Opening Day roster projection, second guess

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

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

Catchers (2)
Yadier Molina
Jason LaRue

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

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

* Yep, only one change, and that’s the obvious one, bringing in D.Reyes. If anything, some of my opinions got stronger. It’s very clear to me that, barring a surprise, the Opening Day starting infield is set and Mather will go as an infielder. It’s looking a LOT like a four-man outfield rotation with Ludwick/Ankiel/Duncan/Rasmus all getting significant time. That means, again, that I could see an extra infielder over Barton, but I’m not expecting it.

* I still think they’re going to take a long man as the 12th guy, and the Reyes addition makes that a stronger opinion. Too many short relievers not to have an innings guy.

I’ll check in with y’all from Kissimmee tomorrow.
-M.

16 Comments

I suppose the little change in this projection is no surprise. This is likely the most secure roster the Cardinals have had this early in the spring in a long time.

I don’t think fielding will have any final result in whether the Cardinals will take an extra outfielder or and extra infielder. There seem to be enough players to fill both in the infield and the outfield, so it makes sense to take whoever would be most beneficial offensively.

-KB,
BaseballYakker.com

Very excited about this projected lineup. I am very interested in seeing Skip and Joey Bombs at the 2B and 3B spots.

http://buschshouseofcards.blogspot.com

Dude…common man…..Mr. Leach, do you have an inside scoop with TLR or something because unless he has told you that Motte isn’t on the roster then I still think you’re crazy?….I still think it’s inconceivable to keep Thompson in and Motte out especially with the spring that both are having and the other fact that Motte got the save over Perez in the Dominican game and is having a much better start than Perez…Thompson is pitching terribly and if he keeps it up I can see him being cut because he has been with the team so long and nothing seems to be working out…a new place to play may be the best thing for him because he does have talent as a starter….With Motte in, McClellan takes over as long relief….makes perfect sense to me…And I liked the article recently about TLR saying he may go with three lefties and a 13 man pitching staff….I guess it depends on how the other two lefties pitch now that Reyes is in which is a great pick up….it makes a lot of sense…We’ll see what happens….If I was in town I would make a wager with you!! Other than that I agree with you highly about Tyler Greene (Could be the SS of the future if Khalil doesnt work out) and also agree with Barton especially after his recent play….this team could win 100 games if they stay healthy…wish we still would of picked up a starting pitcher…makes me nervous that no one else besides Pedro is out there and being apprehensive about Carp…well see what happens…cant wait for the season!

Matt,

Later this year you should do a piece on “Little Luhnow’s Minor League Achievers” – minor league youth of promise but without the necessary means for a – necessary means to reach the Big Leagues…this year.

More relevant – Who are the three starting outfielders on opening day (your gut feeling)?

-Tom

I could absolutely be wrong.
But one thing I’ve learned from seven-plus seasons covering this team is this: never underestimate the power of the path of least resistance. Going with BT at the start of the year as a backup option, and sending Motte down for a while at the start of the year to keep refining, is the path of least resistance.

Would I bet the house on it? Absolutely not. But if I had to make a call right now, that’s how I figure it happens.

-M.

McClellan hasn’t looked stellar so far this ST. Any chance that he could be the one to start in AAA, not Motte, M?

If Glaus was healthy, who do you think would be sent down?

Re: McClellan… Great example of why not to pay too much attention to spring stats. Look at his line from yesterday, it doesn’t look good. But he was outstanding for two innings, then betrayed by his defense in the third. He was good. And even if not, he’d have to be AWFUL this spring not to make the team. Barring something shocking, he’s on.

-M.

Re: Glaus… I can’t really answer that, for this reason. His absence has really altered the entire plan — if he were playing, they’d be divvying up a lot of the playing time much differently.

-M.

Starters, agreed. Relief, Definitely add Motte, Thompson is questionable and McClellan needs to show more immediately. Predict one young arm from ST, maybe Walters. Infield, Greene or Ryan but not both. Outfield, agreed.

Again, what more does McClellan need to show? Two excellent innings, and in the third, a ball got away from Duncan that should have been caught. If it’s caught, his line is totally different.

He pitched very well. I honestly don’t understand why people are down on him for yesterday’s game.

-M.

Question dude. With the potential for the 4 outfielders to take all the playing time, and with mather in the infield, is it possible that they break camp with 13 pitchers? Basically leaving off Barton and adding Motte. On days against lefties they could move Mather to the outfield and go with Ryan or T. Greene at 3rd. I just see so much flexiblity in the hitters roster that the extra pitcher could be an easy possibility. TLR could then mix and match the bullpen like crazy and still have the innings protection with Thompson.

Possible? Yeah. Likely? I don’t think so. But it is one possible way to solve the question of 8 relievers for 7 spots.

-M.

Again Duncans bat is saving his job with him in the outfield we would have been better off signing Manny for the Jack and giving a real power threat. Is there any voices in the shadows that Chris could be traded anytime soon? And as far as McC the kid might be someone that in the years to come to take over as a starter I like him!

If i were you I’d find a place for Motte on that list. He may not end up closing this year but he COULD be the man, considering the options — and you don’t want to be on record predicting the guy doesn’t even make the team!!!!

It would be a crying shame if Motte wasn’t on the roster come opening day. If La Russa thinks that his team is better off with any of those relief guys rather than Motte he is out of his mind.

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