On Thursday as they cut down to their final Opening Day rosters at the minor league levels, the St. Louis Cardinals released pitcher Tyler Norrick. The 27-year-old left-hander had been competing for a job with Triple-A Memphis.
The St. Louis native was originally selected by his hometown club in the sixth round (196th overall) of the June 2006 First-Year Player Draft following time at Southern Illinois University.
After signing, Norrick was promoted to Class A Quad Cities from short-season Class A State College after just one appearance. With the Bandits he was 2-2 with a 3.72 ERA in 13 games (12 starts), allowing 60 hits, striking out 60 and walking 35 in 65 1/3 innings. Norrick was named our #31 Cardinals prospect following the season.
In 2007, Norrick moved up to #26 in our top prospect list after leading the entire organization with 165 1/3 innings pitched with Palm Beach. He finished the season with an 11-9 record and a 3.59 ERA and was the winning pitcher in the Florida State League All-Star Game.
2008 was a rough year overall. Tyler did finish by pitching in 13 games out of the bullpen for the Peoria Saguaros of the prestigious Arizona Fall League (1-0, 7.88 ERA, 16.0 IP / 14 ER, 8 BB, 20 K). Prior to that, he split just six games between Palm Beach and Memphis after having been sidelined a majority of the season with a left shoulder strain.
In his first season as a reliever, Norrick spent a majority of the 2009 season with Double-A Springfield, where he went 3-1 with five saves and a 4.12 ERA in 52 games. Norrick led the Texas League with 18 holds. He also made six appearances with Triple-A Memphis.
After the season, Norrick was added to the 40-man roster to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft. He seemed positioned to compete for a left-handed relief role with St. Louis, but it was not meant to be.
Last season, Norrick was placed on the disabled list at the end of April with a shoulder injury and was activated down at Palm Beach just before being removed from the Cardinals 40-man roster in June. Norrick moved up to Springfield in late June and made it back to Memphis near the end of August. Across the three levels, he appeared in 43 games, posting a 5.25 ERA. While he fanned 50 in 48 innings, the walk count was a very high 46.
Norrick ends his five years in the system with an aggregate 23-18 record with a 4.10 ERA. He struck out 368 in 370 2/3 innings but issued 220 free passes.
To see all the Cardinals full-season rosters, click on the "Minor League Rosters" tab on the red bar above. For a one page view of the entire organization on one page, check out the Cardinals system roster matrix at TheCardinalNationBlog.com.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column on Thursdays at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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