Shildt and Mozeliak Dish on Bader, Roster and More

photo: Harrison Bader via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

On Wednesday, St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt spoke with the media both before and after the afternoon’s 3-0 win over the New York Mets and president of baseball operations John Mozeliak also fielded post-game questions. Harrison Bader’s injury led the way, but much more was covered.

As has been customary all spring, I have posted summaries of these sessions on a “Spring training news” thread at The Cardinal Nation’s free forum. Swing by to discuss these and any other Cardinals-related topics.

However, given the magnitude of the day’s news, including the loss of center fielder Harrison Bader for four to six weeks, I am reproducing the two executives’ comments here. Make sure you read between the lines on matters such as roster size and identities of the final roster decisions.

Shildt Wednesday pre-game remarks

Hicks, Woodford and perhaps Whitley to follow CMart today. Miller threw a sim game with KK and Oviedo the other day. Miller will be in game the next day or two.

Ortega earning opportunities behind plate. Big agile catcher. Good winter ball in VZ. Heineman to backup Knizner tomorrow.

Starting to tell players who made team and their role, but will not share until end.

If 13 hitters, offense for last hitter is less impactful. Edman can cover short. Carp can cover second, so there is coverage. Decision will be based on offense, defense, versatility, taking good at-bats. Handedness also considered but may not be in this case. Need to make holistic roster view.

If only 13 pitchers, would put an MLB ready player on the outside, but could go 14th pitcher later.

Telling them, you are a big league player. Stay ready to go, we will use you later. Deep roster means not enough room at the moment. Always a tough conversation to have.

Harrison Bader

Bader will open season on IL. Flare-up in his forearm. PRP injection then rest. Solid 4 weeks out as a minimum. Had affected throwing before, yesterday told it is affecting his hitting. Requires more time, rest, more serious treatment. Earlier treatment would help short term, but it came back. Impacts game defensively. Gold Glove caliber defender. Other guys have opportunity to step up.

Strong possibility that Carlson will be in CF. Leadoff today because Edman is off. Lane has also played CF. Carlson has proven he can do it in the past.

Nogowski playing in OF is also related. Exploring all options. Thomas, Dean and Williams also. Find best solution.

Mozeliak remarks

Williams granted fourth option today. No roster decisions yet.

Bader forearm flexor strain. Had PRP injection. Down 4-6 weeks. Will take two weeks off from baseball activity. Imaging was done. Ligament intact, no concern with it. Dr. Paletta felt PRP offered best chance of resolution.

Overall impressed with outfield. O’Neill having a really strong camp. Getting into comfortable zone with offense. Not having Bader in CF not great news, but it is not all season. Williams also having nice camp. Carlson is comfortable in CF. Pretty seamless.

Still way to find at-bats for Carpenter. Don’t draw too many conclusions (on at-bats and role). 162 games is a long time. Exit velo ok, hitting into tough luck.

Bader being out may help someone make the team who can play multiple positions.

Nogowski having an impressive camp. Good to see. Not overly surprised.

Hopeful to secure vaccine for players. Will have better idea of plan by end of next week. Will assess players’ willingness. Hope most of them take it. Mo will get his shots as soon as he can. Hope to get Tier 1 and 2 individuals in first wave. If others can be added, it would take a lot of stress off the season. Will have plan, but high probability they will leave FL without vaccines. Each state dependent. MLB hasn’t come up with direct solution. (Missouri governor says all adults can get vaccine starting 4/9.)

Didn’t make bullpen moves in offseason because we had talent. Will be smart in how they are using Hicks. Will get a number of late-game opportunities.

Mikolas will throw a bullpen before leaving camp. Maybe not facing hitters until at alternate camp.

Kim is cleared. Next 8 days telling if he can break with team. Chance he will not be ready.

Rondon has had a really good camp. Very impressive. Taking very good at-bats. But Sosa is out of options. Goal is to retain as many talented players as we can.

Shildt post-game remarks

Martinez loves to compete. Has own style. Distracts himself sometimes. Sinker and secondary pitches working.

Maddux slowed Hicks down after walk. First time in 9th in almost two years. His stuff was really special today too. 98-99 with late movement is pretty special. Controlled strike zone and mixed in slider.

Nogowski is headsy guy. See and knows game. Likes to play, competes well. Done everything possible he could to make the team. Made the plays today. Get it done kind of guy.

Williams had key hit late. Can’t ignore it. Got rally started yesterday. Drove in two to give insurance. Has done his part, especially recently.

Roster won’t be easy decisions. Guys doing everything they can.

Bench players will be complement to the entire team. Fairly high versatility now, but need to have a lot of skill coming off bench. Need to be ready to play and perform.

Ponce is starting Thursday.

With Bader out, Dylan and Lane most likely candidates. Feels O’Neill is in a good place in LF. Edman could play OF, too. Lane could be in center with Carlson in right. Not decided. Not putting pressure on Dylan or Lave to be the captain of the outfield.

On Carpenter, the science of the game is pretty amazing. 103 mph off the bat. Ball doesn’t carry out to RF.

Will play 2 pm B-Game Thursday vs. Marlins. Mostly guys who have already been sent out will participate.

Really good chance that CMart will be third starter.

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