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With the St. Louis Cardinals' 25-Man Roster Coming into Focus, Let's Get to Know 'The Other 15' on the 40-Man

Twenty-five players will break camp on the St. Louis big-league roster. The "Other 15" players on the 40-man are big-leaguers in waiting. Viva El Birdos is going to help you get to know these players now so you'll be familiar with them if they get a 2014 call-up.

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Last week's wintry Friday was warmed up before the annual autograph fair and media availability that is the St. Louis Cardinals' "Winter Warmup." The Cards announced that they had avoided arbitration with center fielders Jon Jay and Peter Bourjos. The club was unable to reach a contract agreement with utility infielder Daniel Descalso, however, with the Redbirds at $930,000 million and Team Dirty Dan at $1.65 million, according to's Jenifer Langosch.

This brings us two steps closer to a finalized 2014 25-man roster. The Descalso contract will take us another step forward. But, of course, the Cardinals roster won't be finalized until the spring. Here's how the 2014 roster matrix looks today:





C - Y. Molina


LF - M. Holliday


RHP - A. Wainwright


RHP - J. Motte


1B - M. Adams


CF - P. Bourjos


LHP - J. Garcia


LHP - R. Choate


2B - K. Wong


RF - A. Craig


RHP - L. Lynn


RHP - T. Rosenthal


3B - M. Carpenter


OF - J. Jay


RHP - J. Kelly


LHP - K. Siegrist


SS - J. Peralta


OF - S. Robinson


RHP - S. Miller


RHP - S. Maness


C - T. Cruz


OF - O. Taveras


RHP - M. Wacha


RHP - C. Martinez


IF - M. Ellis


OF - M. O’Neill


LHP - T. Lyons


LHP - S. Freeman


IF - D. Descalso


OF - R. Grichuk


RHP - K. Butler


WIG - T. Wigginton


OF - R. Ortega


RHP - J. Rondon


IF - P. Kozma


OF - J. Butler


RHP - A. Castro


IF - G. Garcia


RHP - E. Fornataro


C- A. Perez


*As noted above, the Cardinals filed at $930,000 and Descalso at $1.65 million. The MLBTR arbitration-eligible player salary prediction for Descalso was $1.2 million, which seems pretty close to where the two sides will ultimately end up.

**The contract between the Cardinals and Bourjos reportedly contains $150,000 in incentives based on plate appearances on top of the $1.2 million base salary, per Joe Sherman of the New York Post.

The unanswered questions as we inch ever closer to the players reporting to Jupiter include:

  • Will a warlock be able to unseat a freshly minted millionaire for the utility infielder job?
  • Which five pitchers will break camp in the St. Louis rotation?
  • Will those who lose out in the starting derby be relegated to the big-league bullpen or Triple-A Memphis?
  • Since Jason Motte likely won't be physically able come April, who will round out the Opening Day bullpen?

And then there are injuries, in February and March just as during the regular season.

This last inevitability has long motivated me to study a group of players that I've come to refer to as "The Other 15" (even though clubs often don't have 40 men on the 40-man roster). All MLB clubs have a 25-man roster limitation until the calendar turns from August to September. A player can't join the 25-man roster and become a bona fide big-leauger without first being added to the 40-man roster. So, the 40-man roster is filled with big-leaguers in waiting, so to speak. Some will wait forever; others will wait weeks or months.

Given this reality, we're starting a series of profiles here at VEB. These posts will look at the pedigrees of players who populate The Other 15 roster spots on the Cardinals 40-man roster and how they have performed in the minors to date. The hope is that getting to know these fellows now will save you feverishly searching for them on Fangraphs, Baseball-Reference, or when they are promoted to St. Louis later in the season.

Fourstick's first Other 15 profile will post later today.