photo: Carson Kelly, Jose Martinez, Harrison Bader (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images)
Baseball is a game of numbers and what is more relevant than the digits players wear on their uniforms?
We take our annual dive into the spring training number assignments for St. Louis Cardinals players and coaches. I will provide two views below. The first is a straight 1-99 view. The second will be a more detailed breakdown, including changes from 2017.
As one will see below, all numbers from 1 through 96 are currently spoken for, with the exception of seven – 8, 15, 26, 30, 33, 34 and 49. Three others remain out of commission in unofficial retired status, and 97 through 99 are available, likely to be used on minor leaguers brought in from the backfields for the afternoon, once “1:00 p.m.” games begin on February 23.
Update February 19: Bud Norris (26) replaces Rowan Wick (72) on the 40-man roster and the signing of Jason Motte (30) increases the non-roster invitees to 24.
|#||Roster Spring 2018|
|1||Ozzie Smith (retired)||51||Willie McGee|
|2||Red Schoendienst (retired)||52||Michael Wacha|
|3||Jedd Gyorko||53||John Gant|
|4||Yadier Molina||54||Alex Mejia|
|5||Albert Pujols (since 2011)||55||Dominic Leone|
|6||Stan Musial (retired)||56||Bryan Eversgerd|
|7||Luke Weaver||57||Darryl Kile (since 2002)|
|9||Enos Slaughter (retired)||59||Mike Mayers|
|10||Tony La Russa (retired)||60||John Brebbia|
|11||Jose Oquendo||61||Steven Baron|
|12||Paul DeJong||62||Yairo Munoz|
|13||Matt Carpenter||63||Tyler O’Neill|
|14||Ken Boyer (retired)||64||Sam Tuivailala|
|16||Kolten Wong||66||Wilfredo Tovar|
|17||Dizzy Dean (retired)||67||Matt Bowman|
|18||Carlos Martinez||68||Austin Gomber|
|20||Lou Brock (retired)||70||Tyler Lyons|
|21||Jordan Schafer||71||Derian Gonzalez|
|23||Marcell Ozuna||73||Patrick Wisdom|
|24||Whitey Herzog (retired)||74||Oscar Mercado|
|25||Dexter Fowler||75||Adolis Garcia|
|26||Bud Norris||76||Kleininger Teran|
|27||Brett Cecil||77||Josh Lucas|
|28||Tommy Pham||78||Randy Arozarena|
|29||Alex Reyes||79||Max Schrock|
|30||Jason Motte||80||Edmundo Sosa|
|31||Mike Maddux||81||Rangel Ravelo|
|32||Jack Flaherty||82||Tommy Edman|
|35||Greg Garcia||85||August Busch (retired)|
|36||Sean Gilmartin||86||Arturo Reyes|
|37||Oliver Marmol||87||Jake Woodford|
|38||Jose Martinez||88||Ryan Helsley|
|39||Miles Mikolas||89||Jordan Hicks|
|40||Luke Voit||90||Conner Greene|
|41||Breyvic Valera||91||Dakota Hudson|
|42||Sutter/Robinson (retired)||92||Hector Mendoza|
|43||Bill Mueller||93||Andrew Knizner|
|44||Luke Gregerson||94||Jamie Pogue|
|45||Bob Gibson (retired)||95||Jeremy Martinez|
|46||Francisco Pena||96||Dennis Ortega|
Next is a view by grouping. In every case, I list the individual’s spring number as well as who wore it last spring, as applicable. When the player had the same number in 2017, his number is just listed instead of repeating his name, for visual clarity.
On the left are the 23 non-roster invitees. On the right are the 40-man roster players.
Note the significant change from year to year. Only 19 of the 63 players invited to 2018 spring camp were at the 2017 camp wearing the same number. Of course, some of the others are back, but with different digits assigned.
