No tidbits for you today, since they pretty much made it all onto the site in various forms. But I wanted to expound some on something I wrote regarding the cuts today.
The roster math is shaping up quite a bit, especially on the pitching side. There is exactly one pitching decision to be made: who will be the fifth starter.
When Fernando Salas and Pete Parise, two dark-horse roster candidates, were cut, it narrowed things down a great deal. For one thing, it cemented Mitchell Boggs’ and Blake Hawksworth’s places on the roster. Six relievers are now set: Ryan Franklin, Jason Motte, Boggs, Hawksworth, Trever Miller and Dennys Reyes. That’s in addition to the four starters who are set: Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse.
That’s 10 pitchers. No. 11 will be Kyle McClellan, either as the 11th reliever or the fifth starter. And from there, you answer the other question.
If McClellan is the fifth starter, then Adam Ottavino almost certainly becomes the seventh reliever. If Jaime Garcia or Rich Hill is the fifth starter, then McClellan is the seventh reliever.
A trade is possible. Rich Hill going to the bullpen is, distantly, possible. But in all reality, it comes down to that decision: McClellan to start and Ottavino to relieve, or one of the lefties to start and McClellan to relieve.
Elsewhere on the roster, the two catchers are of course set. You knew seven infielders and outfielders were set: Pujols, Schumaker, Ryan, Lopez, Holliday, Rasmus, Ludwick. But it’s become clear that so are two others: Freese and Mather. Mather is the backup center fielder. That’s pretty much done.
So then you’re looking at two other questions. One, what they do with the middle infield. If no trade materializes for Julio Lugo, then Lugo will very likely be on and Tyler Greene off — assuming Lugo is healthy. If Lugo can’t play, Greene makes the team.
It’s very difficult to envision Jon Jay making the team, though he’s still here so he hasn’t been eliminated yet. But if Jay is out, and I believe he will be, then the other remaining question is Stavinoha versus Craig. I believe Craig has the upper hand, but I also believe it’s not set in stone.
Really, though, on March 22, we have a surprisingly clear idea of how the roster will shake down.
The Hold Steady, “Hurricane J”
That’s it, that’s today’s playlist. I’ve listened to it about 5 times already.