St. Louis Cardinals

On Saturday, the St. Louis Cardinals began their 10th season in the Dominican Summer League.

On Saturday, the St. Louis Cardinals began their 10th season in the Dominican Summer League. We have all the details.

The first weekend in June marks the traditional opening weekend of the rookie-level Dominican Summer League and 2016 is no different. This Saturday, June 4, the St. Louis Cardinals’ club opened the new season, welcoming the Colorado Rockies to their new facility, called Baseball Oasis.

In preparation for the opener, the Cardinals were required to submit their 35-man active roster, which will initially be at 32 plus four players on the 60-day disabled list. Here is how they got there.

12 players from the 2015 DSL Cardinals had been in the US competing in extended spring training, and just one was returned. He joins a group of 31 holdovers and four recent signees.

The breakdown

The opening day 32 active includes 18 pitchers, of which four are left-handed. The roster includes three catchers, seven infielders and four outfielders. The DLed players are three right-handed pitchers and a catcher.

The international roster of 36 features players from five nations. Over 60 percent, 22, call the Dominican Republic home. Nine are from Venezuela with two each from Mexico and Colombia plus one from Panama.

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, including 2016 uniform number.

The promoted

The 11 players not returned from extended spring training have been moved to the Gulf Coast League roster here at TCN, though some could end up elsewhere when short-season ball begins later in the month.

Pitchers Home Age Notes
Juan Alvarez DR 19 2.68 ERA 9th in system in 2015
Franyel Casadilla VZ 19 Top 10 in org: ERA, OBA, WHIP, K/9
Will Changarotty VZ 20 8 straight scoreless apps open 2015
Oneiver Diaz DR 19 Rehabbing in extended spring camp
       
Catcher       
Dennis Ortega DSL  18 Sticks in US when Wilson returned
       
First base Home Age Notes
Carlos Rodriguez VZ 19 Led DSL Cards with .497 SLG
       
Second base Home Age Notes
Luis Flores DR 19 T5th in system w/ 6 triples in 2015
       
Shortstop Home Age Notes
Starlin Balbuena DR 18 Four 4-hit games in 2015
Edwin Figuera VZ 18 Led DSL Cards: steals (14), HBP (13)
       
Outfield Home Age Notes
Sanel Rosendo DR 18 Four games with 2 doubles last year
Wadye Ynfante DR 18 21-game hit, 24-game OBP streaks

On the DL

Three pitchers and a catcher were placed on the 60-day disabled list to open the season – right-handed pitchers Angel Estevez, Anthony Trompiz and Jose Geronimo plus catcher Dylan Melendez. They are labeled as such on the team roster.

The new guys

The Cardinals have come to terms with four new players, three from the Dominican and one from Panama. Two are pitchers, one a shortstop and one outfielder. The first three are teenagers, while outfielder William Jimenez is an older signee, 20 years of age.

Pitchers Wilfredo Pereira and Francis Ventura are 17 and 16 years of age, respectively. Shortstop Moises Castillo is also just 16.

Pitcher Home B T H W Age
Wilfredo Pereira PAN   R 5-11 197 17
Francis Ventura DR   R 6-2 197 16
             
Shortstop Home B T H W Age
Moises Castillo DR R R 6-2 187 16
             
Outfield Home B T H W Age
William Jimenez DR R R 5-10 171 20

The US returnee

Until last year, when there was four, in past years, at most one player sent to the US for extended spring training was returned to play in the DSL that summer. However, several pitchers were promoted to the GCL after a handful of DSL starts, so rosters should never be considered final.

This year’s EST returnee is Mexican catcher Irving Wilson.

The digs

For the second year, the Cardinals will be playing their home games at their new Boca Chica academy, called Baseball Oasis. At last year’s opening, all of the baseball related facilities were ready, but the preparation of the living quarters was behind. I understand most of those items have been resolved.

For full details on the academy, click here.

The schedule

The Cardinals’ divisional assignment is with the new Boca Chica San Pedro Division. The number of other clubs in the division is seven: Colorado, Detroit, Milwaukee, Yankees 2, Atlanta, Angels and Washington. Only the latter two teams were in the Cardinals’ division in 2015.

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 17 with playoff scheduled on Monday, August 29.

The staff

Manager Fray Peniche is back for a sixth season after piloting his 2015 club to a 34-38 mark, an improvement of 12 wins over the franchise’s low point in 2014. The 2015 Cards were third in their six-team division.

Hitting coach and former major leaguer Erick Almonte returns for a third season in the organization. Veteran Cardinals pitching coach Bill Villanueva is back with the DSL club after coaching at Johnson City in 2015. Last year’s pitching coach Giovanni Carrara moves up to the GCL. Assistant hitting coach John Matos, also an infield specialist, returns for another season. Michael Feliciano is the trainer with Carlos Nin serving as strength and conditioning coach.

Daily reports

As always, our Minor League Notebooks will include the daily DSL Cardinals results starting with Sunday morning, June 5.

Update

Infielder Hector Linares has been suspended for the first 15 days of the season due to a team rules violation.

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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