Cards 2007 Extended Spring Training Begins

72 St. Louis Cardinals minor league players report to Extended Spring Training camp on Tuesday, though a number of them were already there.

The St. Louis Cardinals are expecting 72 organizational players, including the most ever from Latin America, to participate in their Extended (Minor League) Spring Training Camp in Jupiter, Florida starting on Tuesday, April 3.

58 of the players are active, with another 14 remaining behind from spring training to complete their rehabilitation process in recovery from various injuries.

 

Rehab

Active

Spring Training

New Arrivals

Pitchers

11

25

12

13

Catchers

0

8

7

1

First Base

0

4

0

4

Infielders

0

9

4

5

Outfielders

3

12

4

8

Total

14

58

27

31

Of the 58 active players, 25 are pitchers. Twelve of them had participated in spring training, while 13 are just reporting to camp. Of the eight catchers, only Ivan Castro is a new arrival. Four of the 13 infielders were already in house as were four of the twelve outfielders.

The holdovers

27 players received the opportunity to participate in minor league spring training in March, but for a variety or reasons were not selected to head north initially with one of the four full-season minors clubs.

There are some very good players in this group, including right-handed pitcher Eddie Degerman. Our 32nd-ranked prospect in the Cardinals system was selected in the fourth round of the 2006 draft from Rice University before joining the State College Spikes of the New York-Penn League. He was able to pitch in only 1 1/3 innings during March.

Top position players participating in "extendeds" include shortstop Tommy Pham (our #39 prospect) and outfielder Jon Edwards (pictured - #15 prospect). Both competed for Johnson City of the Appalachian League in 2006. They each scuffled a bit with the bat in spring training, with Pham hitting .161 (5-for-31) while Edwards went 6-for-39 (.154).

The new arrivals

The 31 new players in camp hail from seven different nations, including the Dominican Republic (15), Venezuela (9), Colombia (two) and one each from Curacao, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama.

Only one of the 31 has experience playing in the system in the United States. Outfielder Jose Ramirez (pictured) had a cup of coffee with the Cardinals' rookie level affiliate at Johnson City of the Appalachian League last season. 29 of them competed in either the Dominican or Venezuelan Summer Leagues in 2006.

The 31 athletes range in age from Ramirez, age 22, to the only new signee of the group, outfielder Frederick Parejo, age 16, who inked his contract with the Cardinals last August. Most of the others are either 18 or 19 years of age.

Several potential position changes may be noted in the details, especially around first base, where all four were previously listed at other positions – Luis De La Cruz and Roberto Espinosa (catchers), Edwin Conde (outfield) and Osvaldo Morales (third base).

As evidenced here, the Cardinals' academies in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic are cranking out more talent than ever before. The most advanced youngsters need more opportunities to play. Hence, the organization made the decision over the winter to add their seventh minor league club, a Gulf Coast League (GCL) entry to be housed in Jupiter. Play begins in June.

Rehabbing Players (14)
Pitchers (11) Outfielders (3 DL)
Springfield (2 DL)  Springfield (1 DL) 
Haberer, Eric (L)  Haerther, Cody 
Pomeranz, Stu 
Palm Beach (2 DL)
Palm Beach (3 DL) Church, Ian 
McClellan, Kyle Lemanczyk, Matt 
McCormick, Mark 
Ransom, Robert 
Quad Cities (3 DL)
Anderson, Phillip 
Cairns, Jason 
Trent, Matt 
Extended Spring Training (3)
Carrasco, Armando
Gonzalez, Marco 
Bakey, Kris 

As noted above, 14 players are rehabbing during extendeds. Pitchers, and to a lesser extent outfielders, make up the injured population, with catchers and infielders having dodged the bullet, at least through March.

Eight of the 11 pitchers are officially on the disabled list for either Springfield (2), Palm Beach (3) or Quad Cities (3), so are penciled in to return there when healthy. Notables include Stuart Pomeranz (pictured - #7 prospect) and Eric Haberer (#29). In addition to Springfield's Cody Haerther (#12), the other two outfielders are on Palm Beach's DL (Ian Church and Matt Lemanczyk).

Frank Pol is also injured but is rehabbing at home for the time being. More on these injured players will be coming in a future report.

The next steps

A number of the injured players, as well as some of the front-line prospects, may be tapped to (re)join one of the full-season clubs at any time as their health improves or others already rostered may require their own trip to the disabled list.

As extendeds wind down in June, some of the more experienced players will receive the call to join Johnson City or perhaps the Cardinals' new New York-Penn League affiliate in Batavia, New York. Players selected in this coming June's draft will also play into that equation.

For others, especially the new players, their first taste of organized play in America may be with the initial version of the GCL Cardinals club in 2007. The rest will likely return home (or nearer to home) to rejoin the Cardinals' teams in the Dominican and Venezuelan Summer Leagues.

But, wait! There's more!

Stay here at stlcardinals.scout.com throughout the upcoming weeks as we will again this season provide statistical updates on the Cardinals prospects competing in Extended Spring Training. This is information not readily available anywhere else.

The details

Cardinals 2007 Extended  Spring Training Roster (58)
Pitchers (25) Italics indicates 4/3 arrival
Collier, Logan COL=Colombia
North, Matt CUR=Curacao
Peralta, Senger (L) DR=Dominican Republic
Garner, Brandon ES=El Salvador
Marquez, Fabian NIC=Nicaragua
Mendoza, Wladimir  PAN=Panama
Valera, Yuery VEN=Venezuela
Degerman, Eddie
Salas, Fernando
Hodinka, Ryan (L)
Leach, Tyler
Wilson, Josh
Gonzalez, Carlos PAN
Rosales, Andres COL
Arredondo, Jose DR
Rada, Jose VEN
Pichardo, Joel DR
Sanchez, Eduardo VEN
Mateo, Jose DR
Martinez, Gustavo COL
Javier, Omar DL
Gonzalez, Rainyer VEN
Samuel, Francisco DR
Ortiz, Pablo VEN
Cardenas, Hector (L) DR
Catchers (8)
Alvarado, Wilmer Reyes, Christian
Mulligan, Casey Carpenter, David
Thomas, Scott Gonzalez, Steve
Guerrero, Henry Castro, Ivan DR
First Basemen (4)
DeLaCruz, Luis DR Espinosa, Roberto VEN
Conde, Edwin NIC
Morales, Osvaldo DR
Infielders (9)
Groff, Will Rojas, Francis DR
Pham, Tommy Garcia, Jose VEN
Puello, Melvin Toribio, Guillermo DR
Landin, Jaime Bolivar, Domnit VEN
Hiraldo, Braulio DR
Outfielders (12)
Mitchell, Travis Rosario, Rainel DR
Pujols, Wil Dumont, Cristofer VEN
Rivera, Francisco Schoenenberg, Carlos ES
Edwards, Jon Parejo, Frederick VEN
Lara, Edgar DR
Martinez, Jairo DR
Ramirez, Jose VEN
Martina, Quincy CUR




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

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