Here we go again. And it’s a big one. In keeping with some of the recent transactions going down in camp, we thought it would be best to stay current and give you our second set of projections for the Redbirds Opening Day roster, two weeks before the team’s first exhibition game. We’ve decided to rule out Pujols and make the stunning prediction that he will begin the season as a Cardinal. Other than that, it’s easy to spot the lack of differences between this lineup and last Friday’s, but the re-assignments on Monday did manage to shake a few things up, most notably in the bullpen.
We added left-handed reliever Charlie Manning to the mix, who finished his eighth year in professional baseball pitching in 57 games with Washington after starting the year with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers of the International League. In his major league debut, Manning posted a 5.14 ERA with 37 strikeouts versus 31 walks.
So with those changes in mind, here’s what we have so far:
Mitchell Boggs RHP – Ended the year with the Redbirds, finishing the season ranked first in the Pacific Coast League in ERA; made his major league debut with St. Louis.
Jess Todd RHP – Ended the 2008 season with the Redbirds, pitching in 36 games with a 3.97 ERA on the season.
P.J. Walters RHP – Led the Redbirds in strikeouts in 2008 with 122.
Clayton Mortensen RHP – Pitched in 15 games with Memphis, recording 57 strikeouts to 87 hits in 310 opposing at-bats.
Blake Hawksworth RHP – Appeared in 18 games for the Redbirds, compiling a 5-7 record with a 6.09 ERA.
Tyler Herron RHP – Threw for a career-high 137.1 innings with a combined 102 strikeouts and 40 walks in 2008.
Matt Scherer RHP – Finished his first season as a Redbird with a 3.93 ERA, accumulating 32 strikeouts.
Ian Ostlund LHP – Spent his first full season at the Triple-A level with Toledo, compiling a 3-0 record with a 2.44 ERA in 44 appearances.
Luke Gregerson RHP – Spent the full season with Double-A Springfield, compiling a 3.35 ERA and a 7-6-10 record in 75.1 innings as a reliever.
Fernando Salas RHP – Named Scout.com’s “Reliever of the Year,” leading the Texas League in saves (25) and games pitched (60).
Josh Dew RHP – Threw a total of 50 innings for a 1-2-2 record with a 4.50 ERA for Springfield.
Charlie Manning LHP
David Freese – Appeared in a career-high 131 games with a .306 average, 58 extra-base hits and 91 RBI.
Tyler Greene – Began his fourth year in professional baseball with Double-A Springfield, hitting .259 with 25 extra-base hits and 41 RBI.
Allen Craig – The Texas League All-Star finished the season ranked third among Texas League batters with 154 total hits while with Double-A Springfield.
Jarrett Hoffpauir – Hit .273 with 31 doubles, four homers and 45 RBI after spending the entire 2008 season with Memphis.
Brian Barden – Hit .285 as a member of the Redbirds and earned his third stint in the big leagues, hitting .222 and recording his first major league RBI as a Cardinal.
Joe Thurston – A 2008 International League All-Star who makes his return to the PCL after three years of absence.
Jon Jay – Hit .345 (20×58) with six extra-base hits and 10 RBI in his 16 games with the Redbirds.
Nick Stavinoha – A 2008 PCL All-Star with the ‘Birds, finished ’08 hitting .337, which was fifth- best in the PCL.
Shane Robinson – Shined in Springfield batting .352 (86×244) and produced a .220 average as a ‘Bird.
Brian Barton – Appeared in 82 games with St. Louis, putting together a .268 average with nine doubles, two triples, two home runs and 13 RBI.
Bryan Anderson – Appeared in 73 games as a Redbird with a .281 average, 13 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 27 RBI; was selected to participate in the 2008 Futures Game.
Justin Knoedler – Spent the entire 2008 season with Triple-A Sacramento as a member of the Oakland A’s system, hitting 12 doubles, one
triple, 10 home runs and 34 RBI.
While there aren’t many spots left, there are still some question marks going into the season. In particular, the bullpen situation is still somewhat up in the air and the backup catcher spot is in no way set in stone. Minor league Spring Training games kick off tomorrow, so there should be some more definitive answers once Redbirds camp gets underway.
If we can make assumptions based on speculation, so can you. Let us know what you think the roster should or will be as the countdown to the first pitch of the 2009 season continues.