The St. Louis Cardinals have made their first round of cuts to their spring roster. Included on the list is a couple of surprises.
The St. Louis Cardinals have played their first 10 games of the spring. While no conclusions have been drawn yet about who will and who won’t make the roster, the team is sitting at 4-4-2. With close to half of their spring slate of games complete, the team made their first round of cuts on Saturday.
In a normal year, the first round of cuts might’ve happened later in the spring, but this is no normal spring. With 8-10 fewer games to get pitchers innings this year, the team has to prioritize getting innings for those pitchers that are going to make the Opening Day roster.
Here are the players who were sent out major league camp.
The most surprising name to be optioned was Junior Fernandez. Fernandez, 24, appeared in 13 games in 2019 and three in 2020. While he’s still young (he just turned 24 on March 2), it’s been a rough stretch of play for the righty.
In his three appearances in 2020, Fernandez allowed six runs. This spring, he has allowed three runs in 1.1 innings. He still has plenty of time to make an impact, it just won’t be at the beginning of the 2021 season.
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Johan Quezada is another semi-surprising name because of his age. At 26, the tall righty has the velocity and look of an MLB reliever, but he’s not faced competition at the higher levels of the minor leagues yet. In 2020, Quezada was forced into a debut because of the Marlins’ issues with COVID-19. Had they not had an outbreak, there’s no telling if Quezada was going to debut or not.
A lot of the other names on the list of 12 that are no longer in MLB camp are guys that will likely find themselves at AA or AAA. With the recent news of how the MLB is going to approach the first month of minor league baseball, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a few of these players at the team’s alternate site before opening the season at AAA.
54 players in camp still need to get innings, but these cuts don’t really clear up the picture of what the Opening Day roster will be.