Final St. Louis Cardinals Opening Day Roster Prediction

With less than a week to go until Opening Day, it's time for my final roster predictions coming out of Spring Training.

Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals
Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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Outfield (4) - Jordan Walker, Victor Scott II, Dylan Carlson, and Alec Burleson

We'll have our answer on the Victor Scott II saga here soon, and although I've been skeptical that the Cardinals would actually put him on the Opening Day roster, I find it very interesting that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has Scott on his projected Opening Day roster (subscription required).

Scott making the roster would be extremely exciting and a huge vote of confidence from the front office and coaching staff. He would immediately provide the Cardinals with elite defense in center field, be one of the best base stealers in all of baseball, and if his bat can hang, he'll run with the job and never look back.

Scott making the roster does not guarantee he stays on the roster. If the Cardinals were willing to demote Jordan Walker last year, they wouldn't be afraid to do the same with Scott. Nootbaar's return, which should come rather quickly, could force a demotion, and certainly, Edman's return could as well. But if the Cardinals do go with Scott on the Opening Day roster, they likely want him to stick with the club the entire year.

If Scott does run with the job, I think there's a variety of ramifications the club will have to weigh. First, once Nootbaar is back, one of Burleson or Carlson will have to be sent down to Memphis. My money would be on Burleson with his lack of defensive versatility, but it's a shame considering his hot bat this spring and that the underlying metrics last year showed he's better than the results he got in 2023. But since the Cardinals seem married to the idea of Matt Carpenter on the roster all year, roster spots begin to run thing.

Once Edman comes back, if Scott is still their guy in center, I think the Crawford conversation becomes very real for St. Louis. If Edman is not the starting center fielder, then his next best role would be the primary backup to Scott and Winn, coming off the bench as the Cardinals' true "10th man" and being the utility guy who plugs in whenever someone has a true day off (or a lefty is on the mound). This also potentially makes Edman a trade chip (and/or the likes of Carlson and Burleson) at the trade deadline.

Just missed: Michael Siani
Injured List: Lars Nootbaar and Tommy Edman