In their fourth round of cuts this spring, the St. Louis Cardinals optioned catcher Matt Pagnozzi to Triple-A Memphis and re-assigned pitchers Eduardo Sanchez, Oneli Perez, Fernando Salas and Pete Parise and infielder Ruben Gotay to minor league camp.
Pagnozzi is on the organization’s 40-man roster while the other five were non-roster invitees in Cardinals major league camp.
The 27-year-old Pagnozzi, a defensive specialist, is expected to again share catching duties with Bryan Anderson for the Pacific Coast League Redbirds. This spring, the nephew of former Cardinals catcher Tom Pagnozzi had two hits in nine at-bats (.222), including a double, a run scored and an RBI. He struck out twice.
The chances of the former major leaguer Gotay making St. Louis' roster effectively ended when the Cardinals signed veteran infielder Felipe Lopez on February 26. The 27-year-old went just 3-for-15 (.200) on the spring, but that included a walk-off home run against the Mets on Saturday, breaking a Cardinals five-game losing streak.
Of the four relievers sent down, Salas seemed to have the best chance of making the roster. The 24-year-old native of Mexico fanned nine and walked just one in 7 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs for a 2.45 ERA.
Sanchez, Parise and Perez all appeared in three spring games. The first two each yielded three earned runs for ERAs of 8.10 and 13.50, respectively. Perez allowed two runs for a 5.40 ERA.
The Cardinals have Tuesday off and made the moves following split squad games on Monday. They have nine Florida games remaining plus two exhibitions in Minnesota’s new Target Field prior to the regular season opener in Cincinnati two weeks from today.
Following Monday’s transactions, the Cardinals have 31 players remaining in major league camp. The group includes one remaining non-roster invitee, veteran pitcher Rich Hill. The lefty is in a battle with Kyle McClellan and Jaime Garcia for the final rotation spot.
Of the 31 players still in camp, just under half, 15, are pitchers, competing for 12 jobs. The Cardinals also need to cut one infielder and two outfielders to reach their opening day 25-man roster.
Cardinals minor league camp swells to 174 players with Monday’s six additions.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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