An early reference to a new addition to the St. Louis Cardinals major league coaching staff caught the eyes of alert readers last month. When I posted the Cardinals spring training uniform numbers at The Cardinal Nation Blog back on February 9th, several noticed a new name among the coaches, but wearing a non-roster invitee kind of number, 76.
Though Kleininger Teran never came close to receiving a big-league camp invitation in his six years as a minor league utilityman in the Cardinals system from 2006-11, the 25-year-old is not only there this spring, but the Venezuelan native is expected to be with St. Louis all season long as the new extra catcher in the bullpen.
Last year, while the minor league clubs added an extra coach, so did the major league club. The Cardinals assigned an extra catcher to the pen to work with regular bullpen catcher Jamie Pogue, with the role staffed by a former Cards minor league backstop in Roberto Espinoza. Now Espinoza has swapped roles with Teran for 2015, with the former off to a regular assignment as the new hitting coach of the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Cardinals.
Teran had originally been slated to assist with the 2014 Dominican Summer League Cardinals for the second consecutive year, but a personnel change up the line created a series of opportunities for several, including him. When Phil Wellman gave up the Springfield hitting coach job to return to managing in the Angels organization in December 2013, it allowed three other coaches to move up, including Teran to the GCL.
Now, a year later, Teran is in the major leagues.
© 2015 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.