With Opening Day only days away, the St. Louis Cardinals have announced their first taxi squad.
The St. Louis Cardinals were forced to make some difficult roster decisions this week. The good news for them, however, is that they are able to have multiple players available to join the major-league team on their taxi squad.
The first taxi squad for the first series of the season will feature pitchers Seth Elledge and Kodi Whitley, catcher Ali Sanchez, infielder/outfielder Jose Rondon and outfielder Lane Thomas, according to Jeff Jones of the Belleville News.
Elledge, 24, and Whitley, 26, will provide pitching depth. Sanchez, 24, was acquired by the Cardinals in an offseason trade with the New York Mets. He was their No. 21 prospect in 2020, per MLB.com, and will provide catching depth behind Yadier Molina and Andrew Knizner. But perhaps the two most interesting players on the taxi squad are Rondon and Thomas.
Rondon has impressed the Cardinals this spring and made a strong case to make the team’s Opening Day roster. He provides defensive versatility and a strong bat at the plate, having hit 20+ homers in a major-league season previously in his career, and showed this spring that he can still provide some power at the plate. He was battling for a roster spot with Austin Dean and Max Moroff, respectively, with Dean making the team, a source confirmed, as Craig Mish of Sirius XM reported.
Thomas, meanwhile, was also in contention for a spot in the outfield. He entered last season as one of the team’s most underrated players, though his season was hindered by a COVID-19 outbreak, and he was not the same once he returned. But he enters this season healthy and even though he is not on the Opening Day roster, should see time in the majors, perhaps relatively soon.