far….enjoy…please comment on it:

2009 Lineup

1. Skip Schumaker ? 2nd
2. Joe Mather ? 3rd
3. Albert Pujols ? 1st
4. Rick Ankiel ? Center
5. Ryan Ludwick ? RF
6. Yadier Molina ? Catcher
7. Khail Green ? SS
8. Pitcher
9. Colby Rasmus ? LF

Starting Rotation

1. Chris Carpenter
2. Adam Wainwright
3. Kyle Lohse
4. Todd Wellemeyer
5. Joel Pinero

Bullpen

Chris Perez ? Closer
Trever Miller ? LP
Royce Ring ? LP
Charlie Manning ? LP
Jason Motte ? RP
Kyle McClellan ? RP
Ryan Franklin ? RP
Josh Kinney ? RP

Bench

Jason LaRue ? Catcher
Chris Duncan ? LF/1ST
Brian Barden ? 3rd/2nd/SS
Tyler Greene ? 3rd/2nd/ SS

DL

(Troy Glaus ? 3rd ? April 09? debut)

One more comment after my first looonng two above….Going back to Brian Barton…..I understand we had to keep him on the roster last year to protect him from wavors but once again….look at his minor league stats: http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=2408&position=OF

He did good at A and AA but slowed down as he moved up the chain…I just think he needs more at bats and experience at AAA before we bring him up again…We need to leave room for more crucial experienced players. You can always bring him up if someone goes down.

I certainly won’t rule out any possibility at this point. But it’s very tough for me to see them taking 13 pitchers north. Like I said, I could see them going with 4 1/2 OFs and 6 1/2 IFs, with Mather the half on each. But 13 pitchers, I’d be very surprised.

-M.

Here’s mine.

Starting pitchers (5)
1. Adam Wainwright
2. Chris Carpenter
3. Kyle Lohse
4. Todd Wellemeyer
5. Joel Pineiro

Relief pitchers (7)
Brad Thompson (long relief/mop up)
Kyle McClellan
Trever Miller
Josh Kinney
Royce Ring
Ryan Franklin (set-up)
Chris Perez (closer)

Catchers (2)
Yadier Molina
Jason LaRue

Infielders (6 1/2)
Albert Pujols
Skip Schumaker
Khalil Greene
Joe Mather
Brendan Ryan
Brian Barden
David Freese (think he’ll recover in enough to make a splash)

Outfielders (4 1/2)
Rick Ankiel
Ryan Ludwick
Chris Duncan (I can very easily see him losing this spot to Barton, though)
Colby Rasmus
Joe Mather

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