Corey Baker, Mitch Harris, Josh Lucas, Robby Rowland, Ryan Sherriff, Rowan Wick
This is a group that’s received a major facelift since spring workouts began. Righty Kendry Flores and lefty Corey Littrell were set to attend camp as non-roster invitees, but after Flores failed his physical and Littrell failed a drug test and received a 50-game suspension, they were both bumped from the camp roster. Baker and Harris were subsequently invited to major-league camp.
Baker, Sherriff, and Wick are all set to participate in the World Baseball Classic, with Baker and Sherriff pitching for Israel and Wick pitching for Canada. Since Sherriff is in Israel’s designated pitcher pool, it’s possible that he might not actually end up seeing action in the WBC, but regardless, none of the three are going to be counted on to provide major innings for the Cardinals this spring.
Among that trio, Sherriff is the most likely to contribute to the major-league club in 2017. The 26-year-old had a 2.84 ERA and 1.34 WHIP at Triple-A Memphis last year, and he could be relied upon as a lefty depth option this year, though he’ll face heavy competition from guys like Tyler Lyons, Marco Gonzales, Zach Phillips and Jordan Schafer if the Cardinals need to replace Brett Cecil or Kevin Siegrist.
While things can change quickly, Lucas and Rowland haven’t done much over the past year to position themselves as big-league quality prospects. While he’s working his way back from elbow ligament repair surgery, Harris may be the guy among this entire group who is likely to have success in the majors. He’s 31 years old now and has been removed from the 40-man roster, but the U.S. Navy veteran was solid at the MLB level in 2015, posting a 3.67 ERA in 27 innings. Since the Cardinals don’t have a ton of righthanded bullpen depth this year, he could definitely pitch himself back into big-league consideration with a strong performance at Memphis.