They include, from:
Triple-A Memphis: left-handed reliever Sam Freeman
Class-A Quad Cities: second baseman Colin Walsh (taxi squad)
Participating organizations provide eight players each, made up of four pitchers, three position players and one taxi squad member. Of the seven regulars, three players are to be sourced from Double-A and above, two players are to be from the A-Advanced level with the other two from any level of play. With 35 to 40 active players, including 20 pitchers, players can be rotated to avoid excessive fatigue.
Wong has been designated as the Cardinals' priority player, assuring him of regular playing time, typically at least two of every three starts. Once I determine who will be the Cardinals' member of the Saguaros' five-man rotation, I will update this article. The other three hurlers will pitch in relief. Walsh is designated as a taxi squad player, restricted to Wednesday and Saturday play only – at least until another roster spot opens up.
The six-team circuit will feature action each Monday through Saturday afternoons (and occasionally evenings) through November 15 with the one-game championship on November 17. Games are held in six spring training stadiums around the Phoenix metropolitan area. Players are scheduled to arrive on October 3.
As always, I will be reporting from Arizona on the Cardinals prospects competing in this year's AFL and plan to attend the league's Rising Stars Game on Saturday, November 3. The game will also be televised nationally on MLB Network.
Update: The Cardinals are the beneficiary of unusual good fortune in terms of starting pitching. Because one of the other participating organization prefers to send a fourth reliever, the Cardinals will provide two members of the Saguaros' five-man rotation instead of the normal one. Seth Blair and Boone Whiting will start, with Kevin Siegrist and Sam Freeman working out of the bullpen.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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