All posts by Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.

Cardinals Activate Kim, Option Out Whitley

photo: Kwang-Hyun Kim (St. Louis Cardinals)

Prior to Saturday’s game, the St. Louis Cardinals activated left-handed starting pitcher Kwang-Hyun Kim from the 10-day injured list. Reliever Kodi Whitley was optioned to the alternate site.



From the St. Louis Cardinals

Tonight’s (Saturday, April 17) starting pitcher Kwang Hyun Kim will be making his first regular season start of the 2021 season and his first pitching appearance in game action since March 27 when he came in relief against the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium, tossing 2.0 innings in relief.

Kwang-Hyun Kim

Kim, who was experiencing back stiffness, was 3-0 and the Cardinals are 6-2 in games he pitched in during 2020. The Cardinals also won the lone Wild Card Series game in which Kim pitched last September.

Brian Walton’s take

In the corresponding transaction to Kim’s activation, right-handed pitcher Kodi Whitley has been optioned to the Alternate Training Site.

Kodi Whitley

Pitching in relief of Carlos Martinez Friday night in Philadelphia, Whitley threw 42 pitches in 1 2/3 innings, yielding two earned runs on a home run by J.T. Realmuto. He allowed two hits, walked one and struck out two.

In two outings totaling 3 2/3 innings this season, Whitley has a 4.91 ERA. He joined the club from the alternate site on April 13, replacing optioned out pitcher Johan Oviedo.

With this pitcher-for-pitcher swap, the Cardinals continue to have 13 active pitchers and 13 position players.


For more

To track the status of the Cardinals’ 40-man roster as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.


Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Camp Details


Now Available – 2021 Prospect Guide

Now available, The Cardinal Nation 2021 Prospect Guide is back for a fourth year. It includes over 250 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos.

TCN’s 2021 Cardinals Prospect Guide – Now Available!


Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2021 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Growing Numbers of Fans Cannot See MLB Games – And No One Cares

At least 10% of St. Louis Cardinals fans cannot view games, with no end in sight to money disputes between regional sports networks and distributors. Even those with access continue to be plagued by archaic blackout rules. MLB remains tone deaf.



I don’t often echo members of the St. Louis media who have much larger audiences than I do. After all, if you follow me, you surely already follow them, too.

I made an exception on Friday, re-Tweeting the following because I share Ben Fredrickson’s concern over the inability of a growing number of fans to see their favorite team in action via their preferred television provider.

The Post-Dispatch columnist outlines the disputes between rightsholders and carriers and laments the apparent disinterest by Major League Baseball to engage, let alone alleviate the problem.

Estimates from multiple knowledgeable sources indicate that at least 10% of St. Louis Cardinals fans cannot view the team via their current television setup. Many of them have lost their access in recent months as Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner of Bally Sports Midwest (formerly FOX Sports Midwest), has priced their offering such that online carriers including Dish Network, YouTube TV, Hulu+ and others have refused to pay, instead dropping the channel.

In some areas of Cardinals country, fewer games are available than years past as alternate channel access to the appropriate regional sports networks (RSNs) has been limited. Other fans complain about the high price of the one non-cable service that still carries the RSN’s – AT&T TV – which starts at $84.99 per month plus tax for the required package.

This is not unique to the Cardinals, with same outcome being experienced across the country. This wide scope is precisely why MLB should step in. Yet, with several of these disputes running into multiple seasons, there is no evidence that anyone is advocating for the fan.

To resolve any financial dispute, someone must be willing to accept less, so the other side may make more.

Sadly, the current state of affairs should not be surprising. Large segments of the public being unable to view games is not new, as evidenced by decades of inaction by MLB to address fan concerns with arbitrary territorial restrictions.

Fredrickson recounts the ridiculousness of MLB’s blackout rules, which have for years entitled multiple teams in certain areas of the country to stake overlapping territorial claims.

In areas of Iowa, for example, six different teams’ broadcasts are blacked out. Same with Las Vegas, Nevada.

Bud Selig (Stephen Brashear/AP)

This problem was brought to the attention of then-MLB commissioner Bud Selig way back in 2006, which he noted was “spurred on by thousands of letters from angry fans” as well as his own negative experience.

“I don’t understand (blackouts) myself,” Selig admitted at a luncheon with the Baseball Writers Association of America. “I get blacked out from some games.”

“Right now,” he said, “I don’t know what to do about it. We’ll figure it out.”

“I hear more about people who can’t get the game,” Selig said, “and, yes, I’ve already told our people we have to do something about it.”

15 years later, why has nothing changed? In fact, with the dropping of regional sports networks by many providers, the problem is even worse today.

My speculation is that these territory definitions are rooted in the long-term contracts between teams and their rightsholders. For example, the Cardinals and have a commitment that requires Sinclair to pay them more than $1 billion over 15 years, which continues through the 2032 season. The potential of opening these contracts for most if not all of the 30 MLB teams and a possible disruption in revenue may be a reason the problems continue to be ignored.

Late last year, Sinclair’s leader offered a new hope – before dashing it shortly after. CEO Christopher S. Ripley announced a new direct-to-consumer offering for their RSNs would be made available in 2021.

