The last round of 2022 Spring Training moves have left the St. Louis Cardinals with 15 pitchers & 13 position players for the Opening Day roster.
The Cardinals announced that RHP Jake Walsh had been optioned to Memphis, LHP Conner Thomas, C Julio Rodriguez & INF Cory Spangenberg having been re-assigned to the minors and RHP Jack Flaherty placed on the 10-day IL.
Derrick Goold (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) has St. Louis’ Opening Day lineup written below (in ink).
And Katie Woo (The Athletic) says that Oli Marmol has confirmed that Albert Pujols will be in the Cardinals lineup Opening Day as a DH despite the Pittsburgh Pirates having a RHP starting the game.
The Opening Day lineup makes sense for the Cardinals, as with the DH, the presence of having another bat on the bench seems secondary to the priority of having enough arms up if need be. Major League Baseball will have expanded rosters once the regular season begins, going from 26 to 28 players on the active rosters through May 1 to account for the condensed spring training after the 99-day lockout.
Adam Wainwright gets the nod as the Opening Day starter with Miles Mikolas & Dakota Hudson as locks for the rotation.
The Cardinals first free-agent signing of the off-season, Steven Matz, will serve as the lone lefty in the rotation with T.J. McFarland & Genesis Cabrera as the lefties in the bullpen.
Recently acquired pitcher Drew VerHagen will be in consideration for the 5th starter spot along with Jake Woodford, Giovanny Gallegos looks to be the closer with Jordan Hicks & Ryan Helsley at the back end & Nick Wittgren, Kodi Whitley, Aaron Brooks & Andre Pallante rounding out the rest of the pen.
St. Louis will have their same lineup of players back from the 2021 season, with Yadier Molina behind the plate and Andrew Knizner as his backup. Gold glovers Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Tommy Edman, Tyler O’Neill & Harrison Bader at their respective positions, Dylan Carlson & Paul DeJong as starters, Lars Nootbar & Edmundo Sosa as reserves and the addition of Albert Pujols & Corey Dickerson platooning at DH.
Edman & Carlson (both switch hitters), join Nootbaar & Dickerson as batters swinging from the left side.
Cory Spangenberg, Brendan Donovan & Juan Yepez will be three names to keep an eye on as “next man up” candidates in the early going of 2022.