The Cardinals announced several procedural roster moves on Wednesday.
The St. Louis Cardinals announced a series of roster moves on Wednesday afternoon that bring them closer to officially assembling their Opening Day roster, which they announced last weekend. Catcher Eric Fryer, who came to camp on a minor-league deal but will break camp as Yadier Molina‘s backup, was officially added to the roster on Wednesday, with lefthanded pitcher Zach Duke being placed on the 60-day DL.
Barring unforeseen events, this move had been in the works since the winter, as the Cardinals brought Fryer back so that star catching prospect Carson Kelly could spend more time developing at the Triple-A level. They knew the whole offseason that they’d have an open 40-man roster spot, as Duke had Tommy John surgery last October and is expected to miss the entire 2017 season.
In addition, infielder Paul DeJong, pitchers Arturo Reyes and Ryan Sherriff, and outfielders Harrison Bader and Chad Huffman were reassigned to minor-league camp on Wednesday. Those moves were strictly formalities, as the major-league roster was announced several days ago, but the fact that all of those players were kept in camp as long as they were should be a solid sign that the Cardinals view them as possible injury replacements at the big-league level later this season.
Following Wednesday’s moves, the only players remaining in big-league camp who aren’t expected to be part of the Opening Day 25-man roster are pitcher John Gant, catcher Alberto Rosario, infielder Wilfredo Tovar, and injured pitchers Alex Reyes and Tyler Lyons. Tovar and Rosario will presumably stick with the big-league club as the Cardinals face their Double-A and Triple-A affiliates over the next two days, though they’ll begin the season with Triple-A Memphis when that club begins its season on Tuesday.