The St. Louis Cardinals have set their roster for opening day, per MLB.com’s Jeff Jones, Derrick S. Goold of the St.Louis Post-Dispatch and others (Twitter links). John Nogowski, Austin Dean, Edmundo Sosa, and Jake Woodford will be on the roster, while Lane Thomas and Kodi Whitley become two of the final cuts. Goold lists the final opening day roster here.
Nogowski required a strong spring to make the roster, as the 28-year-old first baseman doesn’t bring a lot of utility to the roster. He did exactly that, however, slashing .379/.526/.586 in spring action. He’ll be the first right-handed bat off the bench. With Matt Carpenter on hand to serve as Paul Goldschmidt’s primary backup, it’s hard to imagine Nogowski seeing much action in the field.
The Thomas demotion might have the most impact, as without him, the Cardinals don’t have a true centerfielder on the roster. The Cards are all-in on rookie Dylan Carlson as their man in the middle until Harrison Bader returns from injury. Justin Williams and Austin Dean will be among the players replacing Carlson in right. Tommy Edman, who won the starting second base job, could also see time in right while Carpenter or Edmundo Sosa step in at the keystone. Starting left fielder Tyler O’Neill, meanwhile, is most likely to backup Carlson in center.
Woodford, 24, wins a spot in the bullpen on the strength of a 1.04 ERA this spring. Whitley, 26, heads to the minors to begin the season. Woodford can serve as a long man out of the pen, which may be important given the uncertainty in the back end of the rotation where Carlos Martinez, John Gant, and Daniel Ponce de Leon will take their turns until Miles Mikolas and/or Kwang Hyun Kim return. From the left side, Tyler Webb and Genesis Cabrera join Andrew Miller in the bullpen.