5 Cardinals who could be off the roster by the end of May

These players stand to lose their spot on the 26-man roster for one reason or another this month.
St. Louis Cardinals v San Diego Padres
St. Louis Cardinals v San Diego Padres / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages
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Brandon Crawford

When the Cardinals signed Brandon Crawford on the heels of the announcement of Tommy Edman's placement on the Injured List, fans had generally mixed feelings. The 37-year-old shortstop had a track record of elite defense according to some metrics, and he was a well-above-average batter as recently as 2021 with the San Francisco Giants.

Alternatively, Crawford hadn't hit well the last two seasons in the Bay Area, and his defense was slowly fading away. Crawford bats left-handed, and the Cardinals already had Matt Carpenter and Alec Burleson as lefties off the bench. Furthermore, he would largely be surplus on the roster this year, and his signing perplexed many a St. Louis loyalist.

Crawford has not been good offensively or defensively this year. He has struck out in nearly half of his plate appearances (42.9%), his slash line is nearing levels of utter embarrassment (.105/.190/.105), and he has yet to get an extra-base hit. On the defensive side of the ball, he's currently grading out as a negative defender according to Outs Above Average.

With Tommy Edman's return, the Cardinals' original plan of having their center fielder being their backup shortstop -- yes, you read that right -- comes back into focus. Crawford is playing so terribly that it's likely he is designated for assignment. Sending him down to the minors like the Houston Astros did with Jose Abreu doesn't seem like a viable option. Also, if Jose Fermin can replicate the success he's had in Memphis this year with St. Louis, it makes cutting Crawford all the easier.