Some items out of the Cardinals’ camp…
- Righty Luke Gregerson is dealing with a minor hamstring problem and didn’t travel with the team for today’s Spring Training road game, Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (Twitter link). Gregerson has been limited to just three outings this spring due to a minor oblique injury, and while the severity this new issue isn’t known, it can’t be a good sign with less than a week before Opening Day. John Mozeliak’s recent comments about the Cardinals’ plans for a flexible approach to the ninth inning has brought further lack of clarity to Gregerson’s role, as he was initially slated to be the team’s closer when signed to a two-year, $11MM deal in December. Dominic Leone, another offseason acquisition, has recently been mentioned as a potential candidate for saves, plus the Cardinals have been reportedly interested in Greg Holland, who still remains unsigned as we approach the end of March.
- Yairo Munoz has made the 25-man roster, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza and others reported. Munoz was acquired from Oakland as part of the Stephen Piscotty trade and wasn’t expected to contend for a big league job this spring, but Munoz forced the issue by hitting .375/.423/.625 over 52 plate appearances. This red-hot bat and Munoz’s capability of playing virtually every spot on the diamond gave him the edge for a bench job over Harrison Bader and Luke Voit, who were optioned to Triple-A. Munoz will be one of several multi-position players on the St. Louis roster as the Cards plan to regularly juggle their lineups to keep everyone fresh and regularly receiving playing time.
- As part of a piece about Yadier Molina’s durability for The Athletic (subscription required), Bernie Miklasz observed that the Cardinals’ recent assignment of top catching prospect Carson Kelly to Triple-A means that Kelly won’t accumulate the MLB service time he would’ve received had he won the job as Molina’s backup. This could make Kelly more attractive to potential trade suitors, as Kelly has just 102 days of service time accumulated and is controllable through the 2023 season. Of course, the Cards’ primary reason for the assignment is also valid, as they want Kelly to get regular playing time rather than see him sit on the big league bench, as the durable Molina is showing no signs of cutting back on his workload even as he enters his age-35 season. Molina is signed through the 2020 season, so there will inevitably continue to be speculation about Kelly as a possible trade chip.