Cards Drop Six from Extended Spring Training

The St. Louis Cardinals continue to shed players from the ranks of their minor league system, releasing three pitchers and three position players from Latin America.

Back on April 6, the St. Louis Cardinals welcomed 42 new players into what is called Extended Spring Training. This group included 15 players arriving in the USA for the first time. They originated from the organization's academy in the Dominican Republic and their now-shut down facility in Venezuela.

They joined another 43 farmhands held over from regular spring camp. The latter players were deemed not ready to make one of the four full-season clubs that began play on April 7.

Six of the 42 newest arrivals have been released but only one had not played in the Gulf Coast League previously.

Player Posn Signed Age Ctry 2010
Luis Pimentel 1B/3B 12/07 22 DR GCL
Wader Perez 2B/3B 12/07 20 DR GCL
Wilfred Vivas 2B 2/07 21 VZ GCL
Deimer Bier RHP 7/07 20 VZ VSL
Amaury Castillo RHP 12/07 20 DR GCL
Adriano Uribe LHP 12/07 21 DR GCL

Four are natives of the Dominican and the other two call Venezuela home. Three are position players and three are pitchers, including one left-hander.

A common thread is that all have spent three summers in the system, accumulating innings and at-bats. The only exception is Uribe, who missed his first season in 2008 due to injury. All are now in their 20's.

As the career numbers below indicate, Pimentel had the most success at the plate of the position players. While the 22-year-old posted a batting average of .301 last season in the Gulf Coast League, seventh-best in the circuit, it was accomplished against younger players.

Pimentel 560 9 81 .270 .345 .375
Perez 497 0 46 .252 .359 .318
Vivas 317 0 21 .230 .317 .271
Career W-L ERA IP BB K
Bier 12-6 2.28 177 2/3 48 167
Castillo 5-6 6.39 81 2/3 79 79
Uribe  5-5 4.16 67 29 57

Deimer Bier
Bier is the most surprising of the pitchers cut loose. While good enough to dominate in the Venezuelan Summer League, the 20-year-old right-hander spent three years there without ever graduating to the US. That was a red flag.

At first blush, these moves may seem to indicate quick decision-making by the Cardinals given the players' short time in camp. Yet as noted above, these are all veterans of the system and especially this year with no VSL, a roster crunch is coming.

The organization plans to continue its approach deployed during spring camp in which players are dropped as soon as it is determined that they are not competitive enough to make a team.

The remaining players are vying to be added to one of the full-season teams when injuries create openings or to join one of the three short-season clubs which begin play in mid-June.

With another 40 or so players likely to sign from the June draft, it adds up to the fact there will be more men under contract than places to play them.

When more releases occur, we will have them.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column on Thursdays at Follow Brian on Twitter.

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