Finally – the ability to simply order Bally Sports Midwest, cutting out the middlemen! But, what would its price be? And would the maddening blackouts continue?

It never progressed that far, at least publicly, When 2021 arrived, the proposed offering’s arrival date was slipped to 2022.

Sinclair Backs off Plan to Deliver RSNs Directly to Customers in 2021

Simply put, if these matters are not addressed from the top down – specifically MLB headquarters in New York – there seems little hope for any progress. But why should the Lords of Baseball care?

Thanks to growing revenues from lucrative sponsorships ($1 billion over 10 years from Nike, for example) and its digital endeavors, Major League Baseball remains a highly profitable business entity. Any fan-based focus seems to be on trivial rules changes to supposedly make the game more enjoyable, while ignoring the reality that fewer and fewer fans can even consume their product.

That its access from its fan base is rotting from the inside out seems to a concern of no one in MLB.

So, what’s new?


Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Camp Details


Now Available – 2021 Prospect Guide

Now available, The Cardinal Nation 2021 Prospect Guide is back for a fourth year. It includes over 250 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos.

TCN’s 2021 Cardinals Prospect Guide – Now Available!


Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2021 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Swap Outfielders – Hurst for Thomas

photo: Scott Hurst (St. Louis Cardinals)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have selected the contract of rookie outfielder Scott Hurst from their Alternate Training Site and optioned outfielder Lane Thomas to the ATS.   To make room for Hurst on the team’s 40-player Major League roster, the team announced that pitcher Dakota Hudson (right elbow) was transferred from the 10-day Injured List to the 60-day Injured List.

Hurst, 25, will be making his Major League debut with his first game appearance and will wear uniform no. 36.

The left-handed hitting Hurst was the Cardinals 3rd round (94th player overall) draft selection in 2017 out of Cal State-Fullerton University, where he earned First Team All-Big West honors, leading the Titans with 12 home runs and a trip to the College World Series.

The 5-10, 170-pound Hurst appeared in 12 games during Spring Training this year, and owns a .263 (218-for-830) career batting mark with 12 home runs, 90 RBI and 18 steals in 231 games played in the minors.  His highest level of play was at Springfield in the Texas League (AA) in 2019.

Hurst ranked among MiLB leaders in 2019 with his 13 outfield assists between Palm Beach and Springfield.

Brian Walton’s take

This is a reflection of two very opposite trend lines – one up (Hurst) and the other down (Thomas).

Scott Hurst (St. Louis Cardinals)

Hurst was a standout in his first big-league camp this spring, batting from the left side and playing a solid outfield, including center. His slash line, compiled over just 14 Grapefruit League plate appearances, was a small sample variable .222/.500/.556/1.056. One of his two hits was a home run and he drew five free passes. Four strikeouts stood out for the wrong reason.

Hurst was St. Louis’ first pick in the 2017 draft, taken in the third round as a junior from Cal State Fullerton. This was the Houston hacking-Dexter Fowler compensation draft, in which the Cardinals forfeited their initial three selections. 2017 was an uncharacteristically poor draft class overall for St. Louis, with 27th rounder Kodi Whitley their only pick to reach MLB prior to Hurst.

At his first stop, State College, Hurst tied for third in the New York-Penn League with six three-base hits and his seven outfield assists and a league-tying lead in double plays converted were testament to his standout defense. He was named an All-Star in the Short-Season Rookie-level circuit.

In 2018, primarily at Class-A Peoria, Hurst batted .312, tied for ninth in the Cardinals system. That season, he logged a 22-game home hitting streak at Dozer Park.

However, the next year, Hurst’s performance tailed off dramatically, as he struggled to a combined .217 batting average, .586 OPS and a career-worst 29.4% strikeout rate between Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield.

In 2020, Hurst was passed over for all St. Louis and alternate camp invitations – other than the January minor league instructional camp. The 25-year-old has yet to play an official game at the Triple-A level.

With St. Louis, Hurst may see some action as a left-handed hitting alternative behind temporary center field starter Dylan Carlson or perhaps in right field, where second baseman Tommy Edman has been playing out of necessity. The regular in center, Harrison Bader, has yet to be cleared to hit or throw and remains on the injured list while working out at the alternate camp.

In addition to Hurst, only three true outfielders on the active roster are Carlson, Austin Dean and Justin Williams. The three positions are not only thin, but are not producing for the inconsistent 6-6 Cardinals offense.

Hurst debuted at number 40 on The Cardinal Nation’s Top 50 Prospect List prior to the 2018 season. He moved up to 37th the next off-season before falling out of the rankings as a result of his rough 2019.

Lane Thomas (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

On the other hand, Thomas’ stock dipped even further in a very rough outing in the finale of the just-completed Nationals series. The 25-year-old began the spring red-hot with the bat but tailed off and did not make the team out of camp.

He was promoted from the alternate site this past Sunday when Tyler O’Neill was placed on the injured list and had two singles, a walk and three strikeouts in 10 plate appearances plus a costly Wednesday fielding error in his brief time with St. Louis.

Thomas had a strong debut with St. Louis in 2019 before suffering a broken hand, but was hit hard by COVID in 2020, looking listless when he did try to come back. Team officials said that only Carlos Martinez (two hospital stays) was more affected by the virus among Cardinals players.

