This afternoon at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, the Cardinals will play the first game of their spring exhibition season. This will officially open St. Louis’s 2019 campaign - one they hope will end differently than recent seasons have.
The offseason’s key acquisitions - first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and relief pitcher Andrew Miller - are likely to be on display this weekend. Goldschmidt, Miller, and the other 38 players on the 40-man roster will be there, as well as the club’s 24 non-roster invitees.
Of the two dozen, there are 11 pitchers, eight catchers, three infielders, and two outfielders. Hunter Cervenka, Tommy Layne, and Evan Kruczynski make up the trio of lefties, accompanied by right-handers Chris Beck, Seth Elledge, Mike Hauschild, Connor Jones, Ryan Meisinger, Andrew Morales, Williams Perez, and Jake Woodford. The Cardinals signed Cervenka, Beck, Hauschild and Perez to Minor League contracts early in the offseason, and Meisinger was grabbed off waivers from the Orioles in December.
The backstops are Jose Godoy, Joe Hudson, Andrew Knizner, Jeremy Martinez, Brian O’Keefe, Dennis Ortega, Francisco Pena, and Julio Rodriguez. Hudson, like the five pitchers noted above, signed a Minor League deal back in November. Although nothing is certain, it is likely that Francisco Pena will be the one out of this group who cracks the roster and serves as the big-league squad’s backup catcher to one Yadier Molina. Pena was Molina’s understudy last season, too, and played in a career-high 58 games in 2018.
Tommy Edman, Rangel Ravelo, and Max Schrock are the infielders; Randy Arozarena and Dylan Carlson are the outfielders. Schrock, Arozarena, and Carlson were featured in our community prospect projections series, as was Knizner.
Saturday’s Spring Training opener is set to start around 12:05 PM Central time. The Cardinals will play as the away team in what will be the first of their six scheduled meetings with the Marlins. The first ‘home’ game for the Cardinals is Sunday, another 12:05 PM start - this one against the Nationals. Both games will be aired on Fox Sports Midwest, KMOX, and across the entire Cardinals Radio Network.
Miles Mikolas will start Saturday’s contest and be followed by Jack Flaherty. Per usual early in the spring, both pitchers are likely to throw around 40 pitches apiece in their first outings as they build up their counts to more regular-season-like numbers.