The postseason roster for the St. Louis Cardinals has been heavily debated but with the NLDS approaching, what is a final roster prediction?
Since rosters expanded for the St. Louis Cardinals in September, lots of young players have shown their abilities to contribute as the Cardinals sped towards today where they currently own the NL Central crown for 2019.
Sadly though, not all the players can make it on the postseason roster but holes can open due to injury or struggles on the field.
The Cardinals postseason roster for the NLDS that begins Thursday afternoon against the Braves is more or less set, but there are certainly a couple of areas where players could move around. This liquidity is mostly due to the injuries to Michael Wacha and Kolten Wong.
Wacha left his last start of the season without being able to finish the second inning due to shoulder tightness, so his status is doubtful for any postseason games although his return is not out of the question.
For Kolten Wong, a grade 2 hamstring strain has kept him out since September 20th and the most recent update on Wong is positive. Wong had apparently returned to some baseball activities but the outlook is still murky on whether or not he will actually be included on the NLDS roster.
Without further delay, let’s dig into my projected roster.
First base: Paul Goldschmidt
Second base: Tommy Edman
Shortstop: Paul DeJong
There is one main name that is missing from the bullpen that many people may be surprised to see missing, but for the St. Louis Cardinals, it may be best that John Gant doesn’t pitch this postseason.
After an unbelievable start to the year, Gant has looked gassed in the past month-plus of games and has a 13.50 in his last nine games. It has to be disappointing for him to not get a chance to play against his former team, but Gant has appeared in more games in 2019 than he has in his entire MLB career combined. His arm is gassed and he needs to be shut down. Why am I so confident that Gant is off the roster?
Mr. Saxoxn is a very reliable source so I will believe this. He also noted that Genesis Cabrera was on the roster, meaning the Cardinals will likely have three lefties for the postseason.
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My roster doesn’t feature the journeyman Rangel Ravelo that many think will make the postseason because of his pop, but for my money, I would much rather have the power/speed/contact package that Randy Arozarena provides than Ravelo.
Some could say to take off Leone and bring both Arozarena and Ravelo, but with just a four-man rotation, the Cardinals are going to want to have eight relievers for sure.
For a bullpen that has been a strength for the vast majority of the year, it would be interesting to see how they react in the postseason. Only two of the eight pitchers have postseason experience.
Other than that, there aren’t any limbs to go out with the postseason roster. The roster will likely come out very soon but in general, Mike Shildt is going to stick with what has worked and that is just fine. The important thing is that the Cardinals are back in the postseason and ready for action against the Braves on Thursday.