Cardinals option out Freeman, Butler, Diaz

The St. Louis Cardinals have optioned three players to the minor leagues from major league spring camp.

Prior to Sunday's game, the St. Louis Cardinals optioned three 40-man roster players to the minor leagues. Left-handed relief pitcher Sam Freeman and outfielder Joey Butler have been assigned to Triple-A Memphis and recently-signed infielder Aledmys Diaz to Double-A Springfield.

Freeman, 26, had logged five consecutive scoreless outings and overall, yielded two earned runs in 6 1/3 spring innings over seven games. He allowed six hits and four walks and fanned seven. It was thought by some that Freeman might take the last spot in the bullpen, even though the club already has two lefty relievers in Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist. Obviously, that is not to be. Instead, Freeman should serve as a ready reserve in Memphis.

Butler, 28, was a waiver claim from Texas in October, prior to the addition of Peter Bourjos and Randal Grichuk in trade from the Angels. In camp, the right-handed hitter had 19 at-bats in 13 games with a line of .211/.263/.318. Butler had three singles, a double, three walks and fanned five times. He would seem to be slated for a bench spot at best in a loaded Memphis outfield.

Diaz, 23, played in the last two major league games after securing his visa to allow the Cuban-born, Mexican resident to work in the US. The right-handed hitter had three singles and a strikeout in five at-bats. Diaz will likely open the season as the starting shortstop at Double-A in his first extended play in the Cardinals system.

With this move, the Cardinals have 30 40-man roster players and seven non-roster invitees remaining in Major League Camp.

To see the Cardinals entire 40-man roster and non-roster spring training invitees, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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