QUESTION: What's more likely to happen with the Cardinals: A trade that will free up roster space, or they'll try to pass someone through waivers to create an opening? Who will be the backup catcher?
COMMISH: The club will have to decide how many pitchers are going to start the season on the disabled list. So far, I would think Carlos Martinez would be one. Luke Gregerson would be another and perhaps even Brett Cecil. The rub is that Mike Mayers, Chasen Shreve and John Gant are out of options. The latter two are likely to make the club but the Cardinals would hate to have to try to sneak Mayers through waivers because it wouldn't work.
... I do think manager Mike Shildt and pitching coach Mike Maddux are on the same page about using a 12-man pitching staff. Their club could use that fifth bench player, whether it's Munoz, Robinson, O'Neill or whoever.
Matt Wieters (above left, with Adam Wainwright during Monday's game) figures to be the backup catcher although that is not a slam dunk. Francisco Pena has played very well so far.
Follow-up comment: Wieters will opt out of his contract simply because he knows Yadi plays all of the time, and he's hoping he can showcase himself for the next 2 or 3 weeks to get a position with more playing time. Thus, Pena will be the backup.
COMMISH: I would disagree, but not reject your theory. Wieters is here as a backup. He will be a backup anywhere. I really believe he wants to play on a playoff contender and he thinks he's found his spot here. Plus, you must remember the Cardinals were the only team that showed any interest in him so he is unlikely to turn his back on them unless they have nothing for him at the end of the month.
Follow-up: How does Yadi feel about the Wieters signing? Aren't he and Pena pretty close?
COMMISH: Yadi and Pena are very close. Yet, I'm sure he is eager to see how Wieters does because he wants to play in a fifth World Series, no matter which backup helps get him and the Cardinals there.