Jupiter, Florida – The Cardinals’ 28-player roster on Thursday is set to start the season at home with Pittsburgh. While bowler Conor Thomas was on the list of bowlers scheduled to face Washington on Monday at Jupiter, he will not be in the opening club.
Rookie right-winger Andre Balante, impressive this spring, will be the club’s 15th bowler. Thomas and Jake Walsh, another rookie, will head to Memphis on Tuesday in time for the start of the Class AAA club season. Walsh was chosen from a list of 40 players.
To go down to 28, the Cardinals also reassigned catcher Julio Rodriguez and attendant Corey Spangenberg to the Palace, and Jack Flaherty (shoulder) was placed on the 10-day casualty list.
Of particular interest to St. Louis fans, Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol announced Monday that Albert Pujols will start Thursday as his defining racket, marking the start of the Pujols’ 22nd consecutive opening day, to finish second ever in the major tournaments.
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It also looks like the lineup is set, at least in terms of batting order. Dylan Carlson will hit first Monday and Tommy Addiction ninth. The rest of the lineup, in order, for the match will be Paul Goldschmidt, Tyler O’Neill, Nolan Arenado, Pujols, Paul Dejong, Yadir Molina and Harrison Bader in eighth place before Adman.
That very well might be the hit order on Thursday, Marmol said.
So far, the Pujols are set to see their first baseball game behind Miles Mikolas, while Goldschmidt will be the designated hitter, although Marmol said he might change his mind and play the Pujols on first Tuesday in the last game of the spring, to compete with Miami Marlins. Left-handed Stephen Matz is in line for this start.
Following his exit from Monday’s match, Pujols announced through his agent that he was separating from his wife, Deidre Pujols. Pujols asked for privacy regarding the matter but sent baseball questions to reporters, expressing excitement about his opening day debut.
Here is the statement that Agent Dan Lozano made on behalf of the Pujols:
“I’ve been asking a lot of questions over the past few days regarding what’s going on in the house and unfortunately, after 22 years of marriage, I’ve made the decision to file for divorce from my wife, Deidre. I realize this isn’t the right time as opening day and other family events have taken place Lately. These situations are never easy and not something that happened overnight. As a devout Christian, this is an outcome I never wanted to happen. I prayed for many long days and nights asking God for guidance, and I am grateful for the five beautiful children we brought into this world and I remain committed to raising them in an environment Loving and safe, I kindly ask you to respect our privacy and that of our five children during this time.”
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