St. Louis Cardinals: Why Jose Rondon is making a strong push for a roster spot
Jose Rondon, who impressed this spring, is making life difficult for the St. Louis Cardinals as they look to trim their roster.
The St. Louis Cardinals are about to make tough roster decisions, and one of them will be Jose Rondon.
Rondon, signed to a non-roster invite deal, has impressed at camp this spring. He is not on the 40-man roster and has no options remaining, meaning the team can send him to the alternate site without being optioned to the minors. It could impact his chances of winning a roster spot over, say, Edmundo Sosa and John Nogowski, but Rondon has clearly established himself as a player the Cardinals want to see in the majors at some point this season, and perhaps soon.
The competition will come down to Rondon and Max Moroff, who has also impressed this spring. The Cardinals, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, said “the best thing to do is to retain as many talented people as we can until we have to make any difficult roster decisions.
Rondon certainly qualifies and he told Goold, via a team translator, that “As of right now, taking into consideration all of the games that I’ve been playing and all the action that I’ve been seeing, I’ll take it as a very good sign. The team itself is a very strong and competitive team – that drew my attention.”
Rondon, 27, has hit .304 with a .609 slugging percentage. He hit 24 home runs in 2018 and his defensive versatility, with the ability to play the infield and outfield, make him a valuable piece for the team moving forward.
Mozeliak said he wanted to wait until the very end to make the difficult roster decisions. Rondon may end up being the hardest, though it certainly seems that he has played himself onto the team at some point, whether it’s on Opening Day or not much further down the road.