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St. Louis Cardinals spring training roster matrix: MLB camp after the Cards' second round of cuts

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What does the St. Louis Cardinals MLB camp spring-traning roster matrix look like after the organization made its second round of cuts?

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals made their second round of spring-training cuts on Tuesday, sendings a handful of non-roster invitees from major- to minor-league camp. Consequently, it's time to update the ol' spring training roster matrix. MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports that the Cardinals made the following moves:

  • Optioned infielder and member of the 40-man roster Greg Garcia to Triple-A
  • Optioned lefthanded pitcher and member of the 40-man roster Tyler Lyons to Triple-A
  • Reassigned catching prospect Carson Kelly to minor-league camp
  • Reassigned infield prospect Breyvic Valera to minor-league camp
There was a time not so long ago when Garcia seemed like the heir apparent to Daniel Descalso as the club's utility infielder. Like Descalso, Garcia is not the greatest batting threat. Unlike Descalso, Garcia can actually play a serviceable shortstop defensively. But the reemergence of Pete Kozma last fall as well as Cardinals' additions of Dean Anna and Ty Kelly might have given as much an indication of what the organization thinks of Garcia as it did Descalso. Now Descalso is plying his trade in Colorado and Garcia has been relegated to Triple-A after taking 15 plate appearances in ten games—half the number Kelly has taken and a little less than two-thirds that of Kozma.

Also unsurprising was the Cardinals' decision to option Lyons to Memphis. Given the current glut of lefthanded relief options, Lyons was destined to open the year with Memphis. The only surprise is that his demotion came this early in camp. It was likely motivated by Lyons's horrible spring line to date: 5 IP, 7 R, 7 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 4 SO. Of course, that's equivalent of one train-wreck start in the regular season, so there's no reason for alarm over the southpaw.

Neither Kelly nor Valera are on the 40-man, so it was a question of when, not if, they would be reassigned to the minors. Kelly was in big-league camp to catch bullpens and soak up wisdom. The converted catcher did just that. Now he's off to continue his development as a backstop in the minors. Likewise, Valera stood no chance of being a Cardinal on opening day. As a result, he wasn't getting many opportunities in major-league exhibitions (just five PA), so the club reassigned him to minor-league camp.

The roster matrix's color coding works as follows:
  • Red: Likely 25-man roster member. As RB and I discussed on the VEB podcast, Marco Gonzales starting the year as a starter in Memphis might be the best-case scenario for the Cardinals, because it would mean the club's top four starters are all healthy, Carlos Martinez is healthy and pitching effectively in the rotation, and Kevin Siegrist is healthy and pitching effectively in the bullpen. Still, I think Gonzales is more likely than not a member of the St. Louis Cardinals come opening day.
  • Navy Blue: Spring training competition. I'm even less sure of placing Randal Grichuk in this category midweek as I was on Sunday, but we'll keep him here until we get tea leaves to clear up the bench competition.
  • Royal Blue: Member of the 40-man roster but unlikely to make the opening-day 25-man active MLB roster.
  • Light Blue: Non-roster invitee.
  • Gray: Optioned or reassigned to minor-league camp.

Spring Training Roster Matrix -- 2015.03.17

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