Cardinals Make First Round of Roster Cuts.

Josh Calloni, Reporter

The Cardinals are two weeks away from heading north to open the season in Milwaukee, have made their first round of spring training roster cuts.

The team cut their roster down sixteen players in all, four of which have not appeared in a game yet this spring, those being Dennis Ortega, Julio Rodriguez, Jose Godoy and Brian O’Keefe, all catchers. Ramon Urias was one of the first players to get cut, after batting .292 and hitting a homerun in 25 at bats. Urias is on the 40 Man Roster, meaning he can be called up at any time this season. Urias is known to be a bat first type of player, with defense that is sub par. Lane Thomas was also cut, an outfielder, also on the 40 Man, who recently broke onto the scene as a legitimate prospect. After being acquired from Toronto for cash in late 2017, Thomas slugged 27 home runs in his first full season with the team in 2018, and hit .429 in seven at bats in Spring Training, before going down with a hamstring injury.

“Urias really impressed during spring training, him and Randy Arozarena impressed me in every aspect of the game this spring,” junior Blake Haffer said.

Multiple pitchers were sent down as well, among them being one of the teams highly touted young arms, Ryan Helsley. Helsley, who is able to hit 100 on the radar gun frequently, was roughed up to a 5.79 ERA in spring training. Helsley, like the others, is on the Cardinals 40-Man Roster. They also optioned left hander Genesis Cabrera, who was the centerpiece of the trade that sent Tommy Pham to Tampa Bay last July. Cabrera struggled all spring and, despite being a highly touted prospect, he is still young and is not projected to see major league time immediately, but is on the 40 Man as well. With these two, Seth Elledge, acquired for Sam Tuivailala last July, Connor Jones, Jake Woodford and lefty Evan Kruczynski to minor league camp.

“Helsley showed pretty good life on his fastball thing spring, and good movement, he just needs to work on locating a little before hitting the bigs in my opinion,” senior Hunter Kinsey said.

Finally, a few players with major league experience were sent down as well. Adolis Garcia was among them, who was one of the many players who came up from Memphis last year with all the injuries the team sustained. Garcia did not hit well in spring training, and is buried on the depth chart, but can be expected to have playing time in 2019 eventually. Edmundo Sosa was also sent down, who was up with the big club in 2018 for the last week of the season. Sosa, a shortstop, has long been a prospect in the system, and while he is defensive minded, his batting stats are coming around. Non roster invitee Williams Perez was sent down as well. Perez has bounced around the league, from Atlanta to Seattle, playing in the bigs with Atlanta in 2016 and 2017. Perez appeared only once in spring training action. Finally, right handed Giovanny Gallegos was sent down. Gallegos was acquired from the Yankees in last years lopsided Luke Voit trade, and after putting up good strikeout numbers in AAA, was roughed up this spring, allowing two home runs, with a 9.82 ERA.

The Cardinals roster remains at 55, meaning 30 more players have to be optioned before opening day.