ST. LOUIS — When the St. Louis Cardinals unveiled their roster for their Wild Card weekend matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies, there were a few surprises within it.
With the Wild Card roster shaved down to 26 players, there were some tough decisions to be made by the St. Louis Cardinals heading into Friday’s Wild Card opener. With those tough decisions came questions about how the Cardinals roster shaped up and why some players were or were not suited up against the Phillies.
3 surprises with the Wild Card roster for the St. Louis Cardinals
3. Chris Stratton
Let’s start in the bullpen and the omission of right-hander Chris Stratton. Part of the trade deadline deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates that also brought Game 1 starter Jose Quintana to St. Louis, Stratton had thrown in 20 games for the Cardinals, logging a 2.78 ERA/2.80 FIP/1.500 WHIP in 22.2 innings. He had been even better in 11 appearances in September and October, lowering the ERA to 1.74 as opponents hit just .222 against him over his final 10.1 innings of work.
What may have doomed Stratton from being a part of the postseason bullpen is St. Louis sending some of its starters to work in the bullpen. With the rotation shortened in the postseason, Steven Matz and even Adam Wainwright could be used as bullpen options, Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said.
“We feel good about our ‘pen. Obviously we’ll have the remaining starters in there as well that we can go to from the left side,” Marmol said. “We feel good about the versatility of our ‘pen.”