Every year about this time, I put together my annual forecast of which players the St. Louis Cardinals might call up in September when rosters expand beyond the normal limit of 25 to as many as 40.
I am certainly not the only one to
make such predictions, but I believe I am one of the few to take into account a
wide variety of interrelated factors. These factors include player performances,
the Cardinals' 40-man roster situation, roster needs of the MLB club as well as
Let's start by looking back at recent Septembers. Tony La Russa has often said that he doesn't want too many extra players with the team in September, but what does that mean? Well, the club added eight last season and nine the year prior.
Four of the 2008 call-ups had to be added to the 40-man roster first:
1B/OF Josh Phelps
IF Brian Barden
RHR Josh Kinney (on the 60-day DL coming off a rehab)
None of the four had appeared in the majors that season prior to September, though all had seen MLB time previously.
The other 2008 additions:
RHR Kelvin Jimenez
LHR Randy Flores
IF Brendan Ryan
RHS Chris Carpenter (activated off a rehab assignment)
All four had been in
At least six other candidates did not receive the call in 2008:
RHS Mitchell Boggs (shut down)
LHS Jaime Garcia (Tommy John surgery)
RHS Mike Parisi (TJ surgery)
RHR Mark Worrell
C Bryan Anderson (not on 40-man)
3B David Freese (not on 40-man)
Not to revisit all the details,
but to add the three to the 40-man and bring Kinney off the 60-day DL, three
players were put on the 60-day (Mark Mulder, Jason Isringhausen and Chris
Duncan) and another was dropped (Rico
In 2007, there were two waves, totaling nine players. Three of them were not on the 40-man already.
On September 1, the club added:
RHR Andy Cavazos
RHR Kelvin Jimenez
Miguel Cairo (purchased from
LHP Mike Maroth (activated off 15-day DL and rehab assignment)
wave two occurred at the conclusion of
IF Brian Barden
RHR Brad Thompson
RHR Brian Falkenborg
Stinnett and Falkenborg, while having seen Major League time with the Cardinals that season, were not on the 40-man.
So what can we glean from this?
The Cardinals may add about eight players for the final month in an approximate balance of position players and pitchers. Up to three or four of them may not currently be on the 40-man.
A representative group:
Pitchers – three righties and one lefty
Catcher – one
Infielders – two
Outfielder – one
In terms of timing,
40-man roster strategy
The Cardinals have a large group of players that will require addition to the roster this winter to avoid being at risk of being lost in December's Rule 5 draft. As such, the Cardinals may decide to avoid adding any other players prematurely.
An example of this was Freese, who was our 2008 Scout.com Cardinals Minor League Player of the Year, yet did not receive a call up that September. That was perhaps due in a large part to the fact he was not yet on the 40-man and was not required to be added at that time.
40-man roster size
Currently, the Cardinals have 37 players on the 40-man. That means three can be added without any immediate damage. To go beyond, an injured player such as Troy Glaus could be moved to the 60-day DL to open up a fourth spot. Another alternative is to remove a player from the 40-man that does not seem a part of the club's short-term plans, such as reliever Matt Scherer.
In Part Two of this report,
exclusively for Scout.com subscribers, we will handicap the chances of a number
of potential September call ups and end with the ones most likely of making it
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