Cards roster moves: Woodford, Sosa optioned

March 19th, 2020

The Cardinals made a series of roster moves Thursday, moving right-hander Jake Woodford, infielder Edmundo Sosa and outfielders Austin Dean and Justin Williams to the Triple-A Memphis roster. All are on the Cardinals’ 40-man roster.

President of baseball operations John Mozeliak said Saturday that the club was scheduled to make roster cuts this past weekend before Major League Baseball decided to cancel Spring Training and delay the regular season due to the coronavirus outbreak. It’s unclear whether these were the moves scheduled.

Moving Dean and Williams offers some clarity in the Cardinals’ outfield competition, with Tyler O’Neill, Lane Thomas and the club's No. 1 prospect (per MLB Pipeline), Dylan Carlson in the mix for the open spot in left field. Utility man Tommy Edman also played a few games in left field before camp shut down, and he’ll likely see more reps there when baseball resumes to get his bat in the lineup with the regulars.

Dean, acquired from the Marlins in January, had a .931 OPS with four doubles across 32 at-bats, while Williams had two home runs but hit just .143 in 28 at-bats. Thomas and O’Neill were considered the leading candidates for a starting role at the beginning of camp.

Sosa showed promise this spring with two homers and five RBIs. He backed up most games at second base or shortstop and was in the competition for a bench role with St. Louis this year. With Edman and veteran Brad Miller serving as the Cardinals’ utility players, Sosa could benefit more from the everyday playing time in Triple-A.

Woodford, who was put on the 40-man this winter for Rule 5 Draft protection, made four appearances (six innings) in Grapefruit League games this spring and allowed three runs while striking out five and walking two. He will likely be used for pitching depth this season and could be one of the first callups later this year.