Cards’ roster set
The Cardinals have set their 25-man roster, settling on three final moves Monday in advance of breaking camp Tuesday.
Bryan Augenstein and Daniel Descalso have made the club in the final bullpen and bench spots, respectively, while Fernando Salas, Eduardo Sanchez and Nick Stavinoha will not be on the Opening Day roster. The club has yet to announce the moves, but a club official confirmed the decisions as first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
When the moves are officially announced, Salas and Sanchez will be optioned to Triple-A Memphis while Stavinoha is re-assigned to Memphis. Stavinoha is not on the 40-man roster.
Augenstein beat out Salas and Sanchez in part because of an excellent spring and in part because his recent starting experience allows him to serve as the Cards’ long reliever. Descalso’s roster spot had appeared secure for a few days, since Matt Carpenter was returned to Minor League camp, but as long as Stavinoha was in camp, it was not a sure thing.
Augenstein, 24, will be on an Opening Day roster for the first time. He made seven appearances for the Diamondbacks in 2009, posting a 7.94 ERA, and struggled through a rough year spent mostly at Triple-A Reno in the Arizona organization last season. The Cardinals claimed him on waivers, and he pitched exceptionally all spring to force their hand.
Salas, 25, pitched very effectively as a rookie reliever in 2010 and likely would be the first man called upon if St. Louis needed a reliever from the Minor Leagues. He also enjoyed a strong spring, but the Cardinals have repeatedly made it clear that ideally they would like to have a long reliever in their bullpen.
The last offensive roster spot goes to Descalso, 24, who impressed in a brief Major League debut last season. He can play second and third base, and manager Tony La Russa has said he would willingly play Descalso at numerous other positions as well. A left-handed hitter, Descalso profiles among other things as the primary backup to David Freese at third base.
The Cardinals’ complete roster is as follows:
Starting pitchers (5): Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, Kyle Lohse, Kyle McClellan, Jake Westbrook.
Relief pitchers (7): Bryan Augenstein, Miguel Batista, Mitchell Boggs, Ryan Franklin, Trever Miller, Jason Motte, Brian Tallet.
Catchers (2): Gerald Laird, Yadier Molina.
Infielders (6): Daniel Descalso, David Freese, Tyler Greene, Albert Pujols, Skip Schumaker, Ryan Theriot.
Outfielders (5): Lance Berkman, Allen Craig, Matt Holliday, Jon Jay, Colby Rasmus.<P>