Cards expecting significant number of callups
ST. LOUIS -- With 29 games scheduled over the final 31 days of the regular season, the Cardinals are likely to have a bigger class of September callups than usual, general manager John Mozeliak said on Monday.
Mozeliak estimated that the team will add between five and 10 Minor Leaguers once rosters expand on Sept. 1. A few of those players will arrive on that first day of the month (which is next Sunday), with the rest following at the end of the Triple-A season. Of those additions, Mozeliak said that four to six will likely be pitchers.
"I would think most people you're familiar with," Mozeliak said, indicating that those set to be summoned have already been in St. Louis this season. "I don't anticipate any surprises right now, but as you can imagine, anything can happen with a week."
To be eligible for a callup, a player must be on the 40-man roster. Currently, there are seven healthy pitchers already on that roster, but not with the big league club. That list includes Michael Blazek -- ranked by MLB.com as the Cards' No. 5 prospect -- Keith Butler, Eric Fornataro (No. 14), Sam Freeman, Victor Marte, Jorge Rondon and Fernando Salas. All but Fornataro and Rondon have been in the Majors this season.
On the position player side there are four healthy players already on the roster -- Jermaine Curtis, Ryan Jackson, Brock Peterson and Adron Chambers. Peterson will be able to provide the potential for pop off the bench, while Chambers can bring an element of speed. And of Jackson's chances at an invitation, Mozeliak noted that the organization "would like to give him an opportunity" despite no foreseeable playing time in the infield."
The Cardinals currently have one open spot on the 40-man roster and can easily make a second by moving John Gast to the 60-day disabled list. Asked if he envisioned any additions to the 40-man roster, Mozeliak said: "It's always possible, but as I sit here right now, I don't see that happening."
The scenario in which it would happen would be if the Cardinals wanted to add some insurance at the catchers' spot. Tony Cruz will be eligible to come off the DL on Friday, but the Cardinals do not expect him to be ready to play by the beginning of September. Neither of the two catchers splitting time in Triple-A -- Audry Perez and Travis Tartamella -- are on the Cardinals' 40-man roster.