However, that was then and this is now. Thomas is back in Sauget, with Hurst the next man up.

Note that Thomas may still physically remain with the Cardinals if he is again on the taxi squad, as he was for the season-opening road trip. At that time, St. Louis carried two relievers, a catcher,  an infielder and an outfielder as its allowable five on-hand reserves. We should learn the identities of the current taxi squadders on Friday.

With the 40-man roster already full, the paper work move of Hudson to the 60-day injured list creates the spot needed for Hurst without the Cardinals having to drop another player from the roster. Right-hander Hudson is expected to miss the entire 2021 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.


Other news

Former Cardinals first baseman Xavier Scruggs made an important announcement on Thursday.

The 33-year-old played eight seasons in the Cardinals system before concluding his playing career in Mexico in 2019.

On Wednesday, the organization finalized the signing of highly-touted Cuban Luis Mario Pino.


For more

To track the status of the Cardinals’ 40-man roster as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.


Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

Cardinals Welcome 112 Players to Minor League Camp


Now Available – 2021 Prospect Guide

Now available, The Cardinal Nation 2021 Prospect Guide is back for a fourth year. It includes over 250 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos.

https://thecardinalnation.com/order-the-cardinal-nation-2021-prospect-guide-now/


Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2021 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Add Kodi Whitley to Taxed Bullpen

photo: Kodi Whitley via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Brian Walton’s take

Kodi Whitley (Jasen Vinlove/Imagn)

With neither the offense nor the pitching hitting on all cylinders for the Cardinals, the club is looking for more fresh arms within the current roster construct of 13 pitchers and 13 position players.

This has been exacerbated by the reality that the team’s relievers have thrown more innings than the starters through 10 games – which manager Mike Shildt admits is “not a model we want”. The manager also notes the heavy pen reliance has forced the pitchers out of preferred roles, instead having their usage driven by who is available to pitch on any given day.

Johan Oviedo (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

Whitley, The Cardinal Nation’s 16th-ranked prospect for 2021, offers the ability to eat multiple innings if needed or perhaps pitch on consecutive days if needed, while Oviedo will likely remain on a starter’s program. The latter cannot return from the alternate camp for 15 days – unless he replaces a player who has to be removed from the roster, due to injury, for example.

Still, based on his effectiveness following Daniel Ponce de Leon’s stumbled start on Sunday, Oviedo could be back before too long. Neither of the fill-in starters, Ponce and John Gant, have been consistent enough to lock down their jobs, but sending them down is not a viable option as it is with Oviedo. So if they are not starting, they will return to the pen.

Kwang-Hyun Kim will likely replace one of the two in the rotation this week, with Oviedo biding his time to potentially claim the other.

While veteran Carlos Martinez has not been exceptional either, his track record indicates a higher ceiling. As such, I expect he will be given more opportunity to stand out before losing his spot among the starting five.


For more

To track the status of the Cardinals’ 40-man roster as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.


Related article exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

Just One More Start for Ponce de Leon or Gant?


Now Available – 2021 Prospect Guide

Now available, The Cardinal Nation 2021 Prospect Guide is back for a fourth year. It includes over 250 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos.

TCN’s 2021 Cardinals Prospect Guide – Now Available!


Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2021 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Add Thomas and Oviedo for O’Neill and Woodford

photo: Johan Oviedo (Jim Rassol/USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

Johan Oviedo (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Sunday, April 11) that they placed outfielder Tyler O’Neill on the 10-day Injured List with a right groin strain and recalled right-handed pitcher Johan Oviedo and outfielder Lane Thomas from the Alternate Training Site. Additionally, the team optioned right-handed pitcher Jake Woodford to the Alternate Training Site following yesterday’s game.

O’Neill, who was removed from yesterday’s game with right groin tightness after grounding out in the second inning, was hitting .143 (4-28) with a home run and three RBI in eight games.

Woodford appeared in two games this season, allowing two runs with four strikeouts in 4.0 innings.

Brian Walton’s take

Lane Thomas (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

The right-handed hitting Thomas lost out on a roster spot to open the season to Austin Dean and John Nogowski. The 25-year-old Thomas has joined Sunday’s lineup against a left-handed pitcher as the Cardinals’ center fielder.

Fill in CF Dylan Carlson returns to his regular home in right, with Dean taking over for O’Neill in left.

However, with three right-handers ahead in the Washington series, manager Mike Shildt told the media Sunday morning that he will “adjust accordingly” his outfield in those contests.

While Thomas had been with the team on its taxi squad during the season-opening road trip, Shildt said he got in additional at-bats at the alternate camp the past few days.

With the Cardinals still remaining with 13 pitchers and 13 position players instead of adding another pitcher, having a long relief man with innings to offer is the main reason Oviedo is up. (This is especially timely with less-proven Daniel Ponce de Leon and John Gant making the next two starts.)

Oviedo was scheduled to oppose Kwang-Hyung Kim in his simulated game today at the alternate site, so he is ready to step in immediately if needed. At the alternate camp, the 23-year-old Cuban native has remained stretched out as a starter. He is The Cardinal Nation’s ninth-ranked prospect for 2021.

