Cards Non-Roster Spring Training Invitees

The St. Louis Cardinals have issued 2007 Spring Training invitations to 18 non-roster players, including six top prospects.

With a full roster of 40 players and the possibility of adding two more in free-agent pitcher Jeff Weaver and a right-handed hitting outfielder such as Preston Wilson, at this point, the St. Louis Cardinals have issued fewer Spring Training invitations in 2007 compared to 2006.

Ten of the eighteen Cardinals' non-roster invitees are joining the organization for the first time, having been signed to minor league deals in the off-season.

Five more home-grown prospects who have not yet been added to the 40-man roster are also receiving their first-ever invites – outfielder Colby Rasmus (1) and pitchers Chris Lambert (14), Mark Worrell (24) Mike Parisi (25) and Mike Sillman (28). In parentheses after each player's name is their ranking on our Cardinals Top 40 Prospect List.

Non-roster big-league camp returnees are catchers Brian Esposito and Bryan Anderson (4) plus outfielder Rick Ankiel, who was on the 40-man roster one year ago. In addition, Eli Marrero is back – both to catching and for a second tour of duty with the Cardinals, having been their property for over ten years, from 1993 through 2003.

2007 Cardinals Spring Training non-roster invitees

Veterans

Position Name Age Orig Org Signed Other stops
Pitcher Mike Smith 29 Toronto 2000 Philadelphia
  Kelvin Jimenez 26 Texas 2000 none
           
Catcher  Ryan Christianson 26 Seattle 1999 Tampa Bay
  Brian Esposito 28 Boston 2000 Angels, Texas
  Danilo Sanchez 26 Detroit 1997 none
  Eli Marrero 33 St. Louis 1993 ATL, KC, BAL, NYM, COL
           
First base  Tagg Bozied 28 San Diego 2001 Mets
           
Second base Edgar Gonzalez 29 Tampa Bay 2000 Texas, WAS, Florida
           
Utility Jolbert Cabrera 34 Montreal 1990 CLE, Dodgers, Seattle, Japan
           
Outfield Ryan Ludwick 29 Oakland 1999 Texas, Cleveland, Detroit
  Miguel Negron 25 Toronto 2000 Cubs
  Rick Ankiel 28 St. Louis 1997 none

Top prospects

Position Name 07 Age 2006 Club
Pitcher Chris Lambert 24 Springfield/Memphis
  Mike Parisi 24 Springfield
  Mike Sillman 25 Palm Beach
  Mark Worrell 24 Springfield
       
Catcher Bryan Anderson 20 Quad Cities
       
Outfield Colby Rasmus 20 Quad Cities/Palm Beach

2006 results

Pitchers

Pitchers

Team

Lvl

W

L

ERA

G

GS

SV

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

Smith

Rochester

AAA

11

5

3.88

28

24

0

150.2

152

76

65

12

57

110

 

Minnesota

MLB

0

0

12.00

1

1

0

3.0

5

4

4

1

3

1

Jimenez

Oklahoma

AAA

4

2

5.21

26

0

1

38.0

40

22

22

4

24

40

Lambert

Springfield

AA

10

9

5.30

23

23

0

120.2

126

84

71

20

63

113

 

Memphis

AAA

0

1

6.75

1

1

0

4.0

5

3

3

0

0

2

Parisi

Springfield

AA

9

8

4.60

27

27

0

150.2

168

92

77

13

63

107

Sillman

Palm Beach

A+

4

3

1.10

57

0

35

57.1

34

10

7

2

20

86

Worrell

Springfield

AA

3

7

4.52

57

0

27

61.2

52

34

31

10

20

75

Pitchers

Team

Lvl

W

L

ERA

G

GS

SV

IP

H

R

ER

HR

BB

SO

Hitters

Hitters

Team

Lvl

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Christianson

Montgomery

AA

328

38

64

9

0

14

38

9

31

110

0.195

0.268

0.351

Esposito

Memphis

AAA

175

13

41

9

0

2

12

0

3

32

0.234

0.264

0.320

Sanchez

Erie

AA

237

19

43

7

0

7

24

1

24

48

0.181

0.265

0.300

Marrero

NY Mets

MLB

33

4

6

1

0

2

5

2

4

15

0.182

0.282

0.394

 

Colorado

MLB

60

7

13

3

0

4

10

3

11

16

0.217

0.347

0.467

Bozied

Norfolk

AAA

160

18

41

12

0

8

23

0

21

44

0.256

0.358

0.481

Gonzalez

Jupiter

A+

75

10

22

8

0

2

10

1

6

18

0.293

0.341

0.480

 

Carolina

AA

210

19

62

10

3

6

25

9

24

37

0.295

0.371

0.457

 

Albuqurque

AAA

143

29

56

10

1

5

36

1

20

32

0.392

0.473

0.580

Cabrera

Fukoka

JPN

342

41

89

21

1

8

50

6

24

52

0.260

0.315

0.398

Ludwick

Toledo

AAA

508

81

135

34

2

28

80

2

48

167

0.266

0.342

0.506

Negron

N Hampshire

AA

130

12

28

5

0

2

12

2

9

25

0.215

0.266

0.300

 

W. Tennessee

AA

265

24

77

19

4

1

24

9

25

43

0.291

0.349

0.404

Ankiel

Injured - DNP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anderson

Quad Cities

A

381

50

115

29

3

3

51

2

42

66

0.302

0.375

0.417

Rasmus

Quad Cities

A

303

49

94

22

3

11

49

17

29

55

0.310

0.373

0.512

 

Palm Beach

A+

193

22

49

4

5

5

35

11

27

35

0.254

0.351

0.404

Hitters

Team

Lvl

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

SO

AVG

OBP

SLG

Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to the organization's training site at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida on February 14, with the first workout on the 15th. Remaining position players will arrive February 19, with the first full-squad workout on February 20.

While none of the 18 would seem to have an even chance of making the 2007 Cardinals, the exception could be Marrero. If the Cardinals decide to carry three catchers, his versatility (first base, outfield) could be a major plus, as most recently with Cody McKay in 2004.

Overall, excluding Anderson and the five first-timers, the remaining 12 invitees will average between 28 and 29 years of age during the 2007 season and likely will ultimately serve as reinforcements for the Cardinals prospects assigned to Memphis (Triple-A).

Last year, the Cardinals invited 23 NRI's to Spring Training camp. The 2006 list included four players added to the 40-man roster since, pitchers Josh Hancock, Brian Falkenborg and Andy Cavazos and infielder Scott Spiezio.

Just to keep matters in perspective, 17 of the 23 2006 NRI's are no longer in the organization. So, an invitation in itself is certainly no guarantee of longetivity or success.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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