JUPITER, Fl. (KMOV.com) -- The Cardinals officially have their 25-man roster set for Opening Day.
Saturday morning, the club optioned Tommy Pham to Memphis, securing Jose Martinez’s spot as the team’s fourth outfielder. Greg Garcia was also officially confirmed as the utility man, and will join Martinez, Matt Adams, Eric Fryer and Jedd Gyorko on the bench.
The bullpen was the last piece of the puzzle to sort out, and after Saturday’s game against the Marlins, it officially took shape.
Manager Mike Matheny confirmed Miguel Socolovich and Matt Bowman are the final members of the relief corps, finishing out the list of 12 pitchers.
“The conversations have been, ‘This is how it looks. Things can change, but prepare,’” Matheny said. “Both guys are teed up and ready to be in St. Louis Opening Day, barring something unforeseen.”
Bowman made his way onto the team last season as a Rule 5 draft pick, pitching well enough in spring training for the team to add him to the 25-man roster. Per the Rule 5 rules, were the Cardinals to remove him from the roster at any point in the season, he would go on waivers. He appeared in 59 games, posting an ERA of 3.46 and allowing only seven of his 24 inherited runners score.
This camp, he picked up where he left off, and never gave the Cardinals any reason to doubt.
Miguel Socolovich has appeared in 43 games for the Cardinals over two seasons with a 1.89 ERA. He entered spring training with no remaining options, so had an inside track to make the roster so long as he pitched well. In eight appearances, opponents his .184 against him and he allowed just four runs while striking out eight.
Socolovich and Bowman’s competition, John Gant, will start the season in the Triple-A Memphis rotation.
With Saturday’s announcements, there are no more remaining questions. It’s a far cry from last season, when the Cardinals went into their final spring game still unsure of the roster due to injuries. Prospect Jeremy Hazelbaker went to Tampa with both a suit and casual clothes, the former in case he boarded a plane to St. Louis, the latter if he was sent by bus back to Jupiter.
This season, the roster was set and announced before spring entered its final week.
“There’s a lot hanging in the balance for these guys. If we have a really good idea, even if it’s not set in stone, let’s let them know,” Matheny said. “Maybe let them take a breath, maybe let them and their families have a little more time to prepare. “
Here is the first official roster for the 2017 St. Louis Cardinals:
Rotation: Carlos Martinez, Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Mike Leake, Michael Wacha
Bullpen: Seung Hwan Oh, Trevor Rosenthal, Kevin Siegrist, Brett Cecil, Jonathan Broxton, Matt Bowman, Miguel Socolovich
1B Matt Carpenter
2B Kolten Wong
SS Aledmys Diaz
3B Jhonny Peralta
C Yadier Molina
LF Randal Grichuk
CF Dexter Fowler
RF Stephen Piscotty
Bench: Greg Garcia (IF), Jedd Gyorko (IF), Matt Adams (1B/LF), Jose Martinez (LF/1B), Eric Fryer (C)