I have not seen anyone address this issue, which seems to me to a fairly significant question that the Cardinals need to answer this season.
There was a lot of conversation about the Cardinals' logjam at OF, and the team took several steps to address this situation over the offseason. However, it seems they still have too many "maybe big leaguers, maybe AAAA-type" players in the minor leagues, and that as a result a lot of potentially useful talent will be wasted - i.e the "problem" they attempted to clean up a bit still exists in a major way.
For instance, rosterresource.com projects 35 players that "should" be at AAA level in 2018, with several positions clearly overstaffed. E.g.:
c - Pena, Baron, Knizer
1b - Voit, Ravelo
2b - Schrock, Valera
SS - Munoz, Mejia, Tovar
3b - Wisdom
That's 11 infielders, which is difficult (impossible) for a roster to carry (and rosterresource includes Caldwell and Nogowski as AAA ready). out of this list, who can be sent to AA? Pena and Baron signed to be 3rd catcher, with MLB experience. Voit and Raveleo both put up WRc+ over 125 in AAA, and are "too old" and too succesful to go to AA. Schrock had a 128 WRc+ in AA and is clearly ready for AAA, and Cardinals no doubt want to not let him coast in AA another year, but rather want/need to test and see what they have in him...same with Munoz....while Valera has been mentioned by Mozeliak as a potential MLB-ready player...Tovar, Mejia are also not young prospects and have MLB experience....how do you get everyone enough playing time to see what they offer and to continue to develop, and more pointedly who do you send to AA, as whoever you send down at their age/stage will stop developing and might as well be written off...(and this is not even addressing players like Caldwell, Seferina, Mercado...who are knocking on the AAA door and may be ready for a promotion at some point in 2018.)
The picture is at least as "bad" at pitcher, where Flaherty, Gomber, Mayers, Helsely, Hudson, Gilmartan, Poncedeleon, Brebbia, Sheriff, Lucas, Motte, Reyes, Guilmet, Morales, Beck....at LEAST 15 players...are some combination of too old, too accomplished, or too important to test out to push back to AA, as they would all simply be "wasting" a year there which they can't afford and still be meaningful potential MLB players.
So, how do the Cardinals set up their minor leagues where they are actually giving their AAA-level players a chance to continue to improve and are not sending significant numbers of AAA-level players to AA, where their development, and the Cardinals ability to determine who is ready for next step, will be stunted to the point of being wasted?
Don't the Cardinals "have" to decide who they believe offers the best MLB potential, and then "get rid" of the rest, rather than wasting them at AA for no good purpose - said another way, can the Cardinals package a group of these "AAAA at least" players that they will otherwise have to put in a position where their development is stunted and whatever potential they have is squandered and get some younger, "lottery ticket" player for them? Or do none of these borderline-MLB players offer ANY value to ANY other team? If not..what do they do/who do they prioritize for their AAA roster?