Cardinals sorting out their postseason roster

Cardinals sorting out their postseason roster

Cardinals sorting out their postseason roster

ST. LOUIS -- The morning after celebrating the team's first National League Central title since 2009, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny sat down to begin sifting through the looming decisions regarding the club's postseason roster.

St. Louis does not have to set its 25-man NL Division Series roster until Thursday, the day the best-of-five series opens at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals will go with a four-man rotation, though it has not yet been determined which of the starters will be left out of that mix. Whoever it is, though, will have a spot in the bullpen.

Mozeliak projected that the Cardinals will carry 12 pitchers and 13 position players, though he acknowledged the possibility of going with an extra bench player over an eighth reliever. Carrying eight relievers would allow Matheny to be more aggressive in how he employs his relievers. That was a trademark of how Tony La Russa managed in the 2011 postseason, which culminated in a World Series championship.

"Last year was just such a great luxury to have a guy for the seventh, a guy for the eighth, a guy for the ninth," Matheny said. "It doesn't matter, left, right, switch, that was our formula. And we don't necessarily have that right now. We have a lot of guys we have faith in and we just want to put them in the best situations. It's a different situation where we could be using more guys so we need to have some guys with some flexibility."

Mozeliak said the club will "probably" carry two lefty relievers; those would be Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist. He noted, too, that Edward Mujica, despite his recent struggles, should have a place in the postseason bullpen.

"I still think he has some value to us," Mozeliak said. "Clearly his ability to pitch to left- and right-handers gives you some flexibility. How he's used time will tell, but I would imagine at this point he would be likely on our roster."

How the Cardinals line up their rotation will be partially determined by their opponent. Adam Wainwright is scheduled to pitch Game 1 on Thursday. Beyond that, however, the Cardinals have not shown their hand.

The composition of the bench is also still up for discussion. The Cardinals have not yet decided on whether they will carry three catchers.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.