Projecting the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2017 Non-Roster Invitees

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Six catchers: Luis Cruz, Eric Fryer, Jesse Jenner, Gabriel Lino, Brian O’Keefe, Alberto Rosario

Major-league teams always bring at least five or six non-roster catchers to spring training to catch bullpen sessions for all the pitchers who participate in the early days of camp. That will definitely be the case for the Cardinals this year, because Yadier Molina and Carson Kelly are the only catchers on the 40-man roster, and Molina is set to play for the Puerto Rican squad in the World Baseball Classic.

Fryer, who is expected to be the Cardinals’ backup catcher to begin 2017 and will almost certainly earn a 40-man spot when Zach Duke is placed on the DL, and Rosario, who was the Cards’ backup for the second half of 2016, are the two notables among this group. Rosario will likely team with Kelly to form the catching tandem at Triple-A Memphis, and seeing as the Cardinals have used 12 different catchers in the majors over the past three seasons (including six last season), it wouldn’t be shocking to see him back in the majors during 2017.

The rest of the backstops will basically be around just to serve as bullpen catchers, but new addition Gabriel Lino saw extensive Triple-A action in 2015 and could fill in at that level if an injury occurs.