The St. Louis Cardinals announced their third set of spring training cuts following Wednesday's home loss to the Houston Astros. Seven players are now moving over to the minor league camp, including three former first round draft picks.
Four players are on the 40-man roster. Pitchers Maikel Cleto and Brandon Dickson plus infielder Pete Kozma (first round, 2007) have been optioned to Triple-A Memphis while third baseman Zack Cox (first round, 2010) was optioned to Double-A Springfield.
Three non-roster invitee (NRI) pitchers have been re-assigned to minor league camp. They include the organization’s top prospect, Shelby Miller (first round, 2009), along with Joe Kelly, both right-handers, plus left-hander Kevin Siegrist.
Six of the seven rank among The Cardinal Nation’s top 40 organizational prospects coming into the 2012 season. Along with Miller, they include Cox (5th), Cleto (14th), Kelly (18th), Dickson (32nd) and Kozma (35th).
Miller had two starts with St. Louis, yielding four runs in 4 1/3 innings for an 8.31 ERA. Dickson yielded five runs in four innings over three relief appearances while Cleto was charged with five runs, four earned, over 3 2/3 frames.
Kelly gave up just two runs in five innings while Siegrist’s two scoreless frames Wednesday increased his spring shutout innings to three.
Cox doubled in his lone plate appearance Wednesday afternoon, increasing his spring average to .300 (3-for-10). His three hits included a pair of two-base hits, but he also fanned five times. Kozma reports to minor league camp with a .200 average while with St. Louis. His lone hit in five at-bats was a double. Kozma also committed an error in the field.
Following the moves, the Cardinals have 44 players in major league camp, including 34 members of the 40-man roster and 10 NRIs. To see the entire list, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation Blog.
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Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his minor league features during the season at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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