4 deserving Cardinals players who'll be squeezed off the Opening Day roster

The Cardinals Opening Day roster will be set in the coming days, and although these four players have had a strong camp, they likely won't make the roster.

Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals
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I don't put a lot of stock into Spring Training numbers, but each year, there tend to be a few players who do everything they can on the field to earn an Opening Day roster spot, but due to other circumstances, are "squeezed" off the roster. The St. Louis Cardinals have a number of those cases this year.

Most of the time, it's pretty easy to explain why that player will not be starting the year in St. Louis, even if their performance seems to say they should have that opportunity. Often times it has to do with other depth at the position and no clear role being available to them, and other times it can be as simple as the the club believes they need more time to develop in the minor leagues.

This is also the time of year when contracts and player options can play a role as well, as the Cardinals may decide to go with a player who has not performed as well due to some of those limiting factors.

These four players will be squeezed off the Cardinals' Opening Day roster

Pedro Pages

Obviously, the Cardinals are going to go with Willson Contreras and Ivan Herrera as their catchers this year, and rightfully so. Still, Pedro Pages has really impressed in camp so far and should give fans confidence in him as the "next man up" should an injury occur.

Pages is well-regarded for his defensive ability behind the plate and has followed up a strong campaign in Double-A last year with an equally strong performance this spring. Pages slashed .267/.362/.443 with 16 HR and 72 RBI in 117 games for Springfield in 2023 and now has an .825 OPS in his 20 spring at-bats as well.

Again, I don't take much stock in spring stats, but it's been encouraging to see Pages handle his business as the plate thus far in camp, and given that his real strengths are behind the dish, that makes for an encouraging future if he's able to continue to develop in Memphis this year.

The Cardinals are now without Andrew Knizner, so that third catcher role is something they'll really lean on Pages for this year, should they need him. While he never really had a shot of making the Opening Day roster without an injury occurring, the Cardinals should feel pretty good about what they have in him right now.