Cardinals Opening Day Roster Prediction 2.0: How Brandon Crawford shakes things up

With a new signing, updated injury statuses, and pitching competitions underway, it's time to take a fresh look at the Opening Day roster.

Sep 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Tommy Edman (19) makes a
Sep 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Tommy Edman (19) makes a / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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Bullpen (8) - Ryan Helsley, Keynan Middleton, Andrew Kittredge, Giovanny Gallegos, JoJo Romero, Andre Pallante, Riley O'Brien, and Ryan Fernandez

The Cardinals' bullpen is the biggest wild card with this team and is probably the unit that has the ability to make or break them as a contender in 2024.

Yes, the lineup has to be really good for the team to win, and of course, the rotation needs to be better for them to not fall behind in games over and over again like last year, but the bullpen is the unit that has the most variance in my opinion.

On paper, this is a really strong group. Is Andre Pallante the worst option? At many points in 2023, he was the Cardinals' second or third-best option. Ryan Fernandez? His stuff has looked good so far. Riley O'Brien? His stuff has looked even better!

The bullpen last year had one or two high-leverage guys they could rely on at any given time. Now, when healthy, Helsley, Middleton, Kittredge, Romero, and Gallegos can all profile as that, with O'Brien, Fernandez, and Pallante all mixed in. It can't be understated that the depth they've accrued can make a massive difference in 2024.

On top of those eight names, they can also lead on Thompson, Liberatore, Nick Robertson, John King, Wilking Rodriguez, Adam Kloffenstein, Gordon Graceffo, and a variety of other arms, They just did not have that kind of depth last year.

Just missed: Nick Robertson, John King, Adam Kloffenstein, Wilking Rodriguez