Cards Drop Three from International Program

The St. Louis Cardinals have released two players from the Dominican and another from Venezuela.

The St. Louis Cardinals have released three players from their international program, pitchers Angelo Echeverria and Luis Mata along with outfielder Andres Beras. The former is from Venezuela with the latter two hailing from the Dominican Republic.

More cuts will be disclosed in the upcoming days as the organization evaluates winter ball play and adjusts their ranks for a new season along with dealing with the roster implications of their decision to suspend participation in the Venezuelan Summer League.

Career Signed W L ERA IP BB K
Angelo Echeverria Feb-09 1 0 0.00 8 2/3 2 7
Luis Mata Apr-09 1 1 4.09 22 26 21
Career Signed G AB BA OBP SLG OPS
Andres Beras Jul-07 90 270 0.241 0.355 0.333 0.688

Echeverria may have experienced one of the shortest, yet most oddly successful careers in Cardinals minor league history. The 19-year-old left-handed pitcher did not allow a run in his two seasons as a professional, but because of injury, he appeared in just four games.

The native of Trujillo, Venezuela was signed in February 2009. That summer, Echeverria threw a total of only 4 2/3 hitless and scoreless innings and picked up his only career decision, a win, for the VSL Cardinals before requiring elbow surgery.

Echeverria began 2010 on the club's 60-day disabled list as he continued his recovery. Activated in late June, the 6-foot-1, 175-pounder returned in time to answer the bell in just two games more, finishing his second professional season with four shutout innings.

All told, Echeverria posted a 7-to-2 strikeout to walk ratio and yielded just two hits in 8 2/3 career innings prior his release.

At 20 years old and the veteran of three seasons in the Dominican Summer League after having been signed in July 2007, Beras ran out of time to impress the Cardinals. The native of San Pedro de Marcoris improved his results each year, but since he began his professional career with just a .343 OPS in 2008, there seemed nowhere to go but up.

The 6-foot-2, 175 pound right-handed hitter boosted his on-base mark by 100 points from 2009 to 2010, with a .411 mark that was fueled by a big increase in walks. At the same time, his slugging dipped an alarming 50 points, however, from .406 two seasons ago to .353. Last season, Beras missed about a month due to personal issues. In the field, he basically split his time between first base and the outfield.

In 2008, Beras had tested positive for a metabolite of Boldenone and was suspended 50 games under the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. His penalty began that July and stretched through the first month of the 2009 campaign.

Mata, 19, first became a professional in April 2009. The right-handed pitcher had a very quiet rookie season as he struggled with injuries. He posted a 0-0 record with a 5.63 ERA in four games, including one start, for the DSL Cardinals. Mata followed that up with a 1-1 record with a 3.21 ERA in nine relief appearances in 2010, again missing time due to ailments.

Control remains the bugaboo for the native of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. In each of his two seasons, Mata averaged more than nine walks per nine innings and fewer strikeouts. Still, in 2009 and 2010, the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder held opposing batters to aggregate .111 and .216 batting averages, respectively.

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