Cards Release Ten Minor Leaguers

The first of many cuts likely over the next two weeks have been made.

The Cardinals have released the following ten players from minor league camp: infielders Billy Becher, Jaime Landin, Kit Pellow and John Santor; catchers Brent Cordell, Scott Madden and Cody Palmer; outfielder Tim Preston and pitchers Jessen Grant and Matt Weagle.


Billy Becher – The 22nd round pick in 2004 was a former NCAA home run champion at New Mexico State University and had a decent 2004 debut at Johnson City. However, the first baseman missed all of 2005 after suffering a broken bone in his right hand after being hit by a pitch in extended spring training. He had been assigned to the provisional Quad Cities roster this spring.


Jaime LandinThe 22-year-old second baseman was signed as a non-drafted free agent this past November after completing his college career at Texas A&M – Corpus Christi. While he held many of the school batting records, apparently he was unable to make the jump to the professional ranks and was released prior to his first official game.


Kit Pellow – The 32-year-old utilityman was drafted in the 22nd round in 1996 by the Kansas City Royals and reached Triple-A by 1998. Plateaued there, spending almost four productive seasons in Omaha before making MLB debut in 2002. The 32-year-old can catch, play corner infield and corner outfield positions and hit with some power. In 2004, Pellow made the Colorado Rockies as a non-roster invitee and was the opening day starter in left field. Was an NRI to spring training with the Seattle Mariners in 2005 before playing in Korea.


John Santor – The 24-year-old first baseman was the team's 35th round selection back in 2000. After a couple of decent seasons at Peoria in 2003 and 2004, he struggled at Palm Beach in the latter part of 2004 and during 2005. Santor hit under .220 with 11 home runs and 56 RBI in 445 at-bats there. Likely, the team decided to go younger.


Brent Cordell – The switch-hitting catcher was drafted by the Cardinals in the 37th round in 1998 out of high school, but did not sign. He did join the Tampa Bay system after his 23rd round selection in 2001. In his third season in A-ball in 2004, Cordell had a decent season offensively, hitting .276 with 13 home runs and 68 RBI in 341 at-bats for Bakersfield. He played in independent ball in both the Northern and Atlantic Leagues in 2005 and may return there.


Scott Madden – The catcher had been signed late last August as a non-drafted free agent out of Tulane University and as a result, only saw action in three professional games for New Jersey. Likely, the return of catchers from major league camp made Madden expendable.


Cody Palmer – The right-handed hitting catcher was purchased from the independent Northern League in 2003 and advanced as far as Quad Cities last season. However, his career .201 batting average probably did him in.


Tim Preston – The 24-year-old outfielder was signed as a non-drafted free agent last June and hit just .206 in 29 games at Johnson City.


Jessen Grant – The 6-foot-7 righty reliever Jessen Grant was the longest of long shots as the 43rd round draft pick in 2004 out of Columbia University. While his career ERA was 3.71, Grant struggled with his control, walking 33 in 51 innings.


Matt Weagle – The right-handed pitcher was the team's sixth round selection in 2003 from Franklin Pierce College. He underwent surgery for a torn labrum after just five games in 2003 and did not pitch in 2004. Weagle spent all of 2005 at Johnson City, where he posted a 7.00 ERA in 18 games, four of which were starts.


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Brian Walton can be reached via email at


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