Major-league rosters can accommodate as many as 40 players once September 1 comes around. How will the Cardinals take advantage of the relaxed roster rules?
Every year on September 1, Major League Baseball allows all teams to add up to 15 extra players to their active rosters for the season’s final month. Since most minor-league seasons have wrapped up, it’s a chance for young players to get some extra experience with the big-league club and an opportunity for injured players to return from the disabled list without their teams having to worry about if lasting health concerns will punish the club. Perhaps most importantly, it gives managers an extra infusion of bullpen help, which is extra-important in today’s game, as some relievers’ arms might fall off if they were forced to endure another month of the aggressive workload that they take on during the season’s first five months.
Contrary to what some writers have opined in recent years, September call-ups are a very necessary part of a 162-game major-league season, as it’s very fair to assert that the quality of the game–particularly in the postseason–would be very negatively affected if clubs were forced to juggle a 25-man roster for the entirety of the schedule. It’s already enough of a struggle in today’s game for teams to try to get by with a 13-man pitching staff and a four-man bench for five months, and if that were to happen during September–historically an injury-riddled month–things might fall apart completely.
As September 1 approaches, here’s a few players who look to be strong candidates to join the St. Louis Cardinals for the season’s final month, whether it be on the first day that rosters expand, on September 6 (the day after the Triple-A season ends), or whenever injured guys have proven that they’re ready to come off the disabled list. Consider that the Cardinals called up catcher Travis Tartamella on September 21 and activated Adam Wainwright from the DL on September 30, so it’s really never too late to add a player.
Here are the guys who are most likely to come up or return as rosters expand:
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