The Cardinals placed six players on the injured list yesterday following the team’s Covid-19 outbreak, and they’ll likely be adding infielder Rangel Ravelo to the IL as well. The team confirmed yesterday that he is also among the current players to have tested positive (but did not formally place him on the injured list).
That drops the Cardinals’ roster to 23 players, meaning they’ll still need to make five additions between now and Friday. (Rosters reduce from 30 to 28 players for the remainder of the season tomorrow.) To this point, only one spot has been formally filled: infielder/outfielder Brad Miller was activated from the injured list yesterday. Four more players will still need to be added to the roster between now and Friday.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch runs through many of the possibilities, reporting within his morning column that infielder Max Schrock will likely be selected to the active roster. Jeff Jones of the Belleville News points out on Twitter that lefty Genesis Cabrera has already revealed via Instagram that he’s in St. Louis, so he’ll fill another of the spots. Alex Reyes will also be called up, per Goold. Jones adds that Cabrera and Reyes are likely to be the only two pitchers added to the roster. Those additions have not yet been announced by the club.
The Cards’ final open roster spot figures to be of particular intrigue among fans — and with good reason. Top prospect Dylan Carlson is among the names available within the 60-man player pool for St. Louis, and at this point in the season, the Cardinals have already delayed his path to free agency by a year. He’d need to be added to the 40-man roster, but the team can easily accommodate some additions due to the fact that players on the Covid-19 injured list don’t count against the 40-man.
Carlson has been widely expected to debut at some point in 2020, and considering that the Cardinals were struggling to score runs even before losing Paul DeJong and Yadier Molina, there is (on paper, at least) some extra incentive to get his bat into the lineup. It’s a small sample, clearly, but St. Louis has batted just .217/.281/.382 as a team through five games. Carlson, meanwhile, raked at a .292/.372/.542 clip with 26 homers, 28 doubles, eight triples and 20 steals in 562 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A last year.
Jones tweets that the final spot could well come down to Carlson, fellow outfielder Justin Williams and infield prospect Elehuris Montero. Both Williams and Montero have been ranked among the organization’s top 20 or so farmhands for the past couple seasons, though neither has generated the expectations associated with Carlson, who entered the season as a consensus Top 25 league-wide prospect. It’d be the first real look in the Majors for any of that trio, and all three would be controllable all the way through the 2026 season should the stick in the Majors following their promotion. Carlson and Montero have yet to appear in the big leagues, while Williams received just a single plate appearance with the 2018 Rays.