As expected, the St. Louis Cardinals completed the definition of their season-opening bullpen by purchasing the contract of pitcher Carlos Villanueva. What that means is that the 31-year-old has been added to the organization’s 40-man roster and he will also be on the season-opening 25-man roster as the club’s long reliever.
Villanueva had been signed to a minor league contract on February 4, 2015 that included an invitation to major league spring camp. It was implied from the very start that if the nine-year MLB veteran pitched well in the spring, he would make the team. Villanueva had an out clause in his contract that required a roster decision by Monday.
This spring, the right-hander struck out 11 and walked just two in 11 innings of work. However, he allowed six runs on 14 hits for a 4.95 ERA. It is worth noting, however, that four of those six runs scored in his first outing of the spring. Since then, Villanueva has allowed two runs on six hits in 9 1/3 innings for a 1.93 ERA.
In a second transaction, the team placed left-handed pitcher Jaime Garcia (left shoulder) on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 27. Garcia was injured after throwing 80 pitches in a simulated game on Tuesday, March 24, with Carlos Martinez expected to be the club’s fifth starter to open the season.
Garcia is expected to remain behind in Florida to rehab his injury. There is no schedule for his return.
These moves put the number of 40-man roster players at 39, 28 of whom are still active in big league camp. Four non-roster invitees also remain for a total of 32 active players still in Major League camp.
For details on the likely final seven cuts remaining, refer to this article: Cardinals Drop Four Players in Fifth Set of Cuts.
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