Cardinals send down a pair of infielders

The St. Louis Cardinals have returned Greg Garcia and Luis Mateo to minor league camp. Angel Castro has been dropped from the 40-man roster.

Following Sunday's game, the St. Louis Cardinals optioned infielder Greg Garcia to Triple-A Memphis and re-assigned infielder Luis Mateo to minor league camp. The organization also outrighted pitcher Angel Castro, clearing a 40-man roster spot.

On Sunday, Garcia and Mateo had one plate appearance each. Garcia struck out and Mateo was hit by a pitch. For the spring, Garcia went 5-for-17, .294, with three RBI, two runs scored, three walks, a stolen base and four strikeouts. The 24-year-old should be in the starting middle infield mix at Memphis. (Note: Exclusively for subscribers to The Cardinal Nation, Garcia recently spoke from spring camp.)

Mateo, who played the majority of last season with Double-A Springfield, went 4-for-14, .286 this spring, with a double, two RBI, four strikeouts and two errors on defense. To open 2014, the 23-year-old may have to return to the Texas League due to the number of other middle infielders ahead of him in the organization.

Castro, 31, was signed as a free agent in December near the end of a strong winter league campaign in the Dominican. In an unusual decision, the organization granted the right-hander a 40-man roster spot.

In major league spring camp, Castro pitched poorly, yielding seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. Down in minor league camp, he has not fared significantly better, giving up six runs in three frames. His 40-man roster spot will likely be used on free agent signee Pat Neshek. Castro should spend the season in Memphis' rotation.

With these moves, their second set of the day Sunday, the Cardinals have 29 40-man roster players and six 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.

Premium Article Not yet a subscriber to The Cardinal Nation? Join today for as little as $7.95 after our seven-day free trial. Read all of our spring training content and much more - exclusive and unparalled year-round, end-to-end coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals major league club and minor league system.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2014 The Cardinal Nation, and All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories