Yesterday was not the best day. Ruben Tejada, the Cardinals' backup plan for the injured Jhonny Peralta, got injured as well and appears to be out indefinitely. On Sunday it looks like Jedd Gyorko will be the backup plan to the backup plan and be the starting shortstop in Pittsburgh. In other news though, the Cardinals played their last spring training game and beat the Yankees 9-1. In doing so they managed to bang out five home runs, including two from Stephen Piscotty. Of course, that probably means nothing but since we need some good news I think it would be fine if we all assume it means everything.
Here's what you may have missed yesterday at VEB:
Injuries and 25-Man Roster
With recent injuries to Jordan Walden and Tejada, the 25-man roster has been finalized by default a few days before the season opener. Craig Edwards discussed the Tejada quad injury which could have led to round two of the Aledmys Diaz debate but instead the Cardinals announced Jeremy Hazelbaker, who has had a good spring, will be on the roster. It will be the 28-year old's first time on an MLB roster.
Similarly, the news on Wednesday that Jordan Walden had discomfort in his shoulder and wouldn't be on the opening roster led to an opening for pitcher Matt Bowman. Joe Schwarz analyzed what that means here.
In the wake of all of this let's not forget that injuries are not always bad.
Jeremy Hazelbaker makes the #stlcards roster due to a vet getting injured. I remember in 2001 when another 28 year old rookie did the same.— alex fritz (@boxcar_fritz) March 31, 2016
I wrote why the Cardinals need to capitalize on the lower end of the National League, and particularly the NL Central, in order to contend for a fourth straight NL Central title.
Down on the Farm
If you're interested in the goings on of top Redbird prospects, Ebo has you covered here.
By most measures, last year was Carlos Martinez's "break out" season but if his VEB projections turn out to be on point he'll take that to another level in 2016. This meme is gaining national traction as well. On Tuesday Mark Simon picked Martinez as one his dark horse candidates for the Cy Young. Like all of you I'm ready to watch him pitch.
Enjoy your weekend, everyone.