On the prior road trip, relievers Seth Elledge and Kodi Whitley traveled with the team as taxi squad members.

Other news

Harrison Bader (Jasen Vinlove/Imagn)

Center fielder Harrison Bader has not yet been cleared to swing a bat or throw. He has been participating in baseball activity at the alternate camp, such as tracking fly balls and remaining engaged with St. Louis’ defensive plans. His return date is still several weeks away.

Struggling cleanup hitter Paul DeJong has been moved down in the lineup to fifth, with Yadier Molina placed in the number four spot on Sunday. Shildt praised his catcher’s ability to “take quality at-bats based on the situation.”

Starting second baseman Tommy Edman could still see outfield starts ahead, as Shildt reaffirmed he “likes” him in the lineup. Matt Carpenter took over at second in several games in Miami based on “positive matchups” per Shildt, with Edman moving to the outfield grass. The situation will remain “fluid” based on matchups ahead, said the manager. The 35-year-old Carpenter is in his 12th MLB season.


For more

To track the status of the Cardinals’ 40-man roster as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.


Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

2021 Cardinals Opening Day Roster Prediction 3.0


Now Available – 2021 Prospect Guide

Now available, The Cardinal Nation 2021 Prospect Guide is back for a fourth year. It includes over 250 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos.

TCN’s 2021 Cardinals Prospect Guide – Now Available!


Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2021 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Museum Re-Opens with 2011 Team Exhibit

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced that the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, located on the second floor of Cardinals Nation at Ballpark Village, re-opened today (Monday, April 5) to fans and visitors with enhanced sanitization and timed-ticket purchasing options to ensure the wellness of guests and staff.  The Cardinals Museum will be open daily from 10 AM-6 PM and will remain open through the seventh inning during home night games.

The Cardinals Museum also debuts its new featured exhibit entitled “2011 Cardinals: What A Team! What A Ride!”, covering everything from the team’s magical 2011 season including happy flights, the “Memphis Mafia”, the Wild Card race, the Rally Squirrel and the dramatic World Series against the Texas Rangers.

David Freese (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The exhibit features over 50 pieces of memorabilia from the museum’s collection as well as loans from former players and collectors, including:

  • St. Louis-native David Freese’s game-worn home jersey from Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, which was torn into two pieces after his walk-off home run—reunited for the first time since that night 10 years ago.
  • Chris Carpenter’s game-worn home jersey and glove from his memorable dive into first base during Game 1 of the 2011 World Series.
  • Jason Motte’s game-worn glove, cap and cleats used to close out Game 7 of the 2011 World Series.
  • Freese’s World Series and NLCS MVP awards.

This featured exhibit will be open to the public through February 2022 and is included with admission to the Cardinals Museum.  Fans can purchase Cardinals Museum tickets online at cardinals.com/museum.

Additionally, Cardinals Nation Restaurant & Bar is now open to the public with safety protocols in place to promote social distancing and minimize physical contact.  The restaurant will feature display cases of memorabilia from Mike Shannon’s playing and broadcasting career in celebration of his 50 years in the Cardinals radio booth.


Brian Walton’s take

I remain a major supporter of the museum’s mission and encourage you to attend this exhibition. I will check out the new exhibit as soon as I can.

P.S. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite candidate to represent the Class of 2021 in the Cardinals Hall of Fame. Voting runs through April 17 at cardinals.com/HOF.

2021 Cardinals Hall of Fame Ballot Nominees Announced


Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

Cardinals Prepare for 2021 Minor League Camp


Now Available – 2021 Prospect Guide

Now available, The Cardinal Nation 2021 Prospect Guide is back for a fourth year. It includes over 250 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos.

TCN’s 2021 Cardinals Prospect Guide – Now Available!


Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2021 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Claim Left-Handed Pitcher Bernardo Flores Jr.

photo: Bernardo Flores Jr. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

On Thursday, The St. Louis Cardinals announced they have claimed left-handed pitcher Bernardo Flores Jr. via waivers from the Chicago White Sox. The 24-year-old has been optioned to the club’s alternate training roster, increasing the total to 27, five of whom make up St. Louis’ road taxi squad.

Chicago’s seventh-round draft pick in 2016 from the University of Southern California made his big-league debut in 2020 and was charged with two runs over two innings. Prior to that opportunity, Flores had never pitched above Double-A other than in the 2019 Arizona Fall League and at the Pale Hose’s alternate site in 2020.

Overall, the 6-foot-4, 190 pounder has posted a 3.18 ERA over 82 career appearances, 79 of which were starts. Just last month, Baseball America named Flores as having the best control in the Sox’ system and South Side Sox selected him as Chicago’s no. 27 prospect.

Bernardo Flores Jr. (USA TODAY Sports)

Flores’ fastball typically is the 89-92 mph range with a peak of 94, according to MLB Pipeline. He also has an adequate curve and slider, with his changeup, grade 55, his best pitch.

With Flores having two minor league option years remaining including 2021, the Cardinals have this season and next to finish his development and determine his major league future.

Flores is the third minor league depth lefty added by the Cardinals in recent months, following Domingo Robles and Garrett Williams.

