It comes as no surprise that the St. Louis Cardinals have loaned outfielder Amaury Cazana to the Triple-A Mexican League for the fifth consecutive season. He was activated by Petroleros de Minatitlan on Saturday.
Cazana told The Cardinal Nation’s Brian Walton earlier this month that he hoped to remain in the US this summer, but that did not come to pass. With at least eight outfielders competing for at most five jobs with Triple-A Memphis, this move seems to offer the Cardinals the greatest amount of roster flexibility.
Cazana was an 18th round (556th overall) selection by the Cardinals in the 2006 amateur draft after leaving his home country of Cuba and playing for a short time in the independent Can-Am League with Elmira (NY).
Cuban sources documented Cazana’s year of birth as 1974, making him 36 years of age currently. That is the same date MiLB.com and other websites also use, but the Cardinals continue to list him four years younger using the birth date Cazana himself cites, 9/2/78. The folklore about the mysterious outfielder grew when he hit a home run off the Florida Marlins’ clubhouse in Jupiter, Fla. his second professional at-bat.
The right-handed slugger spent two solid seasons in the Cardinals farm system before being given the option to play in the Mexican League. He spent time with A-Advanced Palm Beach (2006), Double-A Springfield (2006-07), and Triple-A Memphis (2008-10) under the Cardinals umbrella. Cazana has also played for Minatitlan (2007, 2010), Diablos de Mexico (2008) and Guerreros de Oaxaca (2009).
The 6-foot-1, 212-pounder has played in 442 regular-season games going 520-for-1579 (.329) with 91 doubles, seven triples, 71 home runs, 292 RBIs, 838 total bases, 271 runs, 153 walks, 17 stolen bases, 327 strikeouts, 14 caught stealing, .393 OBP, .531 SLG, and .924 OPS over five years of professional play.
The right-handed hitter's travels do not stop there as he has played in the Nicaraguan (2008), Dominican (2009), Venezuelan (2009), and Mexican Pacific (2010) Leagues during the winter seasons.
Cazana was invited to his second big league spring training camp in 2011. The non-roster invitee played in 15 games for St. Louis, going 2-for-16 (.125) with two total bases, one run, two walks, three strikeouts, .300 OBP, and .125 SLG. He was reassigned to minor league camp on March 17.
Cazana's many travels make him a true world citizen. While his wife is a native of Mexico, they make their home in Miami.
Brian Walton also contributed to this article.
Follow Cazana’s 2011 progress and that of all of the roughly 250 players in the Cardinals minor league system via the “Cardinals Minor League Notebook.” The feature, which includes game results, individual player stats and news and more, runs daily all season long for subscribers to TheCardinalNation.com.
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