Memphis traveling roster includes 23 players

Though St. Louis' roster is not final, they have a date with the Triple-A Redbirds on Friday night. Here are those expected to be in the home dugout for the exhibition game.

Because the St. Louis Cardinals' major league spring training roster still contains 35 players for 25 spots, obviously further cuts will need to occur before opening day in Cincinnati on Monday, March 31. However, between now and then is the final Grapefruit League game in Jupiter on Thursday, followed by this Friday's exhibition game at Memphis' AutoZone Park against the Memphis Redbirds.

It is natural to assume that as many as eight players currently with St. Louis may instead be opening the season among the Redbirds' top 25. (Plus, Jaime Garcia and Jason Motte are expected to open the season on the disabled list.) However, with those decisions still pending, the organization had to make a decision how to staff the Redbirds for the Friday game.

The Memphis traveling roster consists of 23 players as listed below. The starting pitchers in the exhibition game will be Joe Kelly for St. Louis and Zach Petrick for Memphis.

Memphis Redbirds roster for Friday, March 28 exhibition vs. St. Louis

Pitchers (12)
Almarante, Jose
Castro, Angel
Cooney, Tim
Fornataro, Eric
Freeman, Sam
Greenwood, Nick
Kiekhefer, Dean
Lyons, Tyler
Petrick, Zach
Stoppleman, Lee
Whiting, Boone
Wyatt, Heath
Catchers (3)
Perez, Audry
Rasmus, Casey
Stanley, Cody
Infielders (4)
Curtis, Jermaine
Garcia, Greg
Mateo, Luis
Miclat, Greg
Outfielders (4)
Butler, Joey
Pham, Tommy
Ramsey, James
Taveras, Oscar

To be clear, a number of these players will likely open the season on the Springfield roster instead – when the final roster dominoes fall.

However, some inferences can be made. Only a few of the 12 pitchers will be needed Friday night, for example, so one can start to draw conclusions about the core of the Memphis staff. To be honest, there are no surprises there.

There should be much more movement with the position players coming, though. Of note in the outfield are two names that may have been expected to be there in Randal Grichuk and Mike O'Neill, but are not.

The eight current Cardinals most likely to remain behind in Memphis following the exhibition are right-handed pitchers Keith Butler, Scott McGregor and Jorge Rondon, catcher Ed Easley, first baseman Xavier Scruggs, third baseman Scott Moore, shortstop Pete Kozma and outfielder Stephen Piscotty. That assumes non-roster relievers Pat Neshek and recently-signed David Aardsma make the major-league team. One further 40-man roster move would be required to make room for both bullpenners.

That would mean at least six of the current Memphis 23 could start with Springfield. (23+8-6=25) As always, these are point-in-time rosters and can change at a moment's notice as needs evolve. Stay tuned to The Cardinal Nation in the upcoming days as all four full-season minor league clubs' opening rosters are set.

Of the 35 players remaining in Major League Camp, 28 are 40-man roster players and seven are non-roster invitees. To see the Cardinals entire 40-man roster and non-roster spring training invitees, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.

Friday update: Randal Grichuk is a member of the Memphis travel roster, after all. In fact, he is starting in centerfield. Also, the Redbirds' first baseman is Xavier Scruggs, who has not yet been officially re-assigned from St. Louis. Remember that this is an exhibition!

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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