The purpose of this article is simple, though its execution was a far greater challenge.
When St. Louis Cardinals minor league camp officially opened, the roster showed 157 players active. Another 14 I had expected to be listed were not, with the details here. Once actually in camp, I set out to get these questions answered.
Of course, since then, the target has moved. Players either did not show up or left camp and others were added as cuts from MLB camp. This article will bridge from the first minor league camp roster, posted 10 days ago on March 10, to this one.
For those wanting to see team-by-team working assignments, my goal is to bring that to you on Wednesday. But of course, those will be written in sand, as well.
Here are all the player roster changes since the first article, beginning with the 14 originally in question. They are followed by six players who were on the initial roster, but are not now. Three are still members of the organization, but three are not. The list of rehabbing players is no longer shared by the Cardinals, however, I was able to determine which players are in camp and which are for sure not.
The group on the far right are the 23 players recently sent down from major league camp. I will say nothing more about them here, as there have been other articles posted about each set of roster cuts from MLB camp. You can also always see a summary of the moves via the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation Blog.
|Missing? hitters (3)||Notes||In from MLB camp (23)|
|Bean, Steve||Playing in games||Alcantara, Sandy|
|Seferina, Darren||Playing in games||Alvarez, Eliezer|
|Plummer, Nick||Playing in games||Baker, Corey|
|Missing? pitchers (11)||Notes||Flaherty, Jack|
|Reed, Jimmy||Pitched Sat 3/18||Ganzales, Marco|
|Morales, Andrew||In camp||Garcia, Anthony|
|Perry, Chris||In camp||Gomber, Austin|
|Then, Jery||In camp||Harris, Mitch|
|Santos, Ramon||In camp||Knizner, Andrew|
|Medrano, Ronald||In camp||Lino, Gabriel|
|Tewes, Sam||Pitched Sun 3/19||Lucas, Josh|
|Bohannan, Silas||Injured - rehabbing||Martinez, Jeremy|
|Diaz, Oneiver||Not in camp||Nielsen, Trey|
|Rodriguez, Jorge||Not in camp||Ortega, Dennis|
|Soto, Hector||Not in camp - DSL||Phillips, Zach|
|New subtractions (3)||Notes||Rowland, Robby|
|Martinez, Jose||Visa||Sierra, Magneuris|
|McElroy, C.J.||Medical||Sosa, Edmundo|
|Wirsu, Josh||Not in camp||Valera, Breyvic|
|Released (3)||Wick, Rowan|
Now, let’s dig into the details.
Most of the “missing” players are actually in camp, omitted from the roster in error.
In fact, among the first 14, only three have unusual situations. Pitchers Jorge Rodriguez and Oneiver Diaz, the latter who did not pitch in 2016, are simply not in camp, per a club official. That would suggest they chose not to report. In those cases, the organization gives them time to fully consider their decision and does not release them.
Rodriguez’ decision is especially surprising, as the right-hander pitched very well, both relieving and starting, for Peoria last season. Known on MiLB as "Jorge L. Rodriguez", the just-turned 23-year-old Dominican native delivered a sharp 2.17 ERA in 27 Midwest League appearances, including six starts to close the 2016 season.
Hector Soto was a late international sign who the Cardinals added to the Gulf Coast League roster. Since all US players end up in spring camp, I listed the right-handed pitcher from Mexico as missing in action. After I looked into it, I learned it was simply a roster management move by the Cardinals. Teams are allowed just 35 players on the Dominican Summer League roster plus 12 signed ahead for the next season. Those spots were full when Soto was signed in December, so he was temporarily placed on the GCL roster. He will open his professional career in the 2017 DSL.
Three players disappeared from the initial roster to the more recent one. Jose Martinez (the Peoria infielder, not the red-hot St. Louis outfielder) is working through a visa issue and is expected in camp soon. Springfield outfielder C.J. McElroy is having continued problems with his recovery from a torn ACL last summer and left camp to return home for further evaluation by his personal physicians.
With the recent additions of upper-level outfielders Austin Wilson, Adolis Garcia and Randy Arozarena, this spring the Cardinals have already released two players from the position, Michael Pritchard and Orlando Olivera. The timing of if or when McElroy returns to camp is unknown, but not being there cannot help his future.
The third player off the earlier roster, reliever Josh Wirsu, is in the same boat as Diaz and Rodriguez, except that because the 23-year-old was on the initial roster, which indicates he had been expected in camp. Unless Wirsu decides to report, his time pitching professionally may be done, following a 3.31 ERA 2016 season across three clubs, primarily Peoria. Typically, clubs hold onto their rights of a non-reporting player by placing him on the Restricted List.
Three players were released on Sunday – outfielders Pritchard and Olivera, plus pitcher Davis Ward. More details in this article.
Doing the math, I have the current total in minor league camp at 185 = 157 plus 11 clarified status minus three new subtractions minus three releases plus 23 from big-league camp. But that is sure to change by tomorrow – or perhaps it already has!
© 2017 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.