Wainwright, Molina on Cardinals’ NLDS Roster

The St. Louis Cardinals have set their first-round playoff roster with two battle-tested stars included.

Seven St. Louis Cardinals who were recently injured were among those considered for the team’s National League Division Series roster. Five of them made the top 25, but two did not.

Temporary reliever Adam Wainwright leads the four Cardinals continuing to play who were activated off the disabled list during September. Others still active are outfielders Matt Holliday, Jon Jay and Randal Grichuk.

Left off the roster are a pair of Matts who came back from the DL during the final month - first baseman Matt Adams and reliever Matt Belisle.

The final recently-injured player who is considered healthy enough to play is Yadier Molina. However, the all-star catcher is not 100 percent. Molina has to wear a splint to protect a ligament in his left thumb that was sprained on September 20.

The club also announced its rotation order for the NLDS, which begins Friday night at St. Louis. John Lackey will start Game 1 against the Chicago Cubs, followed by lefty Jaime Garcia, Michael Wacha and Lance Lynn.

The Cards’ 25-man roster includes four rookies, three of whom are outfielders. They are Grichuk, Tommy Pham and Stephen Piscotty (who also plays first base) along with infielder Greg Garcia. Grichuk has post-season experience, however, having made 36 plate appearances in 2014's playoffs.

Though this is his third partial season with St. Louis, Tyler Lyons made his first-ever post-season roster. The lefty was selected for a long relief role after pitching well in September.

Unlike Mike Matheny’s roster in his first three Division Series as the Cardinals manager, the team is going with an extra position player, 14 instead of 13. Of course, that means 11 pitchers rather than 12.

Among others left off the roster are three veteran relief pitchers: Belisle, Randy Choate and Steve Cishek. Despite being on St. Louis’ roster all season long, outfielder Peter Bourjos and infielder Pete Kozma also did not make the 25-man roster. Starting pitcher Carlos Martinez’ suffered a season-ending shoulder injury last month.

Roster changes can be made between rounds and if injuries occur. A number of those not among the 25 are expected to travel with the team.

St. Louis Cardinals National League Division Series Roster

Hitters (14)     Pitchers (11)  
Catchers (2) Molina    Starters (4) Lackey
  Cruz     Lynn 
Infielders (6) Moss     J. Garcia
  Wong   Relievers (7) Rosenthal
  G. Garcia     Maness
  Peralta     Siegrist (L)
  Reynolds     Lyons (L)
Outfielders (6) Holliday     Wainwright
  Grichuk     Villanueva
  Piscotty   Excluded  Martinez (inj)
  Pham     Cishek
  Jay     Belisle
        Choate (L)
Excluded Bourjos      

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

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