JUPITER, Fla. — The Cardinals’ 28-man roster is slated to start the season Thursday at home with Pittsburgh. While left-handed pitcher Connor Thomas is on the roster of pitchers who face Washington on Monday at Jupiter, he won’t be in the day one club.
Right-handed rookie André Pallante, impressive this spring, will be the club’s 15th pitcher. Thomas and right-hander Jake Walsh, another rookie, will travel to Memphis on Tuesday in time for the start of the AAA-class club’s season. Walsh was removed from the 40-man roster.
Going down to 28, the Cardinals also reassigned receiver Julio Rodriguez and serviceman Cory Spangenberg to the minors, and right-hander Jack Flaherty (shoulder) was placed on the 10-day disabled list.
More important to St. Louis fans, Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol announced Monday that Albert Pujols would start as his designated hitter on Thursday, marking Pujols’ 22nd straight start on Day 1, tied for second overall. of all time in the majors.
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Pete Rose had 23, and Carl Yastrzemski and Henry Aaron had 22.
The lineup also seems set, at least in batting order. Dylan Carlson will hit the first Monday and Tommy Edman the ninth. The rest of the roster, in order, for the game will be Paul Goldschmidt, Tyler O’Neill, Nolan Arenado, Pujols, Paul DeJong, Yadier Molina and Harrison Bader eighth ahead of Edman.
Marmol said that could very well be Thursday’s batting order.
So far, Pujols is expected to see his first game at first base behind Miles Mikolas, while Goldschmidt will serve as the designated hitter, although Marmol has said he could change his mind and play Pujols on the first Tuesday in the final game. of spring. to play with the Miami Marlins. Left-hander Steven Matz is in line to make that start.
Following his exit from Monday’s match, Pujols, through his agent, announced that he was separating from his wife, Deidre Pujols. Pujols asked for confidentiality on the matter, but answered baseball questions from reporters, expressing excitement for his opening day start.
Here is the statement issued by agent Dan Lozano on behalf of Pujols:
“I have been asked a lot of questions over the past few days regarding what is going on at home and sadly after 22 years of marriage I have made the decision to file for divorce from my wife, Deidre. I realize that it’s not the most opportune time with the approach of opening day and other family events that have taken place recently. These situations are never easy and this is not something that has happened overnight. As a devout Christian, this is a result I never wanted to see happen. For long days and long nights I prayed, asking the Lord to guide me. I am grateful for the five beautiful children we have brought into the world and I remain committed to raising them in a loving and safe environment. I ask that you please respect our privacy and that of our five children during this time.”
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