photo: Billy Southworth and Stan Musial, Spring Training 1942
24 non-roster players invited to spring camp
Spring Training for the 2019 St. Louis Cardinals officially begins on Tuesday, February 12, when pitchers and catchers report to Jupiter, Florida. The spring season will open with 64 players in big league camp, including 24 not on the 40-man roster. This group of players, called “NRIs”, or non-roster invitees, is made up of 11 pitchers, eight catchers, three infielders, and two outfielders.
The 11 pitchers are RHPs Chris Beck, Seth Elledge, Mike Hauschild, Connor Jones, Ryan Meisinger, Andrew Morales, Williams Perez, and Jake Woodford. There are three lefties in the group – Hunter Cervenka, Evan Kruczynski, and Tommy Layne.
Catchers are Francisco Pena, likely to make the 25-man roster as Molina’s backup, Andrew Knizner, Jeremy Martinez, Brian O’Keefe, Dennis Ortega, Jose Godoy, Joe Hudson, and Julio Rodriguez.
Rounding out the group are infielders Tommy Edman, Rangel Ravelo, and Max Schrock, as well as outfielders Dylan Carlson and Randy Arozarena.
11 of the players, Knizner, Arozarena, Edman, Schrock, Carlson, Woodford, Kruczynski, Elledge, Jones, Ortega and Rodriguez are on The Cardinal Nation’s top 50 prospect list for 2019.
Beck, Meisinger, Hauschild, Cervenka, Hudson, and Perez are new to the organization. Meisinger was a waiver pickup from the Orioles who was outrighted off the roster in December, and the remainder are recently signed minor league free agents.
In addition, throughout spring camp, players from minor league camp are brought over to make appearances in games along with the roster and NRI players.
More details on the non-roster invitees here:
The first spring game will take place on February 23 against the Miami Marlins, who share the Jupiter facility with the Cardinals, and will be the first of 15 Grapefruit League contests to be televised by FOX Sports Midwest.
The full spring television schedule can be viewed here.
And the full set of spring training uniform number assignments can be viewed here:
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.
There are no transactions to report.
Derrick Goold provided an update on Marcell Ozuna’s recovery from shoulder surgery. The outfielder reflected on the numbness he felt last season and how he is now being re-taught how to throw.
Goold also noted that catcher Yadier Molina went through a series of agility drills as he continues his return from knee surgery. At Winter Warm-Up, Molina said it could be several weeks before he starts catching bullpens, and he doesn’t expect to appear in games until midway through March. He hit on the field this past week, and has accelerated his running leading up to camp.
Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on February 12. The first workout for pitchers and catchers is the next day, February 13. Position players report on February 17 and the first workout is then next day, February 18. The first spring training game is February 23 against the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. The Spring Training Schedule can be found here.
Opening Day of the 2019 regular season is March 28 as the Cardinals are on the road in Milwaukee. The first series is a four game set, with the first game to start at 1:10 CT. That game will be followed by a 7:10 CT game on Friday, 6:10 CT on Saturday, and 1:10 CT on Sunday.
The Cardinals continue on the road to Pittsburgh to play two games against the Pirates beginning on April 1. There will be no game on Tuesday, April 2. The second game of the series will take place on Wednesday, April 3.
The Cardinals home opener will be on Thursday, April 4 against the San Diego Padres. Friday will be an off day, and the Cardinals will resume with two games against the Padres on Saturday and Sunday.
Blast from the Past
This week’s history segment continues with a Hall of Fame focus, as a former Cardinals manager in the Hall of Fame is remembered.
Billy Southworth was the 42nd manager of the franchise. Born on March 9, 1893 in Harvard, Nebraska, and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Southworth had four older brothers who also played baseball. Southworth’s father wanted him to go to college, but against his father’s wishes Billy signed a contract with a team in the Ohio State League at the age of 19. Southworth played one game with the Cleveland Indians in 1913 as a defensive replacement. He returned to the Indians in 1915 and played in 60 games.
Southworth joined the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1918 and played there through 1920. Two seasons with the Boston Braves and two more seasons with the New York Giants followed. Southworth was traded to the Cardinals in the middle of the 1926 season. A rib injury in 1927 limited his playing time and it was at that point that the Cardinals decided to switch his role to that of manager, and he managed the Cardinals top minor league team in Rochester, IL in 1928. That team won the championship that year and the Cardinals promoted Southworth to manage St. Louis in 1929. The team did not play well under Southworth and he was sent back to Rochester in July.
Southworth’s personal life during these years and beyond was beset by tragedy. His wife gave birth to stillborn twins in May 1928, and later in that year his son, Billy Jr, was shot by a neighbor, but recovered from his wounds. His wife passed away in the early 1930s, on her 42nd birthday. His son Billy, a World War II bomber pilot, was killed in a training mission in 1945.
Southworth struggled with alcoholism after the death of his wife and quit coaching in 1933. After two years battling his demons, he recovered and returned to coaching in the Cardinals minor league system in 1935. He also remarried in 1935.
Southworth was rehired to manage the Cardinals in 1940, replacing the fired Ray Blades. Southworth was more successful in his second run as St. Louis finished in third place in 1940 and jumped to second place in 1941.
From 1942 to 1944, the Cardinals won three pennants and two World Series titles. His last season with the Cardinals was 1945, the year his son died. That year, the Cardinals won 95 games but finished second behind the Cubs.
Southworth moved on to manage the Boston Braves from 1946-1949. Southworth had relapsed back into alcoholism following the death of his son, and his drinking damaged his relationship with his players. Southworth took a leave of absence in August of 1949. He returned for the 1950 season. In June of 1951, Southworth resigned as manager of the Braves. He remained with the Braves as a scout, but after a drunk driving arrest in 1955, he retired from scouting when his contract expired in 1956.
Southworth returned to Ohio to live and died of emphysema in 1969. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008 by the Veterans Committee. Southworth was inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame as part of the 2014 inaugural class.
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