St. Louis Cardinals release 6 minor leaguers

Five draftees from 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010 plus another player signed in 2006 are now ex-Cardinals.

It is that time each spring when all major league organizations have to release players deemed uncompetitive for the rosters at which they should compete based on age and experience.

So it has been for the St. Louis Cardinals this week as six young men were told they are no longer being employed by the organization. This latest group includes infielders Phil Cerreto, Joey Bergman, Ted Obregon and Romulo Ruiz plus relief pitchers Cory Rauschenberger and Justin Edwards.

Rauschenberger, 27, first joined the organization as Cory Meacham in the 37th round of the 2005 draft. After logging 11 wins with Springfield in 2007, the native of Alabama briefly reached Memphis in 2008 before abruptly retiring. The right-hander returned to the game in 2010 as a reliever with Palm Beach before spending most of 2011 in Triple-A. In 470 career innings, Rauschenberger logged a 3.87 ERA.

Edwards, 24, became a Cardinal via the 28th round of the 2009 draft from Kennesaw State University. The left-hander was a starter for Batavia in both 2009 and 2010, and in the latter season was a New York-Penn League All-Star. The Georgia native spent most of last season in Quad Cities' bullpen, where his ERA was 2.94.

Like Edwards, Bergman had been named to the 2010 NYPL All-Star Game. The 24-year-old had joined the organization as their 33rd-round pick that June from the College of Charleston. Returning to Batavia for the first half of 2011, the left-handed batter had hits in 31 of 34 games before his promotion to Quad Cities. Bergman finishes his time as a Cardinal with a career line of .300/.390/.400.

Obregon, who turns 22 next week, was signed as a non-drafted free agent from Venezuela in 2007. The switch-hitter came to the US the next spring and reached as far as Palm Beach, where he spent all of 2011. Obregon's career average was .211 and he committed 85 errors in 304 games.

Cerreto, 24, became a Cardinal via the 40th round of the 2010 draft from Longwood University. The right-handed hitter suffered a feast and famine career if there ever was one. Cerreto initially took Johnson City by storm, batting .425 over his first 32 games before suffering a broken hand that ended his rookie year. Last season, The Virginia native struggled with his health as well as his bat, hitting just .183 in 34 games across the GCL, Batavia and Palm Beach.

Ruiz, 22, was a July 2nd signing in 2006 from Venezuela. He debuted in the 2007 Gulf Coast League before missing all of the next season due to injury. 2010 marked the right-handed hitter's second year at Johnson City. There, his 34 walks topped the Appalachian League. Ruiz logged 13 games with Quad Cites in 2011, but after hitting just .119, he was returned to Batavia. The right-handed hitter finishes with a career slash line of .222/.302/.353 in 210 games.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his minor league features during the season at Follow Brian on Twitter.

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