Carlos Villanueva heads to St. Louis Cardinals bullpen


St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny made it official this morning: Carlos Villanueva has made the Opening Night roster and heading for the bullpen.

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The news was reported this morning by both Jenifer Langosch and Derrick Goold. With his making the roster official, it means that Villanueva will not opt out of his contract and immediately become a free agent.

The Cardinals, according to Goold, will not be starting the season with four starters but five. That fifth starter is still up in the air but speculation is that Carlos Martinez will start the season in St. Louis with Marco Gonzales starting the season with the Memphis Redbirds.

The seven relievers in the Cardinals bullpen will be Trevor Rosenthal, Matt Belisle, Jordan Walden, Seth Maness, Carlos Villanueva, Randy Choate, and Kevin Siegrist. The four known starters are Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, John Lackey, and Lance Lynn. The unknown starter, is well, just that. Nobody knows. It’s going to go one of two ways.

As far as Spring Training games this week, Martinez will start against the New York Mets on Wednesday while Lackey takes to the mound in the back fields. When the Cardinals play in Memphis on Friday, Gonzales will start for the Cardinals rather than the Redbirds.

With regards to the bench, the Cardinals currently have catcher Tony Cruz, infelders Ty Kelly, Mark Reynolds, Pete Kozma, and outfielders Peter Bourjos, Randal Grichuk, and Tommy Pham available off the bench.

Yesterday, the club announced that catcher Ed Easley, infielder Dean Anna, and first baseman Xavier Scruggs were optioned to the Memphis roster while re-assigning Jacob Wilson to the minor league camp. The moves left the 40-man roster at 28 players while 33 players were remaining in the big league camp.

A few more moves must be made before the 25-man roster can be made official for Opening Night. The Cardinals could choose to carry two infielders and one outfielder or they could go with two outfielders and one infielder.

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