Rookie Pallante nabs final Cardinals’ pitching spot; Pujols to start on opening day | Cardinal Beat

JUPITER, Fla.—The Cardinals’ 28-man roster is set for Thursday’s start of the season at home with Pittsburgh. While left-handed pitcher Connor Thomas is on the list of pitchers slated to face Washington Monday here he will not be on the opening-day club.

Right-handed rookie Andre Pallante, impressive this spring, will be the 15th pitcher on the club. Thomas and right-hander Jake Walsh, another rookie, will be headed for Memphis in time for the start of the Class AAA club’s season on Tuesday. Walsh was optioned off the 40-man roster.

To get down to 28, the Cardinals also reassigned catcher Julio Rodriguez and utility man Cory Spangenberg to the minors and right-hander Jack Flaherty (shoulder) was placed on the 10-day injured list.

Of more importance to St. Louis fans, Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol announced Monday morning that Albert Pujols would start as his designated hitter on Thursday, marking Pujols’ 22d consecutive opening-day start, tied for second all-time in the majors.

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The lineup also appears set, at least batting-order wise. Dylan Carlson will hit first Monday and Tommy Edman ninth. The rest of the lineup, in order, for the game will be Paul Goldschmidt, Tyler O’Neill, Nolan Arenado, Pujols, Paul DeJong, Yadier Molina and Harrison Bader eighth ahead of Edman.

Marmol said this very well could be the batting order on Thursday.

So far, Pujols is slated to see his first game action at first base behind Miles Mikolas while Goldschmidt will serve as the designated hitter although Marmol said he might change his mind about that and play Pujols at first on Tuesday. in the final game of the spring, to be contested with the Miami Marlins. Left-hander Steven Matz is in line to make that start.

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