Double-A experienced Robles was acquired from the Pirates last September in exchange for international bonus allocation space, but unlike Flores, does not possess a 40-man roster spot.

Williams was picked up from the Angels in the minor league phase of the December 2020 Rule 5 draft. He also appeared at Double-A in 2018 and 2019. Flores and Williams are now assigned to the Cardinals alternate camp, with Robles staying in Florida for minor league spring training.

With Flores’ waiver addition, the Cardinals’ 40-man roster is now full. However, with Dakota Hudson out for the season, a spot can be freed when necessary by moving the rehabbing right-hander to the 60-day injured list.


Full roster

To track the status of the Cardinals’ 26 and 40-man rosters, alternate camp as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.


Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

Cardinals Roster Actions Identify Spring Risers and Fallers


Now Available – 2021 Prospect Guide

Now available, The Cardinal Nation 2021 Prospect Guide is back for a fourth year. It includes over 250 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos.

TCN’s 2021 Cardinals Prospect Guide – Now Available!


Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2021 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

St. Louis Cardinals Organization Roster Matrix – 2021 Regular Season

Another interim adjustment

This newest refresh of the Roster Matrix, covering St. Louis Cardinals and the minor league system, is again different than usual.

The lingering effects of COVID have altered the schedule for most of what remains of minor league baseball for 2021, even while the Major League clubs expect to play a full schedule.

Many of those cut from St. Louis’ spring camp have been assigned to the alternate camp in Sauget, IL. In addition, five of those players will serve as the road trip taxi squad, traveling with St. Louis. Come early May, it is hoped that Triple-A Memphis will begin the regular season with the players from the alternate camp and others.

11 others from St. Louis’ camp this spring have been assigned to minor league camp in Jupiter, Florida. During April, roughly 100 players will prepare for the full-season Double-A, A-Advanced and Class-A seasons. These rosters have not yet been announced.

This level of change is unprecedented in recent times, and as such, the Matrix has been modified to reflect it. The taxi squad, alternate camp and those from big league camp assigned to minors camp are all broken out separately. All other players remain on their 2020 rosters.

For reference, the previous matrix outlined all organizational transactions during 2021 spring training.

A refresher

If you are new to The Cardinal Nation and not familiar with the Cardinals organization roster matrix, here is quick summary:

As the 2021 big league season opened, the St. Louis Cardinals had 263 players under contract from top to bottom, including an almost-full 40-man roster (39).  the 40. The 40-man members are called out in bold.

The matrix places each of the 263 by position at his assigned level in the system as well as by position. Lower level player placements reflect their last actual assignments and will surely change as minors spring training ends. Please remember that the Roster Matrix is not intended to be a projection, but rather a current view.

Another point. Though the State College Spikes and Johnson City Cardinals will no longer operate as Cardinals affiliates in 2021 and beyond, players still reside on those on-paper rosters. Until the organization moves them, they will remain on the corresponding rosters here, as well.

The matrix is updated whenever transactions occur.

Nowhere else will you find this current and comprehensive single-page view of the entire Cardinals organization plus a decade of history.

(Do not be concerned about the order of the players’ names within position. It has no relative significance.)

Looking ahead and back

Now that you’ve found this page once, remember one of three ways to get back here. Bookmark the page, type “Roster Matrix” in the dark blue search box at the upper right (click on the magnifying glass icon) or use the menu at the left of the page: “ROSTERS/PLAYERS/MOVES” > “TRANSACTIONS/ROSTER MATRIX”.

While you are using that menu, note TCN’s full rosters and player pages for every level and every player in the Cardinals system. These rosters remain in sync with the Roster Matrix and carry biographical information on all players.

St. Louis Cardinals
Alternate site
Minor League camp
Memphis Redbirds
Springfield Cardinals
Peoria Chiefs
Palm Beach Cardinals
State College Spikes
Johnson City Cardinals
Gulf Coast League Cardinals
Dominican Summer League Cardinals Blue
Dominican Summer League Cardinals Red
International players signed for 2020
International players signed for 2021

For details behind prior years’ rosters and transactions (back to 2009), check out the earlier versions of the Cardinals organization Roster Matrix, via the following link.

Link to previous matrices

Transactions

4/1: New organization total: 263 players. 39 on 40-man roster.

4/1: LHP Bernardo Flores Jr. claimed off waivers from White Sox, assigned to alternate camp. New organization total: 264 players. 40-man roster full.

4/3: 3 DSL Blue players released: LHP Michael Ozoria, RHP Ronald Suarez, OF Leudy Pena. 3 players signed: OF Miguel Vargas, C Alejandro Loaiza, OF Luis Mario Pino.

4/11: StL OF Tyler O’Neill to 10 day IL. RHP Jake Woodford from StL to alternate site. RHP Johan Oviedo and OF Lane Thomas from alternate site to StL.

4/13: RHP Kodi Whitley from alt site to StL. RHP Johan Oviedo from StL to alt site.

4/15: OF Lane Thomas from StL to alt site. OF Scott Hurst to 40-man, from alt site to StL. RHP Dakota Hudson from 10-day IL to 60-day IL. 40-man roster remains full.

4/16: Taxi squad: Ps Angel Rondon, Jake Woodford, Seth Elledge, C Ali Sanchez, IF Jose Rondon.

