Opening Day roster projection, first guess

It’s time for an annual game that I usually start playing earlier in the spring. But I’m gone for the next couple of days (old friend’s wedding), so this seems like a good discussion piece to leave in the interim. This is an informed guess. I may be right, I may be wrong, but it’s my best guess as of right now.

Starting Pitchers (5)
Chris Carpenter
Adam Wainwright
Brad Penny
Kyle Lohse
Kyle McClellan
Relief Pitchers (7)
Ryan Franklin
Jason Motte
Mitchell Boggs
Blake Hawksworth
Dennys Reyes
Trever Miller
Fernando Salas (this spot will go to SOMEBODY who made the team in camp, IMO — unless, of course, Hill or Garcia starts and the last RH reliever is McClellan. But as of now I have McClellan in the rotation and Salas beating out a group that includes Josh Kinney and Pete Parise. VERY subject to change)
Catchers (2)
Yadier Molina
Jason LaRue
Infielders (6)
Albert Pujols
Skip Schumaker
Brendan Ryan
David Freese
Felipe Lopez
Julio Lugo
Outfielders (5)
Matt Holliday
Colby Rasmus
Ryan Ludwick
Allen Craig
Joe Mather


I think if Garcia continues to pitch as well as he has, he will win the 5th spot. Then McClellan can move back to the pen to solidify it. I think this is the ideal setup because we would have a better 5th starter and have a better bullpen. If McClellan starts, Garcia goes to AAA and then an unknown bullpen guy like Salas would have to make the team (unless Kinney can get healthy quickly). Plus we have no idea how deep McClellan will be able to get into games. He may fizzle out at 4-5 innings as a starter.

The only thing I don’t like about Garcia winning the last spot is that we wouldn’t have a known 6th starter (in case of injury to one of our starters) if Hill doesn’t accept his minor league demotion.

My 2 cents.

Matthew, what are the chances that TLR willl want to start with eight(!!) relievers for the month of April, until arms are all ready to go? Not saying he SHOULD, mind you, but WILL he? I’d almost expect it, with the likely result that either Craig or Mather starts in Memphis and comes up when the bullpen shrinks down to the way you have it.

The member of the staff I have the least confidence in is Boggs. He has done nothing to keep a spot on the roster during his time in the majors. Why not consider making a reliever out of Ottavino? It worked out well last season, moving Hawksworth from the rotation at Memphis to the Cardinals’ bullpen. I don’t think the organization is ready to give up on 2006 first round pick Ottavino yet. Perhaps the big righty would do better than Boggs.

As for Garcia’s chances at making the rotation, how about giving him a fair chance by starting some games?

I know I’m not the brightest bulb in the ceiling but can’t help but wonder when we begin to get concerned about Franklin. Has he had TWO good outings all spring?? The bullpen is beginning to look suspect with Franklin, Boggs, Hawksworth all having less than stellar performance so far.

Indeed, the bullpen seems to be our weakest link right now. With Motte getting hammered, Boggs struggling to find consistency, and Franklin being his usual underwhelming self, we could be in for a repeat of ’08. Matt, any chances we trade for a set-up man or closer? Honestly, watching Allen Craig swing the bat makes me feel like Ludwick is expendable…

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