With the start of minor league camp, the St. Louis Cardinals reduced the number of players in their major league camp by ten on Sunday, from 58 to 48. The group includes just two pitchers, four catchers, three infielders and one outfielder.
Of the nine non-pitching non-roster invitees (NRIs), eight of them were sent out. They are catchers Charles Cutler, Tony Cruz, Steven Hill and Robert Stock, infielders Daniel Descalso, Donovan Solano and Pete Kozma and outfielder Tyler Henley. Cutler had suffered a back injury early in camp said to be minor. He had no realistic chance of cracking the major league roster, anyway. After these moves, infielder Ruben Gotay is the only non-roster position player remaining in camp.
The two pitchers reassigned Sunday are knuckleballer Charlie Zink and Samuel Freeman, the latter heading to a Wednesday appointment for season-ending Tommy John surgery. Freeman was not being called a non-roster invitee, but instead an early arrival to minor league camp. Zink was an NRI.
The 48 players remaining in Cardinals major league camp include 2009 first-round draft pick Shelby Miller. Like Freeman, the 19-year-old is considered an early invite. The right-hander may make his first game appearance on the road against the Twins on Tuesday.
Seven NRI pitchers remain in major league camp along with Gotay, Miller and the 39 players currently on the club’s 40-man roster, making up the total of 48. The seven NRI pitchers are Rich Hill, Lance Lynn, Evan MacLane, Pete Parise, Oneli Perez, Fernando Salas and Eduardo Sanchez.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.
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