Big news out of Jupiter today. Potential CF starter Harrison Bader, is out for at least 4 weeks due to a forearm injury that has Bader getting a platement-rich plasma injection. Bader, who was struggling at a 3-28 clip, will be missed defensively – however Dylan Carlson will probably see the bulk of the innings in CF.
What does the Bader injury mean to guys who are on the fringe of making the 26 team roster? I had previously stated (Cards Roster Update 3-10) that I believe Lane Thomas & Justin Williams were already going to make the Cardinals roster as backup outfielders. More news out of Jupiter today, let us know that Justin Williams, who was previously thought to be out of options, has been given 1 more option. This means the Cardinals can send him down to AAA which was previously thought to be something that wouldn’t be available. This decision might have even more implications to the Opening Day roster, than the Bader injury.
The biggest changes in the 26 man roster are the changes to the potential backup OF, bullpen, and starting rotation. I feel that Jose Rondon should make the roster over Edmundo Sosa, but the Cardinals won’t risk losing Sosa by not putting him on the roster. Matt Carpenter shouldn’t be on the roster based off of his spring, however his salary hasn’t changed so I think he still makes the cut. I wouldn’t be surprised if Carpenter got “hurt” before the season started so he could go on the IL, however it’s next to impossible to predict things like that. John Nogowski is hitting his way onto this team. Nogowski is a 1B by trade, and we know that is pretty locked down with Paul Goldschmidt, however he’s playing LF today and can pinch hit. I think he makes the roster in a close decision over Austin Dean. With Mikolas and Kim being unavailable to start the season, I have Gant and Ponce de Leon being in the rotation. Carlos Martinez had his best potential start today in Jupiter vs New York, so hopefully he’s on his way to being the pitcher he can be instead of Mr. Enigma. I think Kodi Whitey as emerged as a guy they can count on in the bullpen so he’ll be on the roster due to Ponce de Leon & Gant being thrown into the rotation.
Here is how I think the Cardinals roster would break down if it had to be official today.
*Denotes Projected Starter
Edmundo Sosa – OUT OF OPTIONS
Austin Dean/John Nogowski
Starting Rotation (5)
Daniel Ponce de Leon
(Photo Credit: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)