With their 2010 season opening on Friday, the Batavia Muckdogs roster has been set by the parent St. Louis Cardinals. The club will begin with 15 pitchers and 16 position players.
Nine of the new Muckdogs players were signed following their selection in the 2010 draft last week, all of whom have collegiate resumes. However, just one of them is a pitcher, 39th rounder Ian Parry.
The majority of the other 14 hurlers on the staff were drafted in either 2008 or 2009 and all have previous professional experience. The "grey beards" on the staff in terms of years in a pro uniform are Venezuelan Jose Rada, signed as a teen in 2005 and oft-injured Matt North, drafted in the ninth round way back in 2006. North has appeared in just 26 games since signing and missed the entire 2009 season.
The other eight 2010 draftees set to make their professional debuts are catcher Geoff Klein (15th), infielders Victor Sanchez (26th), Joey Bergman (33rd) and Matt Valaika (34th) along with outfielders Nick Longmire (5th), Pat Biserta (24th), Mike O'Neill (31st) and Adam Melker (44th).
The entire Batavia roster is made up of players between the ages of 20 and 22 with the exception of 23-year-old pitcher Andrew Moss.
Three other long-time Cardinals among the position player ranks include inconsistent outfielder Jon Edwards, drafted in 2006's 14th round and a young man who has played in Batavia parts of each of the last three seasons. Dominican outfielder Rainel Rosario originally signed with the Cardinals in 2006 and made his US debut with Johnson City last summer.
Another promising player slowed by injuries is back in Batavia. Luis De La Cruz was a 2009 New York-Penn League All-Star catcher after having first joined the organization in the Dominican in 2006.
The rest of the 31-man club includes pitchers Keith Butler, Chris Corrigan, Justin Edwards, Anthony Ferrara, Cale Johnson, David Kington, Travis Lawler, LaCurtis Mayes, Nick McCully, Kevin Siegrist and Houston Summers; catcher Audry Perez; infielders Alan Ahmady, Yunier Castillo and Jonathan Rodriguez; and outfielder Ross Smith.
Update: Edwards will be the opening night starter, followed by Corrigan in tandem. Moss will start the home opener with Siegrist in tandem. North gets the ball in game three. The remainder of the tandem pairings and rotation have not yet been released.
Note: To see the specifics behind the entire current Batavia roster, with updated player profiles and photos, click here. You can also find it anytime via the dropdown links on the red bar that says "Minor League Rosters" at the top of this and every page on the site.
Also, to see the entire Cardinals minor league system on one page, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation Blog. It will be completely refreshed once the Johnson City and Gulf Coast League Cardinals rosters are announced next week.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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