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On Monday, the St. Louis Cardinals reduced the number of players in big league camp to 49

On Monday, the St. Louis Cardinals reduced the number of players in big league camp to 49 as OF Charlie Tilson was optioned out.

Following their Monday contest, the St. Louis Cardinals announced the optioning of outfielder Charlie Tilson to Triple-A Memphis. The action reduces their Spring Training roster to 49 players, including 12 non-roster invitees (NRIs).

The Cardinals spring roster now includes 24 pitchers (including four NRIs); five catchers (incl. two NRIs); 13 infielders (incl. four NRIs) and seven outfielders (incl. two NRIs).

Brian Walton’s take

Tilson, 23, was given the opportunity to show his wheels in MLB camp and led the team with five stolen bases in six attempts after swiping a Texas League-best 46 last season. The Cardinal Nation’s sixth-ranked prospect in the system appeared in eight games this spring, with a single in seven at-bats (.143). Tilson scored five runs.

While fellow outfielders Anthony Garcia, Jeremy Hazelbaker and Carlos Peguero remain in big league camp, it should be remembered that Tilson remains the next centerfielder in line after projected major leaguers Randal Grichuk and Tommy Pham.

Tilson should be leading off and starting every day for Triple-A Memphis this season, gaining experience and waiting for his first official shot at the Majors.

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

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