The St. Louis Cardinals officially placed Chris Carpenter on the 60-day disabled list Friday—here's Derrick Goold's report—which, for the broadest demographic slice of Cardinals fandom, doesn't mean much. It's a weird combination of moving and depressing—in the his-career-might-be-over sense—and procedurally boring, in the "You'll have to file a Form C672 My Career Might Be Over with the retirement clerk" sense. For Cardinals prospect hounds, though, it offers one perk: An open spot on the Cardinals' 40-man roster, which now sits at 39. Let the rush to place your favorite pet prospect on the Cardinals' opening day roster begin!
Notable absentees from the 40-man roster—which is cut down to 25 for the active roster—include just about every fringe competitor for a job out of Spring Training. That is, Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal, and Joe Kelly are already on board, but if you're convinced Carlos Martinez or Michael Wacha is going to take Carpenter's fifth spot in the rotation they'll still have to be added. Matt Carpenter, Daniel Descalso, and Pete Kozma could all take some slice of the second base job, but if you're a Kolten Wong partisan he'll fit nicely into Carpenter's old spot. And Oscar Taveras. Oscar Taveras!
All of this, of course, is much less exciting than it sounds, unless you still feel an ineffable thrill whenever you speak Oscar Taveras's name out loud. 40-man roster spots are just as likely to go to fringe-interesting pitchers (meet Michael Blazek, Eric Fornataro, and Kevin Siegrist) the team wants to keep an eye on as they are future stars who are going to force themselves onto the active roster in March.
But the Cardinals' strong minor league system means Carpenter's spot is likely to be filled soon. And if you're of the opinion that the Cardinals' weird inactivity on the infield is a sign of their total confidence in Kolten Wong, you now have one less bureaucratic question to answer while you're theorizing.