On Wednesday, outfielder Magneuris Sierra was on the available players list for the St. Louis Cardinals for their road game against the Minnesota Twins at Ft. Myers. The Cardinal Nation’s 10th-ranked prospect for 2017 did not appear in the 8-0 Cardinals loss, and after the game, the 20-year-old was optioned to the minor leagues, according to MLB.com’s Cardinals transaction list.
The specific location is listed as High-A Palm Beach, same destination as his 2016 Peoria teammates Eliezer Alvarez and Edmundo Sosa were assigned on Monday. However, do not read anything into it, as it is simply the next level higher than where the trio played last summer. Their actual team assignment to open the regular season will depend on how they perform in minor league camp games that begin on Thursday, with the first contests against external competition to be held on Friday.
Check The Cardinal Nation Blog for nightly minor league spring training game recaps, as have been provided for the last decade. TCN members should look for my in-depth reports from Cardinals minor league camp starting this weekend.
Sierra impressed in his first big-league camp, batting 12-for-31 (.367), including three doubles and seven strikeouts. He drew just two free passes for an on-base mark of .424. The left-handed hitter drove in one run, scored once and was thrown out in his only stolen base attempt.
With the move, the Cardinals are down to 54 players in big-league camp – 36 members of the 40-man roster plus 18 non-roster invitees.
With catchers Yadier Molina and Alberto Rosario still competing in the World Baseball Classic and prospects Jeremy Martinez, Andrew Knizner and Dennis Ortega sent to minor league camp for regular play, the Cardinals added Luis Cruz to big-league camp on Wednesday. The veteran backstop is not likely to see much, if any, game action.
The 23-year-old was a non-roster invitee to 2016 camp before playing with Springfield last season. Cruz also had a brief stint with Memphis. This spring, he was not among the initial four catchers invited to STEP camp, but was added to the early minor league group in February.
This move keeps the Cardinals big-league camp player count at 55 – 36 40-man players and 19 NRIs.
To see the current camp assignments, 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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