St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training Feature

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The St. Louis Cardinals have reported to camp, and Spring Training is underway. The bitter taste of a wild-card loss to end the 2021 season surely lingers heading into camp but will soon fade as the organization officially begins the 2022 season. Most of the Cardinal roster remains from last year, but there are multiple interesting additions to note heading into the new year. Spring Training offers a unique time to take stock of a club’s roster options and what role those players will have to begin the season. Here is a look at the Cardinals roster to open camp. 

Cardinals Spring Training Roster Feature

Starting Rotation

  1. Adam Wainwright
  2. Jack Flaherty
  3. Steven Matz
  4. Dakota Hudson
  5. Miles Mikolas
  6. Jake Woodford

The Cardinals lost a six-man rotation heading into the year, something Mike Shildt utilized multiple times during his tenure as manager. Expect new manager Oliver Marmol to do the same. Dakota Hudson will head into camp in the No. 4 spot, indicating the Cardinals’ confidence in the young right-hander entering his first full season since Tommy John. Adam Wainwright figures to be the opening day starter at age 40 to begin what will likely be his farewell tour. Offseason acquisition Steven Matz slides into the third spot in the rotation as the Cardinals’ only lefty starter. 

Bullpen

Giovanny Gallegos (Closer)

Alex Reyes

T.J. McFarland

Genesis Cabrera

Kodi Whitley

Ryan Helsley

Junior Fernández

Giovanny Gallegos will take over as the Cardinals’ official closer to beginning 2022. It’s a role he had success in last season. In addition, Alex Reyes will return to the bullpen despite speculation of a possible transition to a starter role. Veteran southpaw, T.J. McFarland, will look to repeat a quality season with St. Louis. Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley have earned spots in the Cardinal bullpen to open the year after being up and down for much of 2021. That leaves us to Genesis Cabrera and Ryan Helsley. Both players are figures to play important roles in the middle innings, similar to the roles they played last year.

New signings Nick Wittgren, Zach McAllister, and Drew VerHagen may also play a role out of the pen. The Cards are also hopeful that Jordan Hicks will be able to make a return to consistent action at some point in 2022. Hicks continues to build up after nagging injuries kept him sidelined for most of 2021.

Catchers

  1. Yadier Molina
  2. Andrew Knizner

There are no surprises here at the catcher position. Yadier Molina will likely see the bulk of the action in the final season of his career. Furthermore, Andrew Knizner will look to improve upon a rough 2021 as he hopes to set himself up to be Molina’s successor in 2023 and beyond. 

Infield 

1B: Paul Goldschmidt, Juan Yepez

2B: Tommy Edman, Edmundo Sosa

3B: Nolan Arenado,  Sosa

SS: Paul DeJong, Tommy Edman, Sosa

The power duo of Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado will continue to hold down the corners for the Cardinals. Coming off a breakout 2021 season, Juan Yepez will first crack the Cardinals’ opening day roster and back up Goldschmidt. Plus, Tommy Edman will return as the everyday second baseman. Interestingly, Edman is also listed as an option at shortstop. Edman’s versatility opens up options for lineup shuffles. If DeJong’s struggles continue, it could potentially earn some prospect call-ups at second base. Edmundo Sosa will return as a valuable utility infielder. Expect Sosa to fill a similar role to last season. 

Outfield

LF:: Tyler O’Neill, Juan Yepez, Lars Nootbaar

CF: Harrison Bader, Dylan Carlson, Tyler O’Neill

RF: Dylan Carlson, Lars Nootbaar, Juan Yepez, Tommy Edman

The exciting trio of Tyler O’Neill, Harrison Bader, and Dylan Carlson will return to patrol the outfield. Juan Yepez provides versatility as a backup first base and corner outfield option. Then, there’s Lars Nootbaar. Nootbaar returns as the club’s backup right fielder and valuable left-handed bat off the bench. It’s a role he thrived in during the second half of the 2021 season. Expect the Cardinals to platoon the fourth outfielder role with this much depth. A player like Nootbaar should get starts against right-handed pitching, whereas Yepez can go up against left-handed pitching. The club also lists Tommy Edman as an option in the right field; however, do not expect Edman to see significant time in the outfield. 

Heading to Jupiter

Spring Training will allow the Cardinals to see how players fit in some new roles. St. Louis will certainly keep a close eye on certain players at camp. Coaches will be watchful for Yepez, who can handle both first base and corner outfield options. The health concerns of Jack Flaherty, Alex Reyes, Jordan Hicks, Ryan Helsley, and others will be closely monitored. The Cardinals will also use these 15 games in Jupiter to assess their plethora of prospects. High-performing prospects in the spring place themselves in a prime position to be one of the many mid-season call-ups that inevitably happen due to injury or other circumstances. St. Louis fans have much to look forward to this spring as the Cardinals ramp up to open the 2022 regular season on April 7 against the Pittsburgh Pirates

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Players/Managers Mentioned:

Mike Shildt, Dakota Hudson, Adam Wainwright, Jack Flaherty, Steven Matz, Miles Mikolas, Jake Woodford, Giovanny Gallegos, Alex Reyes, T.J. McFarland, Genesis Cabrera, Kodi Whitley, Ryan Helsley, Junior Fernández, Yadier Molina, Andrew Knizner, Paul Goldschmidt, Juan Yepez, Tommy Edman, Edmundo Sosa, Nolan Arenado, Paul DeJong, Tyler O’Neill, Lars Nootbaar, Harrison Bader, Dylan Carlson