Cardinals Minor League Opening Day News

Breaking news that affects the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system on April 9 is being posted here.

With Opening Day of the 2015 Minor League Baseball season now upon us, there are a series of moves being announced on Thursday that will define the 25 men on each of the four full-season rosters to start the regular season.

As this information is coming out on a piecemeal basis, this post is The Cardinal Nation’s catch-all and will updated as more news becomes available.

The points of reference are the following articles from Monday and Tuesday of this week. At that time, tentative rosters for each of the four clubs were divulged by the organization. However, none of the teams were all the way down to the required 25 players at that time. In addition, we did not know rotation members.

Here are links to those articles, providing deep dives into each club’s season-opening roster and implications:
A Second Look at the 2015 Memphis Redbirds
A Second Look at the 2015 Springfield Cardinals
A Second Look at the 2015 Palm Beach Cardinals
A Second Look at the 2015 Peoria Chiefs

Here are the relevant updates to that information. All are pitchers unless noted otherwise. (L) designates left-handers.

Memphis Springfield Palm Beach Peoria
Gonzales (L) Petree  Al Reyes Flaherty 
Cooney (L) Mayers  Kaminsky (L) Gomber (L)
Lyons (L) T Lee  Littrell (L) Poncedeleon
Petrick Morales  Nielsen  D Perez (L)
Gast (L) Hald (L) Reed (L) Pearce
    Al Reyes  Anderson
    Brookshire (L)  
To pen      
Whiting Heyer 1 pitcher McKnight
  Cornelius (L)    
To DL      
Butler Ehrlich (Ca) Weaver  Pedroza
  S Rodriguez (OF) Llorens  
    Nazario (L)  
    Neil (Ca)  
    C Valera (IF)  
    C Jones   
    Melling (L)  
O'Neill (OF) Blair Echemendia Perdomo
  Stoppelman (L) S Garcia  Bray 
  Swagerty Velazco (Ca) Booden
      R Garcia (3B)


Let’s start with Memphis. With six starters for five spots, it appears right-hander Boone Whiting has been moved to relief. The order for the Redbirds’ first three-game series is known, with those pitchers above listed in sequence.

One Redbird has yet to be deactivated to get to 25 players. In addition, it is assumed, but not yet confirmed, that Keith Butler will be on Memphis’ DL while rehabbing in Florida.

Update: Before the game, Butler was placed on the disabled list and outfielder Mike O'Neill was deactivated. More on the latter's status coming.

Update #2: It appears that O'Neill has been re-assigned to extended spring training camp in Jupiter, Florida and added to the roster of short-season Class-A State College. Obviously, that would place him a holding pattern, not unlike what happened with Chris Swauger and Vance Albitz last spring.

Update #3: On Friday morning, St. Louis catcher Tony Cruz was placed on three-day paternity leave and Ed Easley was promoted from Memphis to replace him for the three-game weekend series in Cincinnati. We will watch to see if Memphis plays one short for the weekend or if O'Neill is activated by the Redbirds in Easley's absence.

Update #4: On Friday afternoon, the Redbirds activated O'Neill as expected. The club also tweaked the rotation, with Tyler Lyons to start game three, followed by Zach Petrick and John Gast. The above list was changed to reflect this.


Springfield had seven possible starters for five jobs, with Jonathan Cornelius and Kurt Heyer shifting into the bullpen. As is the case for Memphis, the first three starters are scheduled to pitch in the sequence listed. Four and five could go in the opposite order.

The S-Cards have yet to trim two players from their tentative 27. The three 2014 Cardinals listed below apparently did not come north with the team and are presumed to be rehabbing in Jupiter. More will be coming on that later.

Update: The two players placed on the Springield DL are catcher Adam Ehrlich and outfielder Starlin Rodriguez.


The big information from Palm Beach is that 2014 first-rounder Luke Weaver is opening the season on the disabled list with shoulder soreness. He is joined by six others as noted in the table as the club came down to its season-opening 25. Cory Jones and Tyler Melling were injured last season and working their way back, but the first five DL names on the chart, including Weaver, are new news.

The rotation is not fully clear, including the pitching sequence. Seven potential starters remain for six spots. The status of three other high-A players remains open, listed below those on the DL.

Update: Not surprisingly, TCN's number two-ranked Cardinals prospect Alex Reyes is starting the opener for the Beach Birds. According to a media report from Roger Dean Stadium, the right-hander's first offering of the evening and season was clocked at 100 mph.


Peoria is set for Opening Day. The six presumed starters are listed, again with the three taking the ball in the initial series listed in order. As a result, it appears that Blake McKnight will be in the Chiefs’ pen.

Infielder Richy Pedroza was placed on the seven-day disabled list on Thursday, getting the Midwest League club’s roster to 25. The four 2014 Chiefs players at the bottom are assumed to be in rehab or extended spring training in Jupiter.

Update: The rotation order of the top six listed above has been confirmed.

More is coming

Please check back here as updates will be provided as available. I will be working to keep the team rosters here at the main site up to date. A refresh of the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation Blog is still a day or so away, based on when I can clear up some of the question marks.

Join the discussion with other Cardinals fans here

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

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