Austin Gomber (Scott Rovak / USA TODAY Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals trimmed their list of players in big-league camp down to 55 on Monday.

The St. Louis Cardinals optioned out three players and returned eight non-roster invitees to minor league camp. 10 of the 11 are members of The Cardinal Nation top 50 prospect list, including a trio ranked in the top 10.

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Monday) that they have re-assigned or optioned 11 players off the team’s Major League Spring Training roster.  Today’s announcement reduces the number of players in Spring Training camp to 55, including players still taking part in the World Baseball Classic.

The team today optioned left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales to the Memphis (AAA) roster and infielders Eliezer Alvarez and Edmundo Sosa to Palm Beach (A), reducing the team’s 40-man Major League roster to 37 players.

The Cardinals re-assigned pitchers Sandy Alcantara, Jack Flaherty, Austin Gomber, Daniel Poncedeleon and Robby Rowland and catchers Andrew Knizner, Jeremy Martinez and Dennis Ortega to their Minor League camp.

 

Brian Walton’s take

The timing is intended to correlate with Tuesday’s day off for the Major League club.

10 members of The Cardinal Nation’s top 50 prospects for 2017 are among this group, with individual rankings in parentheses: Flaherty (7), Alcantara (8), Gomber (9), Sosa (14), Alvarez (16), Gonzales (24), Poncedeleon (36), Martinez (29), Ortega (43) and Knizner (45).

Note the second paragraph in the release above is worded in a misleading manner. The Cardinals still have a full 40-man roster, but only 37 of them remain in big-league camp. The non-roster invitee count is now down to 18, hence the camp total of 55 players.

Camp opened with 68 players. Two cuts made a week ago were pitchers Junior Fernandez (11) and Jake Woodford (12), late additions to camp to help cover heavy early game workloads. Cuban signee Adolis Garcia was added to big-league camp, but the contract of free agent pitcher Kendry Flores was voided due to a failed physical.

Of course, the end target is the season-opening 25-man roster. Only 30 more cuts to go!

 

More on the Roster Matrix

To see the full 2016 season-ending rosters by level and position and every transaction across the entire Cardinals system on one page, check out the Roster Matrix, always up-to-date and free at The Cardinal Nation blog.

 

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