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With a new manager leading the St. Louis Cardinals, their roster and lineup may be a little different in 2022.
The St. Louis Cardinals are under new management this season as Oliver Marmol takes the reigns as skipper this season. Mike Shildt was fired in October due to “philosophical differences” between the manager and the front office.
With Marmol as manager, it is believed he will be big on match-ups. He will consider situations and analytics which is important to a front office. In recent years, the Cardinals front office has made a huge investment in analytics. Marmol will not be afraid to use everyone available to him so that he can get the most out of the club which has so much potential.
Teams will have 28-man rosters through April and return to 26-man rosters in May. Here’s a prediction of what the Cardinals roster could look like on Opening Day April 7.
Cardinals Opening Day lineup
Tommy Edman, 2B
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
Tyler O’Neill, LF
Nolan Arenado, 3B
Dylan Carlson, RF
Yadier Molina, C
Corey Dickerson, DH
Paul DeJong, SS
Harrison Bader, CF
The bench will include Lars Nootbaar at OF/DH, Andrew Knizner at C, Juan Yepez at IF/DH, and Eduardo Sosa at SS, 2B, 3B. Dickerson can also play in the outfield.
In seasons past, the Cardinals would have players on the bench that were barely used. With Marmol leading the club, this entire bench will see some time on the field and in the lineup based on matchups.
Cardinals Opening Day rotation and bullpen
The bullpen will include Johan Oviedo, Drew VerHagen, Nick Wittgren, Aaron Brooks, Kodi Whitley, T.J. McFarland, Ryan Helsley, Genesis Cabrera, Jordan Hicks, and Giovanny Gallegos.
Until more information is learned about Jack Flaherty’s status after a plasma-rich platelet injection last week, Oviedo and VerHagen could see time as long relievers or piggyback starters with Woodford.
Further adjustments to the rotation and bullpen could come once Alex Reyes’ situation is clear as well. Reyes has a torn labrum and was recently treated with an injection of stem cells. There had been talk of placing him in the rotation or placing him in a role in the bullpen. Reyes was the team’s closer for the first half of the 2021 season earning 29 saves and an All-Star game appearance.
As the season drew to a close, Reyes lost the closers job and was beginning to see success in situations that were not high leverage. The Cardinals season ended when Shildt reversed course and Reyes was put in the first high leverage situation he’d seen in weeks during the NL Wild Card game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Reyes gave up a game-winning homer to Chris Taylor.
Reyes will ultimately require more time to ramp up once the club gets an idea of how they want to use him after a tumultuous end to the 2021 season. If the team sees improvements mentally and physically for Reyes, he could play a key role later in the season.