After today's game against the New York Metropolitans, the St. Louis Cardinals announced a group of roster moves that have cemented the club's roster for its opening game against the Miami Marlins on Wednesday. Ace reporter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Derrick Goold, tweets that the club has optioned catcher Bryan Anderson, reliever Victor Marte, and infielder Eugenio Velez to AAA Memphis.
No one is exactly sure how Velez made it this far into camp without being cut. He hit .143/.182/.143 this spring, which totals a .325 OPS. Sure, it was only over twenty-some odd plate appearances, but seven Cardinals had a higher batting average than Velez's OPS with Lance Berkman's .324 spring BA being only one point lower. The switch-hitting Velez has a career MLB line of .241/.287/.367/.654 and seems likely to back up Ryan Jackson and Pete Kozma in Memphis.
The back-up catcher derby has come to an end with Tony Cruz the winner. For all the focus on Anderson and all the positive quotes about him from manager Mike Matheny, it was not to be for the left-handed hitting backstop. The knock on Anderson has always been his defense with offense being his saving grace. But Anderson's grace could not save him this spring as Matheny still shipped him to Memphis despite Anderson's .478/.586/.696/1.282 line over 29 PAs. Anderson will serve as the primary catcher in Memphis and the third-string catcher for the Cardinals, the role Cruz filled last season.
Victor Marte returns to Memphis after being the Redbirds closer for the 2011 season. As the AAA closer last season, he posted a line of 7.51 K/9, 2.89 BB/9, 1.44 ERA, and 3.59 FIP in 62.1 IP. Marte has made eight appearances in spring training that totaled eight innings. Over those innings, he struck out six, walked two, allowed six hits, and one run.
The bench will feature Rule 5 draft pick Erik Komatsu, a lefthanded hitting outfielder capable of playing solid defense at all three outfield positions as well as the righthanded hitting Shane Robinson who can do the same. Cruz will serve as the backup catcher just as he did last season with Gerald Laird on the disabled list. The versatile Matt Carpenter bats lefty but throws righty and, while his primary position is third base, has demonstrated an ability to play first, left, and right during spring training. Rounding out the bench early in the year will be the non-starting second baseman between Tyler Greene and Daniel Descalso.
The opening day roster for the Cardinals will be:
STARTING POSITION PLAYERS: