Cards' roster could have different look for NLCS

Cards' roster could have different look for NLCS

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals do not have to officially set their National League Championship Series roster until Saturday, but manager Mike Matheny hinted on Thursday that it may not look identical to the 25-man roster used in the NL Division Series.

The organization went with 13 position players and 12 pitchers in the last round, a composition that could change if the Cardinals shave the bullpen back to seven and add an extra bat off the bench. If the Cards want that additional bat, it would likely be that of catcher A.J. Pierzynski.

Pierzynski would give the Cardinals another left-handed bat for a series in which the Giants are expected to feature a rotation with three right-handers. He hit .269/.309/.367 against righties this season and has plenty of previous experience playing at AT&T Park, as he was with the Giants in 2004.

  Date Recaps Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 11 SF 3, STL 0 video
Gm 2 Oct. 12 STL 5, SF 4 video
Gm 3 Oct. 14 SF 5, STL 4 video
Gm 4 Oct. 15 SF 6, STL 4 video
Gm 5 Oct. 16 SF 6, STL 3 video
If the Cardinals don't want to reduce their relief corps, they could consider swapping Pierzynski for Tony Cruz, who served as the backup catcher in the NLDS. The challenge there is that if the Cards carry only two catchers, they will be hesitant to use the second in pinch-hit opportunities. That would essentially negate Pierzynski's bat.

The only reliever the Cardinals did not use in the NLDS was Michael Wacha, who was carried on the roster primarily for a long-relief or emergency role. Matheny would not disclose whether lefty Kevin Siegrist, who has been battling recurring issues with his arm, is healthy enough to be reconsidered for a bullpen spot.

"He's still working and doing all the things he needs to be able to do in case we need him," Matheny said.

The Cardinals are expected to announce their final roster decisions when they work out at Busch Stadium on Friday.

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.