Jose Rondon is impressing the St. Louis Cardinals, but so is Max Moroff, making their Opening Day roster decisions even more difficult.
The St. Louis Cardinals have made the easiest of the roster cuts. Now comes the hard part.
Max Moroff, a versatile defender, has impressed the Cardinals at the plate this spring. He was a spring training invitee and is now in the conversation to land one of the final spots on the bench. While he does not have any minor-league options remaining, he is not on the 40-man roster and would not have to be optioned to the minors if he does not make the team.
“I think the bat is probably more valuable than my glove,” Moroff said, via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “The bat is obviously more important. I’m trying to take advantage of my opportunity, whether it’s three at-bats or that one at-bat. Every one counts.”
With Moroff signed to a minors deal, it is likely he begins the season at the alternate site while others, especially John Nogowski and Edmundo Sosa, begin the season in the majors. But it does not figure to be long until Moroff would make the team, considering he has a .414 on-base percentage and .890 OPS this spring.
Moroff’s past big league experience will help his case to make the roster sooner than later. And with Harrison Bader out for an extended period of time, Moroff should have plenty of chances to get called up from the alternate site, perhaps even in the outfield.
“I don’t think we need to see anything more than we’ve already seen — just the same consistency,” manager Mike Shildt said. “He clearly has an idea of how he plays the game. Multiple positions. He hasn’t batted an eye. He’s done a lot of things really well, done them fairly quiet, which is a little under the radar. Let’s his play speak for him.”
Moroff has long had fans in the organization, dating back to his days on opposing rosters. His day will soon come, though it may not come on Opening Day.