2015 Dominican Summer League Cards Preview

On Saturday, the St. Louis Cardinals begin their ninth season in the Dominican Summer League. We have all the specifics right here!

The final weekend in May/first weekend in June marks the traditional opening weekend of the rookie-level Dominican Summer League and 2015 is no different. This Saturday, May 30, the St. Louis Cardinals’ club opens the new season against the Texas Rangers #1 squad.

In preparation for the opener, the Cardinals were required to submit their 35-man active roster, which appears to be at 33. Here is how they got there.

12 players from the 2014 DSL Cardinals had been in the US competing in extended spring training, but four were returned. They join a group of 33 holdovers and two new signees.

From that group of 39 competitors, four have been sidelined with injuries, placed on the seven-day disabled list and two more were placed on the restricted list, at least one likely because approvals are not yet complete. That dropped the roster to 33.

The breakdown

The opening day 33 includes 16 pitchers, of which six are left-handed. The roster includes four catchers, nine infielders and four outfielders.

The international roster of 39 features players from six nations. Over half, 21, call the Dominican Republic home. 13 are from Venezuela with two from Mexico and one each from the Virgin Islands, Nicaragua and Colombia.

The roster

To see the entire DSL Cardinals roster, up to date and correct, click here. Each player has a profile in our database with the information about him that is currently available.

Be aware that 2014 DSL Cards currently in extended spring training camp are still being carried on the 2015 DSL roster until they have officially been assigned to a new US-based team. The eight are denoted by “EST” instead of a jersey number.

On the DL

Three pitchers and an outfielder were placed on the seven-day disabled list to open the season – left-handed pitcher Jesus Narvaez, right-handers Jesus Garcia and Jose Geronimo plus outfielder Carlos Luis.

On the RL

The two on the restricted list are holdover right-handed pitcher Edwar Ramirez and new signee Estalin Tejada. They should be activated once approvals are in place.

The new guys

The Cardinals have come to terms with two new players, the aforementioned pitchers Geronimo and Tejada. Both hail from the Dominican. Geronimo is a 17-year-old right-hander, standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 199 pounds. Tejada, 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, is an older signee, turning 20 years of age next month.

The US returnees

In past years, at most one player sent to the US for extended spring training was returned to play in the DSL that summer, so 2015’s total of four is a bit unusual. Perhaps it was considered a growth experience for the two pitchers and catchers. They are pitchers Estarlin Arias and David Oca along with catchers Dennis Ortega and Irving Wilson.

Oca was our 2014 DSL Starting Pitcher of the Year and our top reliever last season, Franyel Casadilla, also returns for another season in the league. To read our 2014 season summary and Players of the Year articles, click here.

The new digs

For the first time, the Cardinals will be playing their home games at their new Boca Chica academy, which the league is calling Baseball Oasis. (It is located at the lower right of the above photo.) While all of the baseball related facilities are ready, the preparation of the living quarters were behind, requiring hotel stays.

For full details on the new academy, click here.

The schedule

With the physical move, the Cardinals shift their divisional alignment from the Boca Chica South Division to the North. The number of other clubs in the division is five: Texas Rangers 1, Astros Orange, Angels, Seattle 2 and Washington.

Like last season, all clubs will play all of their games within their division – for a total of 72 games on the schedule. As always, DSL contests start at 10:30 a.m. ET. Two-game home-and-away series are the norm, with three series per week. Play occurs six days weekly, with Sundays off. The All-Star Game will be held on Sunday, July 19 with playoffs scheduled to begin Monday, August 24.

The staff

Manager Fray Peniche is back for a fifth season after piloting his 2014 club to a disappointing 22-48, ninth in the division. Hitting coach and former major leaguer Erick Almonte returns for a second season in the organization. Giovanni Cararra starts his initial season guiding the DSL Cardinals pitchers and assistant hitting coach John Matos, also an infield specialist, returns for another season.

Daily reports

As always, our Minor League Notebooks will include the daily DSL Cardinals results starting with Sunday morning, May 31.

Join the minor league discussion with other Cardinals fans here

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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