Cardinals Release Nine, Sign Nine More

The St. Louis Cardinals have made a number of changes in their international rosters in preparation for the 2010 summer seasons, including releases, signings, DL trips and the completion of a suspension.

With the official start of the 2010 Venezuelan Summer League (VSL) regular season on Monday, official rosters have been finalized. The necessary background checks on new signees have been completed, some players have arrived in the USA for extended spring training, while others have been placed on the disabled list or are completing suspensions.

The least fortunate, a group of nine, have reached the end of their employment by the St. Louis Cardinals and have been released. Six of the players cut loose were on the VSL roster while the other three had been assigned to the Dominican Summer League.

All the players let go had at least two years in the system to prove their mettle with the longest-serving having been signed in 2006, pitcher Fernando Cedeno. Four had already moved out of their teenage years.

Releases Pos Tm Sign Age
Sergio Nieves RHP VSL 7/08 18
Fernando Cedeno RHP VSL 7/06 20
Jose Weffer LHP VSL 7/08 18
Omar Viloria C VSL 11/07 19
Osmir Medina IF VSL 2/08 19
Alexander Castellano OF VSL 12/07 21
Ramon Urena RHP DSL 7/07 20
Keury Herrera LHP DSL 2/08 18
Santo Sandoval OF DSL 3/08 21

The Cardinals are obviously interested in getting stronger up the middle as three of the four new position player signees are shortstops. Five of the newest Cardinals are pitchers, including one left-hander.

The final signing is an outfielder, Marlon Sucre, the only one of the group with previous professional experience and also the only one who is not still a teen. The 20-year-old Panamanian played the last three summers for the VSL Dodgers, posting an aggregate line of .260/.357/.378 including five home runs and 47 RBI in 365 at-bats over 120 games.

Cardinals Director of International Operations Moises Rodriguez presides over the VSL program and gives his scouts credit for finding the new signees. "Four of these signings are from Oriente, the East region of Venezuela, where we now have full-time scouting coverage," he explained.

New VSL signees
Pitchers Pos B/T HT WT Age DOB
Ismael Brito LHP L/L 5-11 170 17 3/23/93
Jose Perez RHP R/R 6-0 180 16 6/8/93
Douglas Planchart RHP R/R 6-2 180 18 12/17/91
Edubray Ramos RHP R/R 6-0 160 17 12/19/92
Kender Villegas RHP R/R 6-2 170 17 6/8/93
Infielders
Lainer Bueno SS R/R 6-1 175 19 8/12/90
Manuel Marquez SS R/R 6-0 165 17 12/29/92
Breyvic Valera SS S/R 5-11 160 18 1/8/1992
Outfielder
Marlon Sucre OF R/R 6-3 175 20 3/12/90

(As a reminder, to access each player's profile, just click on his highlighted name in this or any article or for team rosters, see the red bar in the center of the page under The Cardinal Nation logo. Also, to see the entire system on one page, the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation Blog will be maintained all summer long.)

Finally, there are three VSL pitchers currently out of commission, two due to injury and one because of a suspension.

Left-hander Dail Villanueva has 12 more games to sit out before completing his 50-game suspension handed down last June for a positive test for metabolites of Nandrolone.

Fellow lefty Angelo Echeverria had elbow surgery last year and will undoubtedly spend more time on the club's 60-day disabled list as he continues to work on his recovery.

Right-hander Carlos Oraa was originally expected to be among the May 15 group who have arrived in Jupiter, Florida ready to compete for a berth on a full-season roster. However, his plans were scuttled due to injury. Rodriguez explains. "Oraa was set to travel, but hurt his elbow preparing for Extended."

Out of action Pos Tm What Details
Carlos Oraa RHP VSL Canceled EST trip Elbow injury
Angelo Echeverria LHP VSL 60-day DL Elbow surgery
Dail Villanueva LHP VSL Suspension 12 games remain

To keep track of these players and the entire Venezuelan Summer League roster, check out our daily Minor League Notebooks and our weekly VSL Cardinals Notebook, back for 2010 each weekend exclusively here at The Cardinal Nation.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Brian pens a column each Wednesday at the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and selected TCN content appears at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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