Injuries & Moves: Motter to 40-man roster; 3 optioned

March 26th, 2023


March 25: 1B/DH and LHPs Génesis Cabrera and optioned to Triple-A Memphis; INF selected to 40-man roster
The Cardinals announced their anticipated 26-man roster on Saturday, optioning Yepez, Cabrera and Romero to Triple-A Memphis. The demotion of Yepez, briefly a playoff hero last fall when he hit a two-run home run in the National League Wild Card Series against the Phillies, paved the way for 1B/DH Alec Burleson and Motter to make the club’s Opening Day roster.

Motter, the 33-year-old utility infielder who has played four positions this spring, has gone 12-for-51 (.235) with three home runs, six RBIs and four stolen bases. And following the demotions of Cabrera and Romero, lefties Zack Thompson and Packy Naughton are expected to have bullpen spots.

March 25: C Tres Barrera (knee soreness) won’t play the rest of Spring Training
Barrera, who spent weeks battling for the backup catcher job behind Willson Contreras, won’t catch the rest of Spring Training because of soreness in his right knee, Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said.

That injury virtually assures that the incumbent, Andrew Knizner, will win the backup catching job. The Cardinals are planning to unveil their Opening Day roster on Sunday morning, when Knizner’s appointment should become official.

The Cardinals threw open the competition for the backup catching job after Knizner hit just .215 with four home runs and 25 RBIs in 97 games in 2022. Knizner has complicated matters this spring, as he is just 5-for-45 (.111) this spring. Barrera, who played for the Nats in 2022, hit .154 with a home run and a double in 12 games this spring.

March 23: RHPs , to start season on injured list
Wainwright, who was expected to begin his final season as the Cardinals' Opening Day starter, will instead open on the IL after straining his groin during a weight room workout on Tuesday. Wainwright, who was 2-0 for USA in the World Baseball Classic, injured himself before the championship game. The 41-year-old, who announced last fall that the 2023 MLB season will be his last, will likely miss “several weeks,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. More >

Rodriguez, a Rule 5 Draft acquisition from the Yankees in December, will also go on the IL after experiencing right shoulder pain following a recent outing, per Marmol. The 33-year-old surrendered four runs (three earned) and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings this Spring Training. He struck out six and walked three.

March 23: LHP optioned to Triple-A Memphis
Misiewicz, acquired by the Cardinals in a trade with the Royals on Feb. 8, was optioned to Triple-A on Thursday. The Major League camp roster now stands at 40 -- 30 roster players and 10 non-roster players -- with a week to go until the March 30 opener at Busch Stadium against the Blue Jays.

Misiewicz entered camp in a competition with five other left-handed pitchers for two spots in the Cardinals' bullpen: Génesis Cabrera, Zack Thomas, Packy Naughton, Andrew Suarez and Matthew Liberatore. In seven games, Misiewicz pitched seven innings and allowed three runs on eight hits. He struck out eight batters, while walking just one.


C Tres Barrera (knee soreness)
Expected return: TBD
Tres Barrera, who has been competing with Andrew Knizner for the backup catching job behind Willson Contreras, has been dealing with right knee soreness and won't catch the rest of Spring Training, according to manager Oliver Marmol. (Last updated: March 25)

RHP (groin strain)
Expected return: TBD
Wainwright strained his groin during a weight room workout on March 21, ahead of the World Baseball Classic championship game. The 41-year-old, who announced last fall that the 2023 MLB season will be his last, will likely miss “several weeks,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. Wainwright suffered the injury while doing “split squats”; he was on his third set of the leg-strengthening exercise when he felt a strain in the groin. The truly upsetting part, Wainwright added, was that his legs had started feeling better than ever in recent days. A round of back spasms in early February had left him with weakness in his right leg. (Last updated: March 23)

RHP (right shoulder pain)
Expected return: TBD
Rodriguez, who pitched in the Mexican League last season, will be on a “no-throw” plan for a week before being re-evaluated, per manager Oliver Marmol. The Cardinals tried repeatedly to negotiate a buyout with Rodriguez’s Mexican League team last summer, but they were unsuccessful. He signed with the Yankees following that season, and the Cards plucked him away in the Rule 5 Draft last December when New York left him unprotected. (Last updated: March 23)

IF (back pain)
Expected return: April
DeJong was scratched from the Cardinals' March 14 game against the Astros with discomfort in his back, and manager Oliver Marmol announced the next day that the infielder would be "sidelined for a few days."

DeJong is able to take swings, but the pain prevents him from bending down to field grounders.

“It’s tightening up on him when he bends,” Marmol said. “As of right now, we’re not expecting him to play this week.” (Last updated: March 20)

OF (right arm fatigue)
Expected return: TBD
Carlson, who added 12 pounds in the offseason via a structured plan that has him downing 4,500 calories a day, is in a battle with Lars Nootbaar and Tyler O’Neill for the starting center-field job. Carlson injured his right arm on March 2 while making a throw home from right field and has been limited to DH-only duties since then because of arm fatigue. He is expected to see more time in center field in the coming days and weeks with O’Neill (Canada) and Nootbaar (Japan) off playing in the World Baseball Classic. Carlson entered play on March 6 tied for second on the team with four RBIs this spring, but he is just 2-for-10 with four strikeouts at the plate. (Last updated: March 6)

INF (quad strain)
Expected return: Several weeks at the earliest
Fermin, who has a spot on the 40-man roster and was acquired this offseason in a trade with the Guardians, is expected to miss multiple weeks with a quad strain. When asked if the injury was deemed significant, Cardinals manager Oli Marmol said, “Yeah, I would say so. Running down to first [on March 4], when he came out of the game, he strained his quad. I don't want to put a timetable on it, but when we all hear the word ‘strain,’ we all know what that means.” (Last updated: March 6)