St. Louis Cardinals: Matt Bowman’s Opening Day Roster Chances
The St. Louis Cardinals did something they haven’t done in a while in taking someone in the Rule 5 Draft this past offseason. Will he make the team?
As i was listening to the Bernie Miklasz Show this morning, a good point was brought up by ESPN’s Mark Saxon–Matt Bowman still has a chance to make this team despite most handicapping the bullpen and rotation to exclude him.
In case you don’t know or forgot about it, Matt Bowman was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round of the Rule 5 Draft this past offseason. This means that in order for the Cardinals to keep him, Bowman has to remain on the 25-Man roster all season long.
If Bowman does not make the team out of Spring Training he will be offered back to his original team, the New York Mets.
However, I still have questions about him making the team. Right now the bullpen slates out to include Trevor Rosenthal, Jordan Walden, Seung-hwan Oh, Kevin Siegrist, Seth Maness, Jonathan Broxton, and Tyler Lyons. The rotation will include Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez, Jaime Garcia, Michael Wacha, and Mike Leake. Your next man up would have to be Marco Gonzales or Tyler Lyons if an injury occurred, so an inclusion of Matt Bowman there does not fit.
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If an injury does happen to occur, Bowman could be slotted into the bullpen. But, with the team having three middle infielders who can slot in at SS/2B/3B they may elect to carry more hitters than pitchers in this instance, making no room for Bowman.
For the sake of conversation, let’s imagine a scenario where Bowman lights it up in Spring Training. What will the team do then? What can they do?
In this scenario, the team could choose to potentially say goodbye to Tyler Lyons, much like they did to Sam Freeman last season. You may be thinking, “wait Lyons has been effective in his role and should be a good option as either a LOOGY or long reliever,” you are correct, but Lyons is expendable when you consider that Marco Gonzales and Tim Cooney fit the exact same profile of Lyons and have better stuff.
Next: Who makes the Cardinals' Opening Day roster?
Getting rid of Lyons is conceivably the only way Bowman has a shot to make the roster, as I don’t see any of the veterans in front of him being either sent down or released (despite my disdain for Jonathan Broxton). While it is nice to see the team making a risky move by selecting a pitcher in the Rule 5, there is not a clear path for Bowman to make this team and to make the Cardinals’ selection of him useful.
So, in short, I don’t see a chance for Bowman to make this roster. He is an asset, but he is something the Cardinals have a stock of — young right-handed pitching. So, Bowman doesn’t exactly stand out here and doesn’t offer anything that a handful of other guys don’t offer as well.
The Cardinals don’t need Bowman and shouldn’t get rid of an asset like Lyons who is effective out of the bullpen just to keep him, so an unless an injury occurs, he can go back to New York.