Cards projected 2013 minors rosters: Pitchers

Our pre-camp prediction of the season-opening pitchers on each of the St. Louis Cardinals' four full-season minor league clubs – Memphis, Springfield, Palm Beach and Peoria.

Welcome to the first 2013 edition of our St. Louis Cardinals Prospect Report. We will start off the year with a two-part series consisting of my predictions of what the initial full-season rosters may look like coming out of spring training as well as my thinking as to why.

Part one (this report) focuses on the pitching staffs and part two will concentrate on the position players. I hope to have a couple of other special reports during spring training and the regular, monthly Cardinals prospect ranking reports will return in April.

The rosters of the minor league teams of course depend on the major league roster. Any changes there have a domino affect throughout the system. For this exercise, we will assume no injuries. That is not entirely realistic but certainly more realistic than trying to predict specific injuries.

Please be aware that this is just for fun and to stimulate discussion. (Please head over to the insiders message board for that.) This report has no bearing on any player's actual career and is based on a combination or statistics and scouting reports. No one need be offended if you feel your favorite player has been slighted.

My assumption for the standard 12-man pitching staff to open the season in St. Louis is as follows.


Starters (5)

Adam Wainwright
Jaime Garcia (L)
Jake Westbrook
Lance Lynn
Shelby Miller/Trevor Rosenthal

Bullpen (7)

Jason Motte
Edward Mujica
Mitchell Boggs
Joe Kelly
Fernando Salas/Eduardo Sanchez
Randy Choate (L)
Marc Rzepczynski (L)

I know many see Rosenthal in the big league pen. I don't. I think he will either be in the rotation in St. Louis or he will be the unofficial sixth starter in waiting in Memphis.


Starters (5)

John Gast (L) - already has a full Triple-A season under his belt
Tyler Lyons (L) - underrated last year
Shelby Miller/ Trevor Rosenthal - whoever doesn't start the year in St. Louis is the "sixth starter" getting ready in Memphis
Seth Maness - has nothing left to prove at Double-A
Carlos Martinez/Michael Wacha – I expect one of these guys to impress enough to start the season in Triple-A. Martinez's visa problem is putting him behind the curve.

Bullpen (10 names for 7 spots)

Seven relief spots and 10 strong candidates. I personally smell a trade coming but without one, several of these guys could be on the outside looking in.

Eric Fornataro, Jorge Rondon and/or Keith Butler could possibly end up back in the Springfield bullpen, but due to either age or development issues should be in Memphis.

Eric Fornataro
Eduardo Sanchez/Fernando Salas
Adam Reifer
Victor Marte
Maikel Cleto
Jorge Rondon
Michael Blazek
Barret Browning (L)
Keith Butler
Sam Freeman (L)

Outside Looking In?

Nick Greenwood (L) - if he gets his sinker back, he could compete for a roster spot
John Gaub (L)
Nick Additon (L)

For one of these three left-handers to stick, I think it would take a dominating spring performance.


Starters (5)

Boone Whiting - finished strong in Double-A last year
Jordan Swagerty - could be a bullpen guy coming off injury, but I think the Cards prefer him on a regular schedule
Carlos Martinez/Michael Wacha - whoever returns to Double-A will not spend long here
Scott Gorgen/Anthony Ferrara (L) - Gorgen needs to find a niche as a starter or as a reliever. Ferrara could be converted to a LOOGY.
Kevin Siegrist (L) - No spot at Triple-A, so he may have to wait his turn in Springfield

Bullpen (7)

Obviously, anyone from the excess on the Triple-A list that gets sent to Springfield will likely bump out one of these candidates.

Anthony Ferrara (L)/Scott Gorgen – whichever one is not starting should be in the pen
Justin Wright (L)
Deryk Hooker - character may be a question
Kevin Thomas/Richard Castillo – Age is becoming an issue for Thomas. Castillo improved last year but his upside may be in question.
Aidan Lucas
Dean Kiekhefer (L)
Zack Russell - had a strong second half last year at Palm Beach

Outside Looking In?

Kevin Thomas/Richard Castillo - time is most likely up for one of these two
Ramon Delgado
Chris Corrigan - stats aren't bad, but at 25 years old, he seems like the odd man out.
Jay Voss (L) - not sure why this guy was drafted in the Rule 5
Scott McGregor – time is up


Starters (6)

Seth Blair - could start in Double-A if there is an injury or he impresses this spring.
Kyle Hald (L) - lefty starters have nine lives
Sam Gaviglio - needs a breakout year.
Tyrell Jenkins - this assumes he is healthy
Hector Hernandez (L) - looking for consistency in 2013
Ryan Sherriff (L) - excelled at Palm Beach last year but may need to show more to move up

Bullpen (10 names for 6 spots)

Two seem likely.

Robert Stock
Dixon Llorens

Statistically, there is not a lot that separates this next group. But there is room for only four of them to open in Palm Beach and there aren't really any spots below them, either.

Iden Nazario (L)
Danny Miranda (L)
Jose Almarante
Logan Billbrough
Heath Wyatt
Dail Villanueva (L) - lefty groundball specialists always have a chance
Jonathan Cornelius (L)
Yunior Castillo

Outside Looking In?

Four from the group just above plus
Travis Miller
Brad Watson


Starters (6)

Tim Cooney (L) - could be a candidate for Palm Beach if the organization wants to push him
Joey Cuda
Ben O'Shea (L)
Ben Freeman (L)
Kurt Heyer
Victor De Leon

Bullpen (10 names for 6 spots)

This relief corps is chosen from the best of last year's Batavia and Johnson City staffs, though there could be others that could compete. Some of those that do not make the Peoria roster may end up at State College.

Ronnie Shaban
Lee Stoppelman (L)
Zach Petrick
Tyler Melling (L) - has been a starter but may need to move to the bullpen.
Thomas Lee
Kyle Barraclough
Chris Thomas
Brandon Creath
Josh Renfro (L)
Corey Baker

Outside Looking In?

This list includes players who have completed a year at Batavia/State College but do not appear to be competitive (based on statistics) for Peoria.

Joe Scanio
Kyle Helisek (L)
Mike Aldrete


I expect these two pitchers to start the season in extended spring training but to make their 2013 debuts in Peoria.

Sam Tuivailala
Mitch Harris

Jhonny Polanco - finished 2012 in Quad Cities/Peoria but I expect him to start in EST and then State College.

I expect all other players on the Johnson City roster to start the year in EST and compete for a short season roster spot.

To see where every pitcher ended the 2012 season by level, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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