Johnson City Receives Gulf Coast Imports

Three GCL Cardinals have been promoted to the Appalachian League for the final week of the season – Anthony Garcia, Starlin Rodriguez and Roberto De La Cruz.

With a day off Wednesday, just four games remain over the final three days of the 2010 Gulf Coast League Cardinals season, a year that will end with no playoff participation. Perhaps in response, the parent St. Louis Cardinals made three roster moves, all promotions of GCL headliners, to Johnson City of the Appalachian League.

The promoted players: Outfielder/catcher Anthony Garcia, second baseman Starlin Rodriguez and third baseman Roberto De La Cruz. A post by reporting left-handed pitcher Manuel De La Cruz was promoted instead of Roberto is in error.

Garcia, 18, was taken in the 18th round of the 2009 draft. In his second year in the GCL, the native of Puerto Rico has a line of .281/.404/.456 in 114 at-bats over 38 games. The right-handed hitter has five home runs and 20 RBI and a 17:19 strikeout to walk ratio.

Rodriguez, 20, was an international signee this past October. The switch-hitter previously appeared in eight games with the 2009 DSL Rays before his contract was nullified due to an age problem. The Cardinals were the beneficiary. Moved straight to the GCL this summer, the right-handed hitter has delivered with a .287/.355/.380 line over 150 at-bats in 46 games. Rodriguez was 14-of-19 in stolen base attempts.

De La Cruz, 18, was a celebrated signing by the Cardinals two winters ago from the Dominican Republic. In his second year in the GCL, the third baseman has a .231/.283/.413 line. De La Cruz was in a tie for the league lead with seven home runs and added 21 RBI in 160 at-bats over 45 games.

Though Johnson City is already in the post-season, they have six games remaining, including Thursday, and had roster room. Before the moves, they were five below the league limit of 35. I suspect these players will not be eligible for the playoffs, but will update this article when I receive a definitive answer.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Selected TCN content appears at Follow Brian on Twitter.

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