Cardinals Dominican Summer Roster in Shape

35 St. Louis Cardinals prospects begin 2011 Dominican Summer League play on Saturday. May 28.

Though the league's name is the Dominican Summer League, the 35 players on the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals roster are truly international. 17 of them call another nation home. They include 12 Venezuelans, two Colombians, two Nicaraguans, and a Panamanian. This increasing internationalization of the DSL roster was accelerated by the Cardinals' decision to end play in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2011.

The 2011 DSL Cardinals roster here at The Cardinal Nation (click on the highlighted words) is accurate and up to date. There are 35 active players on the roster, the league maximum, with three more on the restricted list and one additional on the disabled list.

Note that all the additional players with "EST" next to their names rather than a number were either in the DSL or VSL in 2010, and are currently competing for jobs in extended spring training camp in the USA. Once they will be assigned to a new team, they will move off the DSL roster page here to their 2011 clubs. They are not included in the 35.

Player News – Heading Out

Though shortstop Robelys Reyes was scheduled to participate in extended spring training in the US, a passport issue temporarily scuttled those plans. In the interim, he is listed on the DSL roster and will play there to keep in shape until his paperwork is clear.

Pitcher Jefferson Segundo is not listed among the 35, having received his release after two years in the organization. The 21-year-old right-hander appeared in just four games last season after sitting out 50 games due to a substance-related suspension.

Player News – Coming In

The Cardinals have signed right-handed pitcher Hector Salazar from Panama City, Panama. An organization official sees the 16-year-old as having a "good arm and a lot of upside." He is 6-feet-2, 165 pounds.

A new catcher, Luis Cruz, is said to be a player to watch. The 18-year-old was signed at 17 from Cotui, Dominican Republic and is said to have quick feet, which is understandable since he used to be a shortstop. Cruz has a "plus arm, a big body for his age and he can hit," said a Cardinals staffer.

Another new Cardinal is first baseman-third baseman Alejandro Mejia. The 18-year-old from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic bats and throws from the right and is 6-feet-4, 195 pounds. He is said to have power potential, but is raw.

The fourth recent signee is outfielder Carlos Torres, who hails from Puerto Cabello, Venezuela. The 18-year-old bats and throws right-handed and is a tall 6-foot-3, but a skinny 145 pounds. He can play multiple outfield positions, but obviously needs to bulk up. Very projectable tools.

Player News – Checks Done

When news of their signings became public earlier this spring, all the paperwork for three Cardinals players was not complete. Since then, everything has been approved for the three: pitchers Luis Perdomo and Fernando Gonzalez and outfielder George Araujo.

The Rotation

The Cardinals will be going with a modified six-man rotation with one piggy-back pairing. Starters are all righties: Juan Bautista, Silfredo Garcia, Hansel De Los Santos, Luis Perdomo and Johnny Polanco. Jonathan Escudero and Hector Salazar will share the other turn.

The Staff

New skipper Frey Peniche along with hitting coach Jobel Jimenez, pitching coach Bill Villanueva and infield coach John Matos will be looking to improve on the 39-32 record posted in 2010.

The Cardinal Nation's DSL Coverage

To find out the latest from Dominican Summer League action six days a week, check out Josh Jones' daily Minor League Notebooks, here at Starting next weekend, Josh's weekly Dominican Summer League Notebooks will also return, recapping each week's play.

Remember that to view the entire Cardinals system by player, by level and position, check the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation Blog, kept updated along with the team and player pages here at The Cardinal Nation.

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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