Fans of Allen Craig, Daniel Descalso, and Bryan Augenstein will be happy to note that the St. Louis Cardinals have set their active roster ahead of March 31 and Opening Day. Fans of Miguel Batista—well, they're probably not also fans of Craig, Descalso, or Augenstein, but they can also be excited about the final 25-man roster, which includes Batista in Tony La Russa's infamous Jason Simontacchi Distinguished Long Reliever Chair.â†µ
Fernando Salas, who had a solid rookie season as the Cardinals' first-reliever-from-Memphis, is the biggest surprise as a cut—he will apparently play that role again, despite a perfectly still-solid Spring Training. Descalso beat out hard-charging Spring Training hero Matt Carpenter last week for the last reserve infielder spot—he's likely to serve as David Freese's caddy and, when Tyler Greene is patrolling center field, the double-switchee of first resort.
Craig looked like he'd lucked into the short half of a right field platoon at the start of the offseason, but with Descalso in place as backup third baseman he'll serve mostly as a pinch hitter and the offensive half of the Young Outfielders For Keeping Lance Berkman Fresh By Giving Him Regular Days Off coalition, with Jon Jay.â†µ
Augenstein is the biggest surprise, and while I'm excited to see him in the big leagues—he's shown impressive control as a farmhand for the Arizona Diamondbacks—his promotion over Salas seems to have come from the Cardinals' weird overvaluing of Miguel Batista, who can't just be the long reliever, because Tony La Russa has seen him pitch before.â†µ