Opening Day is nearing and the St. Louis Cardinals are continuing to trim their roster.
Additionally, the team re-assigned pitchers Jesus Cruz, Evan Kruczynski, Matthew Liberatore, Tommy Parsons and Zack Thompson, infielder Nolan Gorman and outfielder Matt Szczur to minor-league camp.
This round of cuts were much more notable than the last round. Oviedo was being discussed as a potential rotation piece, as the Cardinals searched for rotation help following the injuries to Miles Mikolas and Kwang-hyun Kim, though it became increasingly clear in recent days that the spots would go to John Gant and Daniel Ponce de Leon.Oviedo, of course, figures to be up sooner than later, though, as the Cardinals search for pitching depth.
The other notable names in this round of cuts are Liberatore and Gorman.
Liberatore shined at spring training this year, drawing praise from veteran Adam Wainwright and other players on the roster. He is not yet ready for the majors, however, though he may not be far away from making his major-league debut. Still, the Cardinals are increasingly optimistic about the outlook of Liberatore, which is saying something since they traded with a prized outfielder, Randy Arozarena, to acquire him not long ago.
Gorman is getting work at second base and has made strides at the position, though he still needs seasoning and work rounding out his game on defense. But his offensive potential, combined with his ability to play second, should make the long-term infield of Gorman, Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt one of the best, if not the best infields in baseball.
Each player figures to be on the major-league roster at some point, with Oviedo being the player who is called up the earliest. But the Cardinals roster right now, combined with their minor-league pipeline, means they have one of the most exciting outlooks in the game right now.