St. Louis Cardinals Opening Day Roster Prediction 2.0
(8) - Ryan Helsley, Giovanny Gallegos, Jordan Hicks, Zack Thompson, Drew VerHagen, Wilking Rodriguez, Andre Pallante, and Dakota Hudson
The Cardinals bullpen situation is about as fluid as it could get to this point in camp, but I feel pretty confident about the names on this list being on the Opening Day roster.
Ryan Helsley and Giovanny Gallegos are locks for this roster. Jordan Hicks should be but has struggled so far in camp so he is worth monitoring. The rest of this list is where things get interesting. Andre Pallante and Dakota Hudson feel like safe bets to me, as Hudson can act as the long reliever and spot starter, while Pallante had great numbers last year, can go multiple innings, and has good splits against left-handed hitters.
Drew VerHagen is having himself a really good spring so far, and with having a significant major league contract, he'll likely make the roster if he continues to impress. Should he struggle though, I don't think that contract will keep him on the roster. The Cardinals are very excited about their Rule 5 pick Wilking Rodriguez though, they must keep him on the roster or they will lose him from the organization, which makes him a likely member of the bullpen to begin the year.
The part of this list that I find odd but very possible is that only one left-handed reliever makes the roster in the form of Zack Thompson. Thompson was excellent in his rookie season out of the bullpen and has continued to impress so far this spring. None of the other Cardinals' left-handed options have stepped up much this spring, and with Pallante's ability to slow down left-handed hitters, I think the club will feel okay getting by without a second lefty in the bullpen until they determine which right-handed options they want to lean on.