Sam Tuivailala won’t be a member of the Cardinals’ Opening Day roster.
The St. Louis Cardinals reduced their roster by one more player on Wednesday, optioning righthanded pitcher Sam Tuivaialala to the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds. With the subtraction of Tuivailala from the spring training roster, the Cardinals have 42 players left in camp. With injured pitchers Zach Duke, Alex Reyes, and possibly Tyler Lyons set to begin the season on the disabled list, that means that the Cardinals only have 14 or 15 cuts left to make.
Tuivailala, who has a 5.28 ERA and 1.86 WHIP in 28 major-league appearances over three seasons, didn’t have a terribly impressive spring. In six appearances, he posted a 5.40 ERA while allowing six hits and four walks in 6 2/3 innings. On the bright side, he did strike out 12 batters.
However unlikely his roster chances might have been, Tuivailala was considered to be the most prominent competition for Miguel Socolovich in his bid to make the Cardinals’ Opening Day roster. With Tuivailala now out of the picture, it appears that the 30-year-old Socolovich, who has a 1.89 ERA in 43 appearances over the past two seasons, will make his first Opening Day roster as a major-leaguer.
The only two semi-realistic happenings that could prevent Socolovich from making the roster would be if John Gant, who’s likely to be the sixth starter on the depth chart to begin the season, makes the team as a long reliever, or if Lyons’ recovery timetable accelerates remarkably quickly and he’s able to prove that he’s ready by Opening Day. Lyons, who has been out with a knee injury since last August, has pitched in just one Grapefruit League game, throwing one inning while allowing two runs on two hits and a walk.