Cardinals Opening Day Roster Prediction 3.0: How roster looks after multiple injuries

The injury bug has bitten the Cardinals hard the last week, and now their Opening Day lineup has some major shakeups.

Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals
Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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Bullpen (8) - Ryan Helsley, Keynan Middleton, Giovanny Gallegos, Andrew Kittredge, JoJo Romero, Riley O'Brien, Andre Pallante, and Ryan Fernandez

The bullpen has been the one unit this spring that hasn't had any major blows (knock on wood) and produced a lot of optimism. The Cardinals made a bunch of moves to improve this group over the offseason, and it's showing.

First and foremost, Helsley is healthy and looks like himself. He was excellent in his return from injury in September last year and will provide the Cardinals with a top-5 closer in baseball. He's now joined by four different veteran relievers who can pitch in high-leverage spots, including the returning duo of Giovanny Gallegos and JoJo Romero, as well as newcomers Keynan Middleton and Andrew Kittredge.

On top of that, the young guys have been catching eyes as well. Riley O'Brien has really stood out this spring, with his high velocity lightening up the radar gun and offspeed stuff giving fans dreams of another high-leverage arm in the making. Andre Pallante's offseason work appears to have paid off and he will look to fill multiple roles on the team as a reverse splits left-handed specialist, long-reliever, and ground ball inducer. Ryan Fernandez, the club's Rule 5 selection, has looked solid so far as well.

Last season, it felt like there was only one, two, or at most three relievers that the Cardinals could really trust in any given game. Going into 2024, I feel great about the eight-man group above, and there are even multiple arms that won't make the roster that I can't wait to see pitch in St. Louis at some point.

Nick Robertson came over in the Tyler O'Neill trade and will surely factor into the mix at some point with his intriguing stuff. I'm lower on John King than most, but he was effective for the Cardinals last year. Prospects like Gordon Graceffo, Adam Kloffenstein, Andre Granillo, or even someone like Liberatore or Thompson could factor into the mix at any given time.

Just missed: Nick Robertson, John King, and Gordon Graceffo