Originally posted on Cardinals Farm  |  Last updated 3/23/14
Position battles are few and far between for the 2014 St. Louis Cardinals. There are three positions that have yet to be decided, the last bench spot, the last rotation spot, and the last bullpen spot. Players that are fighting for these positions would win spots on many other teams. These are problems only good teams have. On Sunday, the Cardinals announced three cuts from major league camps. The two expected were Joey Butler to Triple-A Memphis and Aledmys Diaz to Double-A Springfield. In a move that I did not expect, the Cardinals optioned Sam Freeman to Memphis. When I predicted Memphis’ opening day roster, I had Freeman penciled in for the Cardinals rotation, bypassing Memphis. frantically erasing With the Freeman move, there are three possible candidates for the last spot in the Cardinals bullpen, a temporary position until Jason Motte returns. Let’s take a look at the three Scott McGregor McGregor, 27, appears to be the long shot to make the club out of the three. The only scenario I see is McGregor being the long man while Motte is out. The problem with this is the Cardinals would have to clear a roster spot on the 40-man roster. While there are players who would be strong candidates to be DFA’d, do you really want to make a 40-man roster move for a couple of weeks of use? The other two possibilities have secured 40-man spots. If McGregor makes the team, he will be the long man. Jorge Rondon Rondon has made seven spring appearances and has yet to allow a run, but has allowed 8 hits over 7 1/3 innings. While these numbers look good, we also see that the level of opponent that he has faced in spring is between the AA and AAA levels. This is a small sample size and should not be used in the evaluation process. If the Cardinals feel like his control is, well, under control, he could be a possibility for this spot. Rondon has high highs and low lows, so there is some risk involved. He has been in the Cards’ organization since 2006 and he could be finally getting his shot. Keith Butler Butler has allowed 8 earned runs in just 8 1/3 spring innings this year. If we aren’t going to use Rondon’s scoreless spring to evaluate, we can’t use Butler’s rough spring either. Butler also has one thing the others don’t, major league experience. Of these three possibilities, he is the safest bet. Butler has 20 major league innings under his belt and would be able to navigate the major leagues while Motte is recovering. Butler is the obvious pick, but Rondon would be intriguing. McGregor may be left ou Follow me on Twitter @CardinalsFarm or on Facebook. If you have any questions, you can e-mail me at stlbabybirds@yahoo.com
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