The most recent evidence of that is the release of five players, who had been on the working rosters from A-Advanced Palm Beach down to Peoria 2. They are pitcher Cesar Aguilar, first baseman David Bergin, infielder Daniel Barbuena and outfielders Reggie Williams and Ricardo Lizcano.
His troubles began early in 2011. Williams broke a hamate bone in his hand in spring training. The Florida native managed just 46 at-bats all season long. Then, in November, he was suspended 50 games after testing positive for the prohibited substance Methylhexaneamine.
Last season, Williams was reinstated from the restricted list on August 10 and joined Batavia of the New York-Penn League. He had just 30 at-bats, hitting .133. This spring, Williams had been among those on the Palm Beach working roster.
Aguilar, 20, also joined the organization in the 2010 draft. Taken in the 14th round from a California high school, the right-hander opened 2012 back in the Gulf Coast League for the third consecutive year. Aguilar was promoted to Johnson City in early July, where he posted a 4.13 ERA in relief. In 2013 camp, Aguilar was among the Peoria 2 hurlers.
Bergin, 23, was the Cardinals' 30th round pick in the 2011 draft from Tennessee Wesleyan College. The first baseman debuted at Johnson City, moving up to Batavia to begin 2012 before a July promotion to the Midwest League.
After 10 productive games with Quad Cities, the stocky right-handed batter suffered a season-ending knee injury. In 79 at-bats between the two stops, Bergin had a promising .570 slugging mark and a .931 OPS. This spring, he had been listed alongside Jeremy Schaffer as the first basemen on the Palm Beach working roster.
Barbuena, a switch-hitting infielder from the Dominican Republic, will turn 20 years of age this week. He was signed in October 2009 and played his first two seasons in the Dominican Summer League. Barbuena moved up to the Gulf Coast League in 2012, but batted just .217 in limited duty.
Lizcano, 22, was signed as a non-drafted free agent last June from Heidelberg University (OH). Though listed and used primarily as a catcher, the right-handed hitter was moved to the outfield this spring. Lizcano batted .262 in 42 at-bats with Johnson City last summer.
For the most recent Cardinals minor league camp working rosters by level, click here. To see the Cardinals entire 40-man roster and the non-roster spring training invitees, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog. While there, check out the detailed stats from all of the Cardinals minor league spring training contests that day.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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