The other 50 or so players staying behind will be joined by 42 new arrivals when the Cardinals annual extended spring training camp (EST) begins on April 5. These players are considered to be candidates to join one of the aforementioned full-season clubs at some point this season, performance and opportunity willing, of course.
This invitee count of 42 is dramatically higher than the 20 additional players sent to EST one year ago. It reflects a need by the organization to make career decisions on a large number of lower-level players caused by the end of the Cardinals' presence in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2011.
|EST (42)||Name||Final 2010 club|
|Pitchers (24)||Aguilar, Cesar||GCL|
|Catchers (4)||Garcia, Anthony||JC|
|IF (9)||Garcia, Hector||GCL|
|OF (5)||Argenal, Jem||VSL|
The Cardinals affiliates in the New York-Penn League (Batavia Muckdogs), Appalachian League (Johnson City Cardinals) and Gulf Coast Leagues will be the three teams partially staffed by the extended spring participants. They will be augmented by at least 40 new signees from this June's draft.
I recently wrote about the size of the potential logjam of players competing for these roster spots coming this summer.
15 of these extended spring training camp invitees will be making their first trip to play ball in the USA. Seven of the newbies suited up in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2010 while the other eight competed in the Dominican Republic.
Last summer, the others finished with Batavia (one) and Johnson City (four) with the vast majority having played with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals (22). Earlier, the remainder of the 2010 season-ending Batavia, Johnson City and GCL rosters were invited to regular minor league spring training camp.
|Final 2010 club||2011 EST invitees|
Over half of the EST group, 24 of the 42, are pitchers, including a quartet of left-handers. The rest of the position breakdown includes four catchers, nine infielders and five outfielders.
Full and up-to-date spring camp rosters, both major and minor league versions, can be seen at The Cardinal Nation Blog.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.
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