Spring Training Notebook - The Survivors

LHP Randy Keisler held opponents to a .111 batting average, as he did not allow an earned run in four games for St. Louis this spring, giving up only three hits and striking out five batters in eight innings of relief. Ironically he didn't survive the recent round of cuts - he was reassigned to the minor league camp on Sunday.

The Cardinals started off with 59 players in camp, and with two-thirds of spring training in the books, 38 of those players have survived the early cuts and remain in contention for the coveted 25-man, major league roster positions.

It started off with twenty eight pitchers making up the bulk of the players in camp, 19 pitchers remain as of Tuesday. Chris Carpenter, Dennis Dove, Brian Falkenborg, Randy Flores, Ryan Franklin, Josh Hancock, Jason Isringhausen, Kelvin Jimenez, Tyler Johnson, Josh Kinney (DL), Braden Looper, Mark Mulder (DL), Chris Narveson, Anthony Reyes, Ricardo Rincon, Russ Springer, Brad Thompson, Adam Wainwright and Kip Wells.

The starting rotation is set for St. Louis, with Carpenter, Wells, Wainwright, Reyes and Looper as the starting five.

Jason Isringhausen is coming off two quality innings in Grapefruit League action and will be ready to start the season as the Cardinals closer.

The Cardinals will likely begin the season with 12 pitchers; five starters, a closer and six members of the bullpen.

Still competing for those six bullpen slots are right-handers; Dennis Dove, Brian Falkenborg, Ryan Franklin, Josh Hancock, Kelvin Jimenez, Russ Springer, and Brad Thompson. From the left side the Cardinals have Randy Flores, Tyler Johnson and Ricardo Rincon.

Eight catchers were in camp when spring training began, minor league catchers, Bryan Anderson, Ryan Christianson, Brian Esposito, Michel Hernandez and Danilo Sanchez were all reassigned to the minor league camp when their teammates arrived for spring training.

The Cardinals everyday catcher Yadier Molina, is backed up by Gary Bennett with Eli Marrero in camp as a potential third string catcher and utility player.

Throughout most of the first three weeks of spring training, infield starters David Eckstein and Adam Kennedy missed a lot of playing time due to injuries. The Cardinals had 11 infielders in camp when spring training started. Of the 11, nine remain with the club, to include; Tagg Bozied, Jolbert Cabrera and Edgar Gonzalez along with the regulars. Minor league infielders Travis Hanson and Brendan Ryan were both recently reassigned to the minor league camp.

The Cardinals had a dozen outfielders to begin with, in due part to take up the slack created by the injuries of Jim Edmonds and Juan Encarnacion, both of whom are likely to start the season on the disabled list.

Five outfielders remain in addition to the two injured stars; Chris Duncan, John Rodriquez, Skip Schumaker, So Taguchi and Preston Wilson.

Then you can add super-sub Scott Spiezio to the outfield mix, because it is very likely he'll see significant playing time there until Edmonds and Encarnacion return.

Additional reassignments are expected later this week as the Cardinals make their final 13 cuts working their way down to the final 25-man roster.

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