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Cardinals Current Projected Opening Day Roster Outlook

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Spring Training is only five weeks away and the Cardinals roster is starting to take shape. However, there is still some speculation around multiple spots on the roster.

The starting lineup is one of the few things on the roster that is almost set in stone. Yadier Molina will hold the catcher position, with newly acquired Paul Goldschmidt at first. The middle of the infield outlooks to be Paul DeJong and Kolten Wong, and Matt Carpenter holding down third base, his third different position in as many years. The outfield lineup consists of Marcell Ozuna, Harrison Bader, and barring a huge signing of Bryce Harper, Dexter Fowler should see the majority of time in right field. That same lineup put up some good production in 2018, with the exception of Fowler, who could not hit over .170.

As for the rotation, the Cardinals will hope for more from breakout starters Miles Mikolas and Jack Flaherty. Both put up good numbers in 2018, but were breakout stars. If those two return to 2018 form, and Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, and Adam Wainwright follow suit, the Cardinals rotation could be very scary. However, going into 2019, the Cardinals have rotation depth, something they have not had in the past. John Gant, Austin Gomber and Daniel Poncedeleon could all step into the rotation at moments notice and perform as well as the other five.

The bench about solidified, as 2018 rookie Yairo Munoz will step into the lead utility role that Greg Garcia vacated, and power hitting youngster Tyler O’Neill will be the 4th outfielder, barring injury, and again, a Harper signing. As for the backup catcher, the Cardinals recently signed last years backup Francisco Pena to another minor league deal, meaning he will most likely be in the same role in 2019. Jose Martinez will figure to be the main pinch hitter off the bench, after his role was taken by Goldschmidt. For the last bench spot, the Cardinals have rumored to be interested in a left handed bench hitter, but could back out and go with the first four listed and add another reliever to the active roster.

Speaking of the bullpen, that is the most questioned part of the team. The club has plenty of options, but not many are locked into their roles. Jordan Hicks should have a spot in the bullpen after a huge 2018 season, and newly signed lefty Andrew Miller will also have a prominent role. Both should bounce back and forth in the closer role. While another bullpen signing also seems likely, as of now, there only seem to be a few real locks for the bullpen. John Brebbia, who has been a vital part of the bullpen the last two seasons, will figure to join Chasen Shreve and Dominic Leone on opening day. However, that leaves room for two, or three depending on what Mike Shildt prefers, more relievers.

That leaves a wide open competition between highly paid veterans Luke Gregerson and Brett Cecil, rookies Dakota Hudson and Alex Reyes, Giovanny Gallegos, Tyler Webb and Mike Mayers. Of course, an unexpected prospect like Ryan Helsley or Genesis Cabrera could throw their name into the hat. On top of that, the Cardinals have invited many established big league arms to spring training, including Tommy Layne, Hunter Cervenka, Williams Perez, Chris Beck and Mike Hauschild, all of whom could make the opening day roster with strong springs.

While the opening day roster might seem set, it is far from done, and lots can change in a month in baseball.

About the Writer
Josh Calloni, Reporter

My name is Josh Calloni, and I am a junior here at Timberland. I like to write, and I want to be a sports journalist. I strive to write like Ken Rosenthal....

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Cardinals Current Projected Opening Day Roster Outlook