4/17: LHS Kwang-Hyun Kim off StL 10-day IL. RHR Kodi Whitley from StL to alternate site.

The St. Louis Cardinals Organization Roster Matrix (effective 4/16/21)

St. Louis (26+4) 40-man (40+1)
SP RP C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Flaherty  Cabrera (L) Y Molina Goldschmidt Edman  DeJong Arenado Hurst
Wainwright  Webb (L) Knizner  Nogowski  Sosa Carpenter  Carlson 
C Martinez  A Miller (L) J Williams
Kim (L) Helsley Dean
Gant  A Reyes
G Gallegos Bader (10 IL)
D Hudson (60 IL) Ponce de Leon O’Neill (10 IL)
Mikolas (10 IL) Hicks 
Taxi squad (5)
SP RP C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
A Rondon Elledge A Sanchez J Rondon
Woodford
Alternate camp (22)
SP RP C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Parsons Ju Fernandez Heineman Moroff Nootbaar
Au Warner (L) Quezada D Ortega Robertson L Thomas
Oviedo C Jones E Mendoza Capel
Flores (L) R Ramirez
Kruczynski (L) J Cruz
Liberatore (L) Whitley
Thompson (L)
G Williams (L)
Minors camp (11)
SP RP C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Roberts I Herrera  Baker Del Perez Gorman Toerner
Robles (L) Pages Szczur
C Soto
Antonini
Memphis (2)
SP RP C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
R Sanchez (L) Bosiokovic
Springfield (12)
SP RP C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Seijas Dayton (L) Ju Rodriguez Yepez I Lopez Ascanio Pinder
FaGalde Patterson (L) Dunn
S Justo
R Santos
Peoria (14)
SP RP C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Pallante Aker Whalen Donovan Plummer
E Gonzalez Escobar Denton
D Cordero (L) L Taveras
Leahy Pacheco
Walsh
Oxnevad (L)
Palm Beach (23)
SP RP C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Roach N De Jesus D Williams I Diaz Cedeno
Brettell Sisk (L) M Castillo Machado
Schmid (L) Tabata Fuller
C Thomas (L) Pereira Reichenborn
Gragg Lunn Vinsky
YaSenka Avelino
Schlesener (L)
Blanco (L)
Ralston
State College (16)
P P C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Holba Solano Raposo Buchberger Jew
Lex Dalatri LJ Jones
Bedell Lardner (L) Burleson
Prater (L) Trogrlic-Iverson Koperniak
Beller (L) Chamberlain
Johnson City (14)
P P C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Guay H Soto Lott Redmond M Nunez V Garcia
Ortiz Longa Torres
F Justo Fletcher
J Moreno
Puello
B Baird
Complex League (23)
P P C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Statler Gingery (L) Richardson F Soto R Mendoza Montano
Hart L Jimenez J Garcia Winn (also RHP) F Hernandez A Cruz
Paniagua Tena E Rodriguez Walker k J De Los Santos
N Heredia (L) R Garcia Romeri
O Sanchez (L) Black
Hence
DSL Blue (24)
P P C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
D Rodriguez Miranda L Rodriguez F Diaz Del Villar B Hernandez Jo Rodriguez
E Martinez Saldana J Zapata Moquete
GJ Rodriguez Pimentel J Sanchez GA Rodriguez
Lugo Richard Orecchia Otamendi
Portillo Arias
W Ortega Villanueva
J Peralta
DSL Red (20)
P P C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
V Herrera W Reyes R Heredia Inoa Mora S Vargas
Rincon Calderon Velasquez
Dominguez Cuenca
D Guerrero (L) O Lopez
H Cordero (L) Bautista
H Gomez Manzo
B Ramirez B Lopez
Clemente
DSL sign 2020 (30)
P P C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Beltre (L) M Martinez J Guerrero Bolivar R Guzman Carbonara
Cervantes J Salas M Hernandez B Encarnacion Cordoba
Cuello Curvelo Burns Espinoza Ramos
Davila Almonte M Justo Reynoso
F Guzman Giulianelli Rivas F Taveras
Ang Luna Saladin Rombley
Marte Yanez
E Nunez
DSL sign 2021 (18)
P P C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Contreras Bernal Grant S De La Rosa Carmona
C De La Cruz Loaiza Reynoso Avendano
Fabian A Encarnacion R Lopez
Y Guerrero R Cabrera
M Perez Suarez
Vargas
Pino

Codes
(IL): injured list
(TI): temporarily inactive list
(PL): paternity leave
(RL): restricted list
(L): left-handed pitcher
bold: on the Cardinals’ 40-man roster
(#+#): for teams, the number of active players on the roster plus number of inactive/not under contract (IL+TI+PL+RL) players


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Cardinals Make 2021 Opening Day Roster Decisions

photo: John Nogowski via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals sent six players to the minors following today’s game (Sunday, March 28), optioning pitcher Kodi Whitley and outfielder Lane Thomas and re-assigning catchers Tyler Heineman and Dennis Ortega and infielders Max Moroff and Josė Rondón.

