Motte, Ellis likely to be left off Cards' NLDS roster
Kozma the favorite to land final utility spot for series against Dodgers
ST. LOUIS -- Though the Cardinals have not yet publicly announced which 25 players they will be carrying on their National League Division Series roster, the organization's plans came into better focus as manager Mike Matheny started informing some players on Wednesday whether they'd have a place.
Among those expected to be left off is reliever Jason Motte, who has had a trying first season back from Tommy John surgery. Mark Ellis, who was not present at Wednesday's team workout, is also likely to be bumped. Pete Kozma is the favorite to take that final utility infield spot.
Matheny said he expects to unveil his full roster on Thursday when the Cardinals gather at Dodger Stadium for their pre-series workout. He would not yet hint at the roster composition, though the decision to add Michael Wacha to the bullpen likely means that the Cardinals will stick with the same breakdown they had most of the season -- 12 pitchers and 13 position players.
Assuming the Cardinals take two extra outfielders and two additional infielders, they would have room for just one backup catcher. Tony Cruz or A.J. Pierzynski would get that nod.
In the bullpen, the Cardinals are not opposed to taking three lefties, and those are likely to include Sam Freeman, Randy Choate and Marco Gonzales. Right-handers Wacha, Trevor Rosenthal, Pat Neshek, Carlos Martinez and Seth Maness are likely to round out the relief corps.
"It is difficult," Matheny said of the final roster decisions. "We have a lot of experienced guys here, a lot of guys who have been a big part of this club, a big part of other teams in the postseason, so we know there is value there. But we also have some young players that have stepped in and have been helping us. It's never easy."
While the Cardinals can only carry 25 players on their NLDS roster, they will travel with several extras in case later roster tweaks need to be made. Officially, the roster does not have to be set until Friday.