Cardinals Pick 18 Non-Roster Players for Camp

The St. Louis Cardinals will welcome 57 players to 2015 Spring Training camp, including 18 non-roster invitees.

When the St. Louis Cardinals open their 2015 Spring Training camp, 57 players will be on hand. The club has announced its 18 non-roster invitees (NRI), joining the 39 automatically invited due to their position on the organization’s 40-man roster.

Pitchers and catchers will report on February 19th, with their first workout being held the following day. Position players are scheduled to report on February 24th, with the first full team workout the next day.

NRIs (18) 2014 Top 40
Pitchers (9)    
Cooney, Tim Mem 7
Gast, John Mem  
Harris, Mitch Mem  
Hatley, Marcus AAA  
Kiekhefer, Dean Mem  
Mayers, Mike Mem 25
Petrick, Zach Mem 29
Socolovich, Miguel AAA  
Villanueva, Carlos MLB  
     
NRI    
Catchers (4) 2014 Top 40
Bean, Steve Peo  
Kelly, Carson Peo 11
Rosario, Alberto AA  
Tartamella, Travis Mem  
     
NRI    
Infielders (3) 2014 Top 40
Moore, Scott Mem  
Valera, Breyvic Spr 15
Wilson, Jacob Spr 14
     
NRI    
Outfielders (2) 2014 Top 40
Ortega, Rafael Mem  
Piscotty, Stephen Mem 5

With a relatively set group of contenders to make the opening day 25-man roster already on the 40-man, the vast majority of the 18 NRIs would need some serious luck and a rash of injuries to others to have a realistic chance of being at Wrigley Field on April 5th. That does not mean they cannot impress coaches and improve their chance for a future return.

The 18 include seven members of The Cardinal Nation 2015 Top 40 Prospect List. Five are among the system’s top 15, led by outfielder Stephen Piscotty (5), pitcher Tim Cooney (7), catcher Carson Kelly (11) plus infielders Jacob Wilson (14) and Breyvic Valera (15).

Nine other top 40 prospects already on the 40-man will also be in camp. The headliners begin with number one, pitcher Marco Gonzales, and continue with outfielder Randal Grichuk (4), reliever Sam Tuivailala (8), infielder Aledmys Diaz (12) and outfielder Tommy Pham (13).

The team's 28-game Grapefruit league slate begins on Thursday, March 5, at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla., against their complex co-tenants, the Miami Marlins. It concludes Thursday, April 2, before the final group heads to Memphis for an exhibition on Friday, April 3, against their Triple-A Pacific Coast League affiliate.

St. Louis’ full spring schedule can be viewed here, including television and radio plans for the Cardinals and their opponents.

Footnote

Back on January 22nd, I went on record with The Cardinal Nation members, listing my early predictions for non-roster invitees as well as those to be invited to STEP Camp.

I did very well with the former group. In fact, of my 18 NRI guesses, 17 are among the names listed above. I also noted a new pitching signee was likely, with Carlos Villanueva having been added on Wednesday.

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

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