Cardinals add C Towles via minor league deal

The St. Louis Cardinals have signed another veteran catcher to a minor league deal, J.R. Towles.

The St. Louis Cardinals have signed catcher J.R. Towles to a minor-league deal with an invitation to major league spring training camp, reports Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.

Towles is most remembered by Cardinals fans as having been a member of the Houston Astros from 2007-2011. The 28-year-old was outrighted by the Astros in October 2011 and became a free agent after the World Series. He signed a minor league deal with a spring invite with the Minnesota Twins, but spent all of 2012 with Triple-A Rochester before becoming a free agent again.

The Texas native was originally signed by the Astros as their 20th round pick in the 2004 draft. Towles made his MLB debut with Houston in September 2007. Though he appeared in the majors in each of the following four seasons, the right-handed hitter never had as many as 200 plate appearances in any year.

In 484 MLB plate appearances over five seasons, Towles' line is .187/.267/.315/.582. As the reserve catcher for Rochester this season, his OPS was comparable at .595 (.214/.280/.315).

Towles' career highlight occurred against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. On September 20, 2007, the rookie went 4-for-4 for nine total bases and eight RBI against Braden Looper and several relievers. He finished the 18-1 Houston win with a ninth-inning home run while facing second baseman/emergency pitcher Aaron Miles.

With the 2013 Cardinals, Towles (pronounced "Tolls") is expected to compete with Tony Cruz for the reserve catcher's job at the MLB level along with another former major leaguer signed earlier to a minor league deal with a spring training invite, Rob Johnson.

To see the entire Cardinals system, by level and position, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.

Premium Article Not yet a subscriber to The Cardinal Nation? Join today for as little as $7.95 after our seven-day free trial and be able to read all our content about the Cardinals and their minor league system year-round.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2012 The Cardinal Nation, and All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Recommended Stories

  • Peyton Manning emerged alone atop yet another category in the NFL record book tonight vs the Niners, as he tossed touchdown #509 under the national spotlight of Sunday Night Football (NBC). (Photo…

  • Former USC and NFL running back LenDale White added tons of drama to what was a relatively quiet Homecoming weekend for the Trojans.

  • Here’s a way to watch football and improve your golf swing at the same time. In your living room (or on the range), practice the one-minute golf swing, as shown in this video. Set the timer on your…

  • Dr. Roto, like many others, can't believe Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (pictured above) passed for over 300 yards and rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. First time that's ever happened…

  • As soon as those winds fall off, get into the stand! I always tell people you can't kill them if you aren't out, but if you want to try and pick an opportune time – this is it.

Up Next