Cardinals Cut Three, Signal Bench Make Up

photo: Harrison Bader (Scott Rovak/USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

Luke Voit (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals announced this (Friday) morning that they have reduced their Spring Training roster by three players, leaving the number of players in Major League camp at 36 (26 roster players & 10 non-roster invitees).

The team today optioned pitcher Josh Lucas, first baseman Luke Voit and outfielder Harrison Bader to the Memphis Redbirds (AAA) roster.   Non-roster pitcher Jason Motte was granted his unconditional release prior to yesterday’s game.

Brian Walton’s take

Harrison Bader (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Though as noted above, 36 players remain in camp, the remaining to be cut are almost clear. The club has stated its intent to open with eight pitchers in the bullpen and the fourth and last bench spot was a spirited competition between Bader and utility man Yairo Munoz.

With reliever Luke Gregerson dealing with a hamstring injury, a trip to the 10-day disabled list would seem to open the door for perhaps the most improved Cardinal this spring, right-hander Mike Mayers, to come North with St. Louis. Another option would be to option out reliever John Brebbia, instead.

The only other decision remaining is how the Cardinals will create a 40-man roster spot for reserve catcher Francisco Pena. The most likely candidate is another utility man, Breyvic Valera, sent down last week. Pitcher Alex Reyes seems targeted for the 10-day disabled list.

Josh Lucas (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

None of the three sent down Friday performed poorly this spring. Lucas was almost as impressive as Mayers, throwing 11 1/3 scoreless innings over nine appearances. Bader batted .313 with a team-best eight extra-base hits and played with his usual aggressiveness on the bases and in the field. Hampered by being a first base-only player, Voit continued to hit, with a .288 average and nine RBI, tied for third-most on the team. All should be key members of what looks to be a loaded Memphis roster.

I covered Motte’s situation in Thursday’s Minor League Spring Training Notebook.

For more

To track the status of the Cardinals’ 25-man and 40-man rosters as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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