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
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Andre Pallante and the Cardinals' lowest leverage reliever are the most likely candidates to lose his roster spot when Steven Matz returns

The Cardinals recently received poor news on the status of Steven Matz. While he's been excellent in his rehab appearances thus far, Matz woke up with tightness after his most recent outing, and now his timeline has been basically reset.

4-6 weeks until Matz's return puts him on track to be back right before or just after the MLB Trade Deadline (insert joke about Matz returning being just as good as a trade here). The problem at this point though is that the Cardinals cannot just bank on Matz being healthy for them by the time the deadline rolls around, and even if he's back, there's no telling how good he'll be and if he can remain healthy.

So, when Matz returns, he'll likely be returning to a roster that has either already added a starting pitcher or two to their roster, or is planning on doing so. Depending on the health of the other Cardinals starters, that means Matz could be on a fast track toward a return to the bullpen and being the "next man up" if the Cardinals have an injury to their rotation.

Andre Pallante is the obvious candidate to lose his roster spot, but if the Cardinals add another starter and their other four options are healthy, then Matz would likely replace whatever reliever the Cardinals have the least trust in at that moment. Matz can be used in a variety of ways for them out of the bullpen, providing multiple innings if needed, coming in as a lefty specialist, and being ready to start a game whenever he is needed.

I'm not discounting the chance that Matz is a really helpful starter down the stretch for St. Louis, but at this point, the Cardinals need to hedge their bets and count anything that Matz gives them as icing on the cake. Relying on him to come back and be the answer for them would be a major mistake.