|Non-Roster Invitees (24)||40-Man Roster (40)|
|#||2017||Pitchers (11)||#||2017||Pitchers (22)|
|36||Aledmys Diaz||Sean Gilmartin||67||67||Matt Bowman|
|58||Jose Martinez||Preston Guilmet||60||Kendry Flores||John Brebbia|
|88||Harrison Bader||Ryan Helsley||27||Jhonny Peralta||Brett Cecil|
|89||Arturo Reyes||Jordan Hicks||32||Matt Adams||Jack Flaherty|
|91||Robby Rowland||Dakota Hudson||53||53||John Gant|
|92||Jack Flaherty||Hector Mendoza||68||Alberto Rosario||Austin Gomber|
|84||Josh Lucas||Daniel Poncedeleon||71||Carson Kelly||Derian Gonzalez|
|86||Patrick Wisdom||Arturo Reyes||90||D. Schutzenhofer||Conner Greene|
|21||Brett Cecil||Jordan Schafer||44||Trevor Rosenthal||Luke Gregerson|
|87||Paul DeJong||Jake Woodford||55||Stephen Piscotty||Dominic Leone|
|30||Carson Kelly||Jason Motte||77||Chris Maloney||Josh Lucas|
|#||2017||Catchers (5)||18||18||Carlos Martinez|
|61||Alex Reyes||Steven Baron||59||59||Mike Mayers|
|93||Sandy Alcantara||Andrew Knizner||26||Seung-hwan Oh||Bud Norris|
|95||Daniel Poncedeleon||Jeremy Martinez||39||Jamie Pogue||Miles Mikolas|
|96||Andrew Knizner||Dennis Ortega||29||Zach Duke||Alex Reyes|
|46||Kevin Siegrist||Francisco Pena||65||Chad Huffman||Ryan Sherriff|
|#||2017||Infielders (6)||52||52||Michael Wacha|
|82||Gabriel Lino||Tommy Edman||50||50||Adam Wainwright|
|54||Zach Phillips||Alex Mejia||7||open||Luke Weaver|
|81||Anthony Garcia||Rangel Ravelo|
|79||Magneuris Sierra||Max Schrock|
|66||66||Wilfredo Tovar||#||2017||Catchers (2)|
|73||Breyvic Valera||Patrick Wisdom||19||Jordan Schafer||Carson Kelly|
|78||Trey Nielsen||Randy Arozarena||#||2017||Infielders (9)|
|75||75||Adolis Garcia||13||13||Matt Carpenter|
|62||Luke Weaver||Yairo Munoz|
|41||Eric Fryer||Breyvic Valera|
|40||Mitch Harris||Luke Voit|
|48||Todd Cunningham||Harrison Bader|
|38||Mike Shildt||Jose Martinez|
|74||Eliezer Alvarez||Oscar Mercado|
|63||Miguel Socolovich||Tyler O’Neill|
|23||Bill Mueller||Marcell Ozuna|
Then we have the coaches and the retired numbers everyone is most familiar with from the outfield wall at Busch Stadium.
Going clockwise, next are the numbers that appear to be unofficially out of service to honor former team greats. That group declined by two for 2018 with the return of Jose Oquendo and Willie McGee joining the big-league staff for the first time.
By simple process of elimination, the final group of seven remains. Interestingly, all seven were active last season. Two players were traded, one departed as a free agent, one changed his number, two coaches were fired, and one coach left the Cardinals for another organization. The common thread is these numbers remain open and ready to be assigned.
|#||2017||Coaches (13)||#||Retired (12)|
|56||Marco Gonzales||Bryan Eversgerd||1||Ozzie Smith|
|22||22||Mike Matheny||2||Red Schoendienst|
|47||47||John Mabry||6||Stan Musial|
|31||Lance Lynn||Mike Maddux||9||Enos Slaughter|
|37||37||Oliver Marmol||10||Tony La Russa|
|51||51||Willie McGee||14||Ken Boyer|
|43||open||Bill Mueller||17||Dizzy Dean|
|11||11||Jose Oquendo||20||Lou Brock|
|83||Ryan Sherriff||Mike Shildt||24||Whitey Herzog|
|94||Austin Gomber||Jamie Pogue||42||Bruce Sutter/Jackie Robinson|
|76||76||Kleininger Teran||45||Bob Gibson|
|#||(last worn/year)||#||Unofficially out of service (3)|
|8||Mike Leake (2017)||5||Albert Pujols (since 2011)|
|15||Randal Grichuk (2017)||57||Darryl Kile (since 2002)|
|33||David Bell (2017)|
|34||Derek Lilliquist (2017)|
|49||Blaise Ilsley (2017)|
|72||Rowan Wick (2018)|
Of the major leaguers who left the Cardinals this past off-season, Randal Grichuk’s number 15 most noticeably remains open. Despite the fact it has been worn by several others since, some Cardinals fans will always associate it with team Hall of Famer Jim Edmonds.
As many know, as part of Oquendo’s return, he reclaimed his 11 from Paul DeJong, who somewhat surprisingly had been issued it last May (after being assigned 87 last spring). For 2018, the shortstop has moved up one digit to 12, which was unused in last year’s camp, though reliever Juan Nicasio was given it when traded to St. Louis last September.
The team’s newest marquee acquisition, outfielder Marcell Ozuna, took over Bill Mueller’s 23, with the assistant hitting coach moving to 43, last worn by Magneuris Sierra during last season. New pitching coach Mike Maddux inherited Lance Lynn’s 31.
Recently-signed closer Luke Gregerson assumes old closer Trevor Rosenthal’s 44. Top prospect Alex Reyes has taken over the 29 worn by Zach Duke. Reliever Dominic Leone now has Stephen Piscotty’s old 55.
First baseman-outfielder Jose Martinez went from 58 to Mike Shildt’s old 38. The new bench coach reversed his digits, taking a number for which there should be no competition – 83.
Carson Kelly made his second shift since he donned 71 last spring. During the 2017 season, the catcher took Jonathan Broxton’s old 30 before dropping down to 19 for 2018.
Update 2/13/18: New Cardinals pitcher Bud Norris has been assigned Seung-hwan Oh’s old number 26.
The Roster Matrix and the St. Louis Cardinals roster here at The Cardinal Nation are fully up to date. The former indicates all players invited to Major League spring training camp, 40-man roster players and non-roster invitees, but uniform numbers are not designated on the Matrix.
Our St. Louis roster here at TCN does include uniform numbers, with players listed based on a 25-man roster view. All players remain on their official year-ending 2017 teams until they have a firm assignment to open 2018. All eight minor league affiliates’ rosters are kept up to date, as well. The Matrix and all rosters can always be accessed from the menu on the left column.
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