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.
Memphis Redbirds roster for Friday, March 28 exhibition vs. St. Louis
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!
For lineups and in-game chat, check out The Cardinal Nation message board.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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