The team also announced that it plans to place pitchers Dakota Hudson (right elbow), Kwang Hyun Kim (back) and Miles Mikolas (right shoulder), and outfielder Harrison Bader (right forearm) on the 10-day Injured List.

With today’s transactions, the team has indicated that it plans to include 1st baseman/outfielder John Nogowski, infielder Edmundo Sosa, outfielders Austin Dean and Justin Williams, and pitcher Jake Woodford on its 26-man Opening Day roster which will be officially submitted and announced the morning of Thursday, April 1.

Brian Walton’s take

The club formalized its earlier hinted-upon-decision to go with 13 pitchers and 13 position players. From my roster prediction 3.0 article, I had two misses. Woodford made the bullpen over Whitley and Dean edged out Thomas in the outfield. All four were already on the 40-man roster.

Dean and Williams may initially alternate in right, with Nogowski a reserve in left field and first base. Sosa will cover the three non-first base infield positions as a reserve and Woodford will likely serve as long reliever.

Interestingly, 2021 position player reserves Andrew Knizner, Sosa and Dean also made the 2020 team, though none of the three remained on the roster for the entirety of the shortened 58-game season.

NRIs shut out/Opening Day debuts

With the two non-roster infielders Moroff and Rondon not making the team (as well as catchers Heineman and Ortega), all 26 of the new Cardinals were already on the 40-man roster. It is an indication of the continuity of the roster from year to year. With the exception of third baseman Nolan Arenado, all 26 players on the Opening Day roster were in the organization in 2020.

Six others making their first Cardinals Opening Day are relievers Genesis Cabrera, Jake Woodford and Giovanny Gallegos, infielder John Nogowski and outfielders Justin Williams and Dylan Carlson. All except Gallegos, who was on the injured list, opened 2020 in the minors.

The last time a non-roster invitee did not make the team out of camp was 2013. In prior years, NRIs to make the Cardinals were:

  • 2020: Kodi Whitley, RP
  • 2019: Matt Wieters, C
  • 2018: Francisco Peña, C
  • 2017: Eric Fryer, C
  • 2016: Fryer, Jeremy Hazelbaker, OF
  • 2015: Carlos Villanueva, RP
  • 2014: Pat Neshek, RP

Full roster

To track the status of the Cardinals’ 26 and 40-man rosters, alternate camp as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.

St. Louis (26+4)
SP RP C 1B 2B SS 3B OF
Flaherty Cabrera (L) Y Molina Goldschmidt Edman DeJong Arenado O’Neill
Wainwright Webb (L) Knizner Nogowski Sosa Carpenter Carlson
C Martinez A Miller (L) J Williams
Ponce de Leon Helsley Dean
Gant A Reyes
G Gallegos Bader (10 IL)
D Hudson (10 IL) Woodford
Kim (L 10 IL) Hicks
Mikolas (10 IL)

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2021 Cardinals Prospects – Others’ Consolidated Top 10


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Cardinals Drop Eight in Third Round of Spring Cuts

photo: Johan Oviedo (Jim Rassol/USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced following this evening’s game (Thursday, March 25) that they have optioned or re-assigned eight players, reducing the number of players in Major League camp to 36.

The team optioned pitcher Johan Oviedo and re-assigned pitchers Jesũs Cruz, Evan Kruczynski, Matthew Liberatore, Zack Thompson and Tommy Parsons, infielder Nolan Gorman and outfielder Matt Szczur.

Brian Walton’s take

With just three Grapefruit League games remaining following Friday’s camp day, the Cardinals took the opportunity to make their third cuts of the spring. None were surprising, as they were not true contenders to make the team out of spring training.

Of the six pitchers cut, only Cruz is a reliever. As the regulars pitch more often and/or more innings as camp concludes, these players’ opportunities to get game action dried up.

All eight should compete for spots on the Memphis roster to open the regular season in May. Oviedo could be recalled sooner depending on need.

The 36 remaining in big-league camp include three players expected to open the season on the injured list – pitchers Miles Mikolas and Kwang-Hyun Kim and outfielder Harrison Bader, leaving seven more cuts just ahead.

There are now 30 players in the Jupiter B Camp.

Oviedo

Johan Oviedo

The 23-year old was surprisingly very scarcely used this spring, throwing just two innings way back on March 10. Oviedo yielded a run on two hits, a hit batter, walked none and fanned three. Perhaps the right-hander was slowed by an unreported minor injury.

With a coveted 40-man roster spot, The Cardinal Nation’s ninth-ranked prospect for 2021 should be back with St. Louis before too many weeks pass.

Cruz

Jesus Cruz

The burly 25-year old was often called upon to get ready in a hurry, coming in more than once to complete an inning for a starter who had exhausted his 25 pitches. Cruz was very effective in his six Grapefruit League games, yielding no hits, a hit batter, a walk and two strikeouts in three scoreless frames.

Though he was removed from the 40-man roster last summer, Cruz could earn his way back into the St. Louis pen for a longer trial later in the season.

Kruczynski

Evan Kruczynski

The 25-year old lefty had a nice spring, allowing one earned run over four appearances totaling 2 2/3 frames. This included a one-batter strikeout outing Thursday night. Overall, The Cardinal Nation’s 46th-ranked prospect gave up just two hits, walked no one and struck out a pair.

