It's time for our St. Louis Cardinals Opening Day Roster Predictions, 2.0
We are 11 games into the St. Louis Cardinals' Spring Training schedule thus far, and there are already some movers and shakers in competitions for Opening Day roster spots. While there is plenty of baseball left to be played, both in Jupiter as well as at the World Baseball Classic, it's time for us to take another look at the Opening Day roster positions.
Since the last predictions, which happened a few weeks before Spring Training games began, there have been multiple players who have broken out and made a strong case to be on the roster against the Toronto Blue Jays on March 30th, and some players who have faltered a bit and may be losing their spot on the roster.
What makes this year's roster one of the most interesting in all of baseball is just how many competitions and brewing internally. The outfield spots are mostly up for grabs right now, the DH spot has a variety of names in the mix, the bullpen is yet to be sorted out, and the competition for backup infielder and catcher may be hotter than we had anticipated going into camp.
With all of that being said, I am going to make my second set of predictions for what this roster could look like come Opening Day. I'll take a moment to break down who makes the roster from each position group, who narrowly misses the roster, and how I envision the lineups and rotation shaking out to begin the season. Here are my Opening Day Roster predictions, 2.0 edition.
(2) - Willson Contreras and Tres Barrera
We are only one position group in and there is already a change from the 1.0 predictions. While Willson Contreras' role as the primary catcher is obviously intact, the backup catcher position has become even more of a competition than we originally had thought, and the early favorite to make the roster appears to be Tres Barrera.
Our own J.T. Buchheit broke down the competition recently, as incumbent Andrew Knizner appears to have a very real chance of missing the roster out of camp. There have been a number of questions raised about Knizner's long-term role with the club this offseason, but I think most would have assumed he got another shot on the roster to begin the year.
Barrera, 28, has come in and impressed both the coaching and pitching staffs enough to invoke praise from manager Oli Marmol, and with Knizner's struggles at the plate to begin the spring, this could be a sign of some changes at the position coming. Knizner will still compete with Barrera throughout the spring, but at this point, it feels like Barrera has the inside track.