An early look at the Cardinals’ 2011 roster

By B.J. Rains
Dec. 15, 2010

With the signing of Gerald Laird to a one-year deal Tuesday to be the backup catcher, the Cardinals have essentially finalized their 25-man roster for the 2011 season. The Cardinals added Lance Berkman, Ryan Theriot, Brian Tallot and Laird in the offseason and subtracted most-notably Brendan Ryan, Blake Hawksworth and Jason LaRue from last year’s club.

The Cardinals could always make a move at some point before or during spring training but here’s an early look at the Cardinals possible 25-man roster come Opening Day on March 31:

Starting rotation: Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook, Kyle Lohse

Before the Phillies stunned the baseball world and signed Cliff Lee, the Cardinals had arguably the best starting rotation in the National League. Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter will again give them a potent 1-2 punch at the top. Wainwright won 20 games last season and Carpenter was working on another stellar season before suffering a hiccup late in the year. Jaime Garcia was the best rookie pitcher in the league, winning 13 games and posting a 2.70 ERA. Add in Jake Westbrook, who was solid after joining the Cardinals at the trade deadline, and hopefully a healthy Kyle Lohse, and the Cardinals should have the makings of a strong staff next year. They may not be the Phillies