Liberatore

Matthew Liberatore

The organization’s top pitching prospect did not disappoint in four appearances totaling six innings. Liberatore yielded two runs, one earned, on three hits while fanning five, The 21-year old lefty’s only blemish was six free passes issued. On the positive side, he walked just one over his final two spring outings. Liberatore is TCN’s number three prospect.

Thompson

Zack Thompson

The system’s number five prospect had an uneven camp. Thompson was charged with three runs in 4 2/3 innings on four hits and four walks. The 23-year old collected seven K’s. Thompson’s final outing, an inning on March 18, was the only scoreless appearance of his three.

Parsons

Tommy Parsons

The former Division III free agent signing was one of the surprises of camp. In nine innings over six appearances, Parsons yielded three runs, two earned, on five hits, two walks, two hit batters and seven strikeouts. The 25-year old is TCN’s number 32 prospect for 2021.

Gorman

Nolan Gorman

One of baseball’s top hitting prospects went 4-for-23 this spring (.174), with two of the hits going for doubles. Gorman, 20, drove in four, walked once and fanned seven times. He played both second and third base in games. Gorman is TCN’s no. 2 overall prospect.

Szczur

Matt Szczur

The former Chicago Cub’s chances of making the team were compromised by a quad injury earlier in camp, as well as competing against a relatively large number of outfield candidates vying for at-bats. This spring, Szczur had one single, no walks and a pair of strikeouts in nine plate appearances.


Update: Shew retires

Right-handed pitcher Anthony Shew was placed on the voluntarily retired list on March 15, per MiLB.com.

Anthony Shew

The 28-year old was scheduled to report to minor league camp next week after not being invited to 2021 big league spring training.

Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2016, Shew first reached Double-A in 2018, and was our Springfield Starting Pitcher of the Year after he earned Florida State League All-Star honors that season. He split his time between the Springfield and Memphis rotations in 2019, but did not see action in 2020.

Overall, the Oregon native posted a 19-17 record with a 4.02 ERA in 72 career games, including 54 starts.


For more

To track the status of the Cardinals’ 40-man roster as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.


Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

2021 Cardinals Opening Day Roster Prediction 3.0


Now Available – 2021 Prospect Guide

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TCN’s 2021 Cardinals Prospect Guide – Now Available!


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© 2021 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Shildt and Mozeliak Dish on Bader, Roster and More

photo: Harrison Bader via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

On Wednesday, St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt spoke with the media both before and after the afternoon’s 3-0 win over the New York Mets and president of baseball operations John Mozeliak also fielded post-game questions. Harrison Bader’s injury led the way, but much more was covered.

As has been customary all spring, I have posted summaries of these sessions on a “Spring training news” thread at The Cardinal Nation’s free forum. Swing by to discuss these and any other Cardinals-related topics.

However, given the magnitude of the day’s news, including the loss of center fielder Harrison Bader for four to six weeks, I am reproducing the two executives’ comments here. Make sure you read between the lines on matters such as roster size and identities of the final roster decisions.

Shildt Wednesday pre-game remarks

Hicks, Woodford and perhaps Whitley to follow CMart today. Miller threw a sim game with KK and Oviedo the other day. Miller will be in game the next day or two.

Ortega earning opportunities behind plate. Big agile catcher. Good winter ball in VZ. Heineman to backup Knizner tomorrow.

Starting to tell players who made team and their role, but will not share until end.

If 13 hitters, offense for last hitter is less impactful. Edman can cover short. Carp can cover second, so there is coverage. Decision will be based on offense, defense, versatility, taking good at-bats. Handedness also considered but may not be in this case. Need to make holistic roster view.

If only 13 pitchers, would put an MLB ready player on the outside, but could go 14th pitcher later.

Telling them, you are a big league player. Stay ready to go, we will use you later. Deep roster means not enough room at the moment. Always a tough conversation to have.

Harrison Bader

Bader will open season on IL. Flare-up in his forearm. PRP injection then rest. Solid 4 weeks out as a minimum. Had affected throwing before, yesterday told it is affecting his hitting. Requires more time, rest, more serious treatment. Earlier treatment would help short term, but it came back. Impacts game defensively. Gold Glove caliber defender. Other guys have opportunity to step up.

Strong possibility that Carlson will be in CF. Leadoff today because Edman is off. Lane has also played CF. Carlson has proven he can do it in the past.

Nogowski playing in OF is also related. Exploring all options. Thomas, Dean and Williams also. Find best solution.

Mozeliak remarks

Williams granted fourth option today. No roster decisions yet.

Bader forearm flexor strain. Had PRP injection. Down 4-6 weeks. Will take two weeks off from baseball activity. Imaging was done. Ligament intact, no concern with it. Dr. Paletta felt PRP offered best chance of resolution.

Overall impressed with outfield. O’Neill having a really strong camp. Getting into comfortable zone with offense. Not having Bader in CF not great news, but it is not all season. Williams also having nice camp. Carlson is comfortable in CF. Pretty seamless.

Still way to find at-bats for Carpenter. Don’t draw too many conclusions (on at-bats and role). 162 games is a long time. Exit velo ok, hitting into tough luck.