Which Cardinals are at risk of losing their roster spots when injured players return?

As the Cardinals get more reinforcements off the injured list, it will impact who they decide to keep on their 26-man roster.
Baltimore Orioles v St. Louis Cardinals
Baltimore Orioles v St. Louis Cardinals / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages
2 of 7

Pedro Pages joins Jose Fermin and Nick Raposo as likely candiates to lose their roster spot when Ivan Herrera returns

In case you missed it, Ivan Herrera landed on the injured list with lower back tightness on Saturday, with the move being retroactive to June 19th, putting his first possible date to return to the roster as Saturday, June 29th. It's too soon to speculate as to how long Herrera will be out, but at the moment, it seems like Herrera will not spend a ton of time on the injured list.

Contreras will be back before him, and surely one of Fermin or Raposo will be sent down when their star catcher returns. Where things get interesting is who the Cardinals decide to option when Herrera returns.

If Fermin is sent down when Contreras returns, the easy choice for St. Louis will be to send down Raposo instead of Pages. The Cardinals would likely be committing to a three-catcher tandem for a bit then, and with Herrera himself now returning from an injury that always has the potential to be reaggravated, I could totally see the Cardinals easing him back into action as well and having Pages there as support.

There is also the dynamic that the Cardinals have been leaning on Pages more defensively as of late, and even when he first came up to St. Louis earlier in the season for a short stint, the Cardinals would sometimes sub out Herrera for Pages defensively late in a game. With the bench being so thin right now anyway, you could easily see the Cardinals hold onto three catchers and then have to make a decision on Pages when either Lars Nootbaar or Tommy Edman returns.

Now, if the Cardinals send down Raposo when Contreras returns, there's a chance they opt to send down Pages when Herrera returns, but I kind of doubt they would do that for all of the reasons I stated above. Fermin's fit on the roster has been odd all season anyway, as the Cardinals prioritize Brandon Crawford over him when he is in St. Louis, so Fermin kind of just fills in as an occasional pinch-hitter, pinch-runner, or spot start as needed.