Cards' Wild Card roster: Yepez called up
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals have landed on the 26 players they will carry when they face the Dodgers in the National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday.
Starter Adam Wainwright will, of course, get the ball. Here's who will join him with the Cards' season on the line:
Andrew Knizner, C: Knizner has performed admirably as the backup, especially earning rave reviews for how he’s handling the younger pitchers this year. He’s only expected to play should Yadier Molina need to exit, or perhaps a late-game pinch-hit appearance.
Yadier Molina, C: Molina, who has played the most playoff games in NL history, is back for more after nursing a shoulder injury last week. He’ll anchor the pitching staff -- with a penchant for the big moments.
Nolan Arenado, 3B: Arenado came to St. Louis for the big moments. He’s delivered so far, despite a down year by his standards, with a 30-homer, 100-RBI season.
Matt Carpenter, INF: The 35-year-old veteran has been through the throes of it this season with an average well under .200. But his batting eye is still sharp, and the club believes he will take big swings in October.
Paul DeJong, SS: DeJong lost his starting job to Edmundo Sosa, but he could get the start since he has some moderate success against Max Scherzer. If not, he provides a home run threat off the bench.
Tommy Edman, 2B: He has found a home at second base this season after roving all over the infield and outfield in year’s past. He’s the Cards’ leadoff hitter and prime stolen-base threat.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B: Goldschmidt has been the Cardinals’ most consistent offensive player this season and one of the best in the Majors in the second half.
José Rondón, INF: Rondón has three home runs this season -- all of the pinch-hit variety -- after a torrid Spring Training that turned heads. He profiles best as a third- or second-base replacement, but he can also play some outfield.
Edmundo Sosa, SS: With his right wrist injury no longer an issue, Sosa has been a sparkplug with his defense, his offense and his personality. The Cardinals will have to weigh whether to start him over Paul DeJong with the season on the line.
Juan Yepez, INF: Yepez was MLB Pipeline's Cardinals position player of the year for a torrid season with Triple-A Memphis. The right-handed hitter turned heads with his power and took steps forward with his defense, able to play primarily first base and the corner outfield spots, but he profiles almost exclusively as a bat off the bench. This is his first callup to the big leagues.
Harrison Bader, OF: The Gold Glove Award has been elusive in Bader’s career, but he’ll look to prove why he deserves one while on the big stage. He’s coming off a career year offensively as well.
Dylan Carlson, OF: The 22-year-old former top prospect has been one of the Cardinals’ most consistent on-base threats all year, with a mature batter’s eye and a bit of pop in his bat.
Lars Nootbaar, OF: Nootbaar provides the Cardinals with a left-handed bat off the bench behind Carpenter, and he can steal a bag in a pinch.
Tyler O'Neill, OF: There may not be a more likely breakout star this postseason than O’Neill, who posted a career-best and Cardinals-high-tying 34 home runs on the season, with speed and dazzling defense to boot.
Génesis Cabrera, LHP: Battling a nail issue, Cabrera will need to be monitored, but he has proven to be the most trusted left-handed reliever out of the bullpen with a fastball that can spot up to 100 mph.
Jack Flaherty, RHP: Coming off a right shoulder strain, the length and availability of Flaherty are in question. Can he pitch on back-to-back days? How many innings can he provide in an outing?
Giovanny Gallegos, RHP: Gallegos has seized the closer’s role in the second half, struggling in spurts but sporting a cool head at the back of the bullpen.
Luis García, RHP: García has proven to be one of the most dependable right-handers out of the bullpen, often called upon in jams.
Dakota Hudson, RHP: Hudson has been incredibly effective in his first two appearances (and one start) since Tommy John surgery, and he could provide a piggyback option with Wainwright, entering the day on normal rest.
Kwang Hyun Kim, LHP: Kim has had to endure an elbow injury that derailed his season, and he likely won’t pitch many innings unless the Cardinals are trailing.
T.J. McFarland, LHP: McFarland has been sensational since joining St. Louis and is a ground-ball mastermind. He’s the first arm the Cardinals have turned to in a jam -- especially against lefties.
Miles Mikolas, RHP: Mikolas will provide some length out of the bullpen for the Wild Card Game. He’s coming off a regular season that saw him miss time due to a shoulder issue and a lengthy bout with right forearm tightness.
Andrew Miller, LHP: Few active players have as much postseason experience and pedigree than Miller’s 29 career appearances alongside a 0.93 ERA. The 36-year-old, however, has been shaky at times this season.
Alex Reyes, RHP: Reyes was an outstanding closer in the first half, making the All-Star team and setting an AL/NL record along the way. But too many struggles in August removed him from that role, and now he can provide multiple higher-leverage innings.
Adam Wainwright, RHP: Wainwright, the Cardinals’ 40-year-old ace, will get the ball for the Wild Card Game, and it stands to reason for any other big game over the course of the postseason.
Kodi Whitley, RHP: Whitley has proven to be an incredibly valuable piece out of the bullpen of late, with a string of 13 appearances and 15 innings to close out the season.