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Cards fill out roster with rookie relievers

Cards fill out roster with rookie relievers

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LOS ANGELES -- The Cardinals finalized their Division Series roster on Wednesday, allotting the final two spots in their bullpen to rookies Blake Hawksworth and Mitchell Boggs. Rosters were due to Major League Baseball by noon CT Wednesday.

Manager Tony La Russa had revealed most of the roster in recent days, saying on Monday that Troy Glaus would be on the squad, Khalil Greene would not, and that the Cardinals would carry 12 pitchers. On Wednesday, the club revealed who those 12 pitchers will be. Todd Wellemeyer and Brad Thompson were left off the roster in favor of Hawksworth and Boggs. Wellemeyer opened the year as a member of the Cardinals' rotation, and Thompson was a contributor during the team's run to the 2006 World Series championship.

However, both veteran right-handers saw their roles diminished this season, with Thompson pitching only 16 1/3 innings since Aug. 1. In their stead will be two youngsters who impressed when given the chance this year.

Boggs, 25, made his Major League debut in 2008 but came on much stronger in his second time around. He went 2-3 with a 4.19 ERA and especially impressed in the bullpen. One bad outing clouds his ERA, but Boggs averaged better than a strikeout per inning as a reliever and showed much improved velocity on his fastball when pitching in relief.

Hawksworth, 26, was once considered the Cardinals' top pitching prospect before injuries repeatedly derailed his ascent. He finally made it to the Majors this year, though, and showed good stuff, command and poise in 30 relief appearances. He worked his way from mop-up duties to higher-leverage work, remaining effective all the while.

Division Series
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The Cardinals' complete roster consists of catchers Yadier Molina and Jason LaRue; infielders Albert Pujols, Skip Schumaker, Brendan Ryan, Mark DeRosa, Julio Lugo, Troy Glaus and Joe Thurston; outfielders Matt Holliday, Ryan Ludwick, Colby Rasmus and Rick Ankiel; and pitchers Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Joel Pineiro, John Smoltz, Kyle Lohse, Ryan Franklin, Kyle McClellan, Jason Motte, Boggs, Hawksworth, Trever Miller and Dennys Reyes.

The exclusion of Thompson means that only four players who appeared for the Cardinals in the 2006 World Series are on the club's Division Series roster: Carpenter, Wainwright, Pujols and Molina.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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