The latest round of releases includes four pitchers. Three are right-handers, Carlos Gonzalez, Jose Penaloza and Adam Prange, along with left-hander Senger Peralta. Gonzalez and Peralta made it as far as Johnson City, while Penaloza and Prange topped out with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals last season.
Remember that while organizations are allowed to sign Latin American players as young as 16 years old, they are prohibited from holding onto them indefinitely. They were previously given three years of play, now four, in the international academies before being required to either cut it in higher level play in the USA or be released.
Gonzalez, Penaloza and Peralta are academy grads while Prange was a 2008 draftee.
Gonzalez, 20, joined the Cardinals organization as a non-drafted free agent in August, 2005. The Panamanian native was a member of the Dominican Summer League Cardinals in 2006, moved up to the GCL Cardinals in 2007, and finished with Johnson City Cardinals last season.
Overall in the system, he posted a 7-5 record with a 5.22 ERA in 40 games, including 11 starts. Gonzalez walked 44 and struck out an impressive 129 over 110 1/3 career innings. His third season was his worst however, as he was knocked around for 10.92 ERA in 29 2/3 innings in the Appalachian League.
Penaloza, a native Venezuelan, was originally signed by the Cardinals in July, 2006. The now-20-year-old pitched that season and 2007 for the VSL Cardinals and moved up to the GCL for 2008.
Across the two levels, the right-hander compiled a 3-2 record and 7.92 ERA in 42 games, all in relief. Penaloza issued 52 walks and struck out 40 over 63 2/3 professional innings.
The 21-year-old Prange was the Cardinals' 48th round pick in the 2008 June draft out from South Mountain Community College (AZ). He appeared in 15 games, 13 innings with the Gulf Coast League Cards, posting a 1-2 record, 6.92 ERA, and three saves. The right-hander yielded 13 walks and struck out nine.
Peralta, a Venezuelan native, was first signed by the Cardinals to a 2005 contract in September, 2004. He was assigned to the Dominican Summer League in 2005 before moving to Johnson City for the next two seasons. The 20-year-old missed the entire 2008 season due to injury.
Overall, the left-hander had a career 4.51 ERA and a 5-8 record in 27 games, including 18 starts. He struck out 99 and walked 46 in 101 2/3 professional innings.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Catch his Cardinals commentary daily at his blog, The Cardinal Nation.
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