Pitchers and catchers reported last week to get a head start on throwing programs, but the remaining position players were not required to check in until yesterday. Today is the day of the first full workout with everyone in camp. We are inching a bit closer to the Cardinals first exhibition game on March 2 against the Owls of Florida Atlantic, the first exhibition game against a major league team on March 3 against the Miami Marlins, and Opening Day, which is now just 40 days from today.
Here at Viva El Birdos, we have tried to keep you abreast of the roster moves during the long winter. The Cardinals have not made any changes to their 40-man roster since bringing in Seung Hwan Oh. When we last made an update, the 40-man roster looked like this.
There are still just 39 players on the 40-man roster so the Cardinals could add another player during the spring, which could be necessary if Yadier Molina is not ready to start the season and the team does not want Mike Ohlman as the backup catcher or Yadi is ready to start the season, but the team is cautious and brings three catchers and chooses someone else over Ohlman.
The team could also choose to put Alex Reyes on the 40-man roster if it decides it is more important for his development to pitch in some games and end his minor league suspension early. Lance Lynn is currently taking up a spot on the 40-man roster, and he can now be transferred to the 60-day disabled list which would free up another spot. Matt Bowman needs to make the 25-man roster or he will be sent back to the New York Mets. In any event, the Cardinals do have some flexibility when it comes to their 40-man roster.
Those on the 40-man roster get an automatic invite to Major League Spring Training. The number of players at big-league camp does not end with those players. Every year, all major league teams invite a handful of other players to camp for varying reasons. Sometimes the team just needs extra players for workouts--this is particularly true for catcher--but sometimes the team wants to take a closer look at a prospect before they head back to the minors. These players are called non-roster invitees (relatively self-explanatory) because they are not on the 40-man roster, but they are nonetheless invited to camp.
The list of Cardinals non-roster invitees look like this:
We might have already had our first casualty as Tyler Waldron has been shut down from throwing. For now, we will keep him on the full list, which looks like this:
As the spring moves along and players are cut and moved into minor league camp, we will continue to make adjustments.
Real live baseball is getting closer.