Delgado Completes Cardinals AFL Contingent

All eight St. Louis Cardinals prospects have been assigned to the 2010 Arizona Fall League with the addition of Springfield reliever Ramon Delgado.

The St. Louis Cardinals have named their eighth and final 2010 Arizona Fall League participant, relief pitcher Ramon Delgado. The 24-year-old right-hander was promoted from Palm Beach to Springfield on August 5 after having been a Florida State League All-Star.

Delgado had a 1.42 ERA in 38 games in a setup role with Palm Beach. He had a 51:10 strikeout to walk ratio in 50 2/3 innings pitched. With Springfield, he continued to pitch strongly, with just two earned runs allowed in 16 1/3 innings for a 1.10 ERA. Delgado's Double-A strikeout to walk ratio is an impressive 17:3.

The Arizona native was originally selected by the Cardinals in the 41st round of the 2007 draft.

With the Surprise Rafters, Delgado will join pitchers Brian Broderick, Blake King and Jordan Swagerty along with shortstop Pete Kozma, third baseman Zack Cox, outfielder Adron Chambers and catcher Tony Cruz. Springfield's Derrick May serves as hitting coach.

With six MLB organizations providing players to each AFL club, they all nominate one starting pitcher. Broderick will be the Cardinals starter on the Rafters this fall. King, Swagerty and Delgado will work in relief.

With eight position players starting on any given day, again for fairness, each MLB organization can identify one player as a priority player, meaning he will be in the starting lineup most days. Kozma has that designation for St. Louis.

Normally, the eighth player from each organization is designated as a member of the taxi squad. That means he is eligible to play on Wednesdays and Saturdays only, unless/until another player is out of action due to injury.

Cruz was tabbed as the Cardinals taxi squad member, but he won't be restricted in playing. The reason is that without him, the Rafters only had two catchers. Since there were not enough backstops, Cruz has been assigned full-time status, essentially giving the Cardinals a bonus player this fall.

Along with May, the Springfield Cardinals hitting coach, the rest of the Rafters' coaching staff are manager Mike Guerrero, manager of Double-A Huntsville of the Milwaukee Brewers organization and pitching coach Brad Holman from the A-Advanced Hickory Crawdads of the Texas Rangers minor league system.

The other two organizations that will join the three noted above to provide the prospects to make up the 2010 Rafters are the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals. Those two clubs will also supply the trainers for the Rafters.

The 19th season for the six-team AFL gets underway on Tuesday, October 12 with its championship game scheduled on Saturday, November 20. The annual Rising Stars game with top players from across the league will be held on Saturday, November 6.



Related articles:
August 31: "Cardinals Arizona Fall Roster Taking Shape"
September 8: "Cox Officially Named to the AFL"
September 13: "Swagerty Added to Cardinals AFL Group"



Coming soon:
As I do every year, I will be down in Arizona this fall, speaking with coaches and players and bringing the news back to The Cardinal Nation subscribers. In addition, our best of breed Winter League Notebooks will be return this off-season. Don't miss them!



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Selected TCN content appears at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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