Yadi on NLDS roster; Cards go with 11 pitchers

Yadi on NLDS roster; Cards go with 11 pitchers

ST. LOUIS -- Though the Cardinals' 25-man National League Division Series roster isn't officially due until Friday morning, manager Mike Matheny eliminated ongoing speculation by announcing the club's roster plans following the team's Thursday afternoon workout.

The Cardinals will use an 11-man pitching staff and 14 position players, including Yadier Molina, in their best-of-five series against the Cubs that starts Friday at 5:30 p.m. CT on TBS. The club is confident enough in Molina's health that it will carry just one backup backstop. That will be Tony Cruz.

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Game Date Results
Gm 1 Oct. 9 STL 4, CHC 0
Gm 2 Oct. 10 CHC 6, STL 3
Gm 3 Oct. 12 CHC 8, STL 6
Gm 4 Oct. 13 CHC 6, STL 4

There will be six outfielders on the roster, including both Jon Jay and Tommy Pham. The two center fielders are likely to be used off the bench, as Jason Heyward is expected to get regular starts in center field. That opens up the right-field position for Randal Grichuk, whose throwing arm is still compromised from an August elbow injury, and Stephen Piscotty. The Cardinals also plan to use Piscotty at first base.

Mark Reynolds, Brandon Moss and Greg Garcia will be carried as extra infielders. Matt Adams, who returned from a quad injury in September, was left off the roster, as were two players -- Pete Kozma and Peter Bourjos -- who had been on the team's active roster all year.

"We could sit here for a long time talking about the decisions made on this roster, and you know, it wasn't a lot of fun," Matheny said. "People say that's a good problem to have, and I say problems are problems, and it's been tough to go sit and talk with some guys who have made serious contributions to this club and not allow them to be part of this playoff roster."

On the pitching side, Matheny announced that Jaime Garcia, Michael Wacha and Lance Lynn, in that order, will start Games 2-4. John Lackey had previously been announced as the team's Game 1 starter. That means Lackey and Garcia will draw starts at Busch Stadium, while Wacha and Lynn (if necessary) will pitch at Wrigley Field.

With the team choosing to take two relievers -- Carlos Villanueva and Tyler Lyons -- who pitched mainly in long relief this season, the Cardinals did not have room to put lefty specialist Randy Choate, Trade Deadline acquisition Steve Cishek or veteran right-hander Matt Belisle on the roster.

Choate has not been present at the team's two workouts this week. Belisle and Cishek threw simulated innings on Thursday so they can stay sharp in case they're needed later in the postseason. Those sessions also allowed some hitters to take swings against live pitching.

"I'll stay ready and prepared, like I am, just in case," Belisle said. "It's advantageous to be able to do something like that for the boys. I'll just prepare like I'll be in and do whatever else is needed of me."

Here is the full roster breakdown:

Starting pitchers: Lackey, Garcia, Wacha, Lynn

Relievers: Trevor Rosenthal, Kevin Siegrist, Jonathan Broxton, Adam Wainwright, Seth Maness, Villanueva, Lyons

Catchers: Molina, Cruz

Infielders: Matt Carpenter, Jhonny Peralta, Kolten Wong, Reynolds, Moss, Garcia

Outfielders: Matt Holliday, Heyward, Grichuk, Pham, Piscotty, Jay

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