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|
|Catchers (4)||2014||Top 40|
|Infielders (3)||2014||Top 40|
|Outfielders (2)||2014||Top 40|
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.
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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