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.
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|
(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 email@example.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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