The club made its final roster decisions to reach its opening day level with one spring training contest remaining. In a bit of a surprise, right-handed pitcher Bryan Augenstein has made the team as a reliever, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The 24-year-old was claimed via waivers from Arizona in October.
Here are the decisions made on Monday:
Augenstein has shown an effective sinker and with history as a starter, can play the role of a long man in the pen. This spring, he allowed just one earned run in 11 2/3 innings, fanning 13 and walking just three. Hitters managed just a .077 average against him.
Salas, 25, seemed the favorite to achieve the final roster spot based on his six stints with the Cardinals last season. The right-hander from Mexico tossed two scoreless innings on Monday on two hits and walk. In the process, Salas lowered his spring ERA to 0.73. His strikeout to walk ratio was just 8/7, however.
Sanchez may have the highest ceiling of the three, but also has the least experience. The 22-year-old Venezuelan is our fourth-ranked Cardinals prospect coming into 2011. This spring, the right-hander yielded three runs, including two home runs, in seven innings. Sanchez fanned seven and walked two.
Stavinoha's reassignment confirmed the obvious - that Daniel Descalso has made his first opening day roster. While the 28-year-old Stavinoha was the team's top pinch-hitter in 2010 and can serve as emergency catcher, his removal from the 40-man roster last winter signaled his challenge. He will rejoin Memphis' outfield and likely back up Mark Hamilton at first base. In major league camp, the right-handed hitter batted .250.
Spring camp rosters by position, with cuts noted, in both major and minor league versions, can be seen at The Cardinal Nation Blog.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Selected TCN content appears at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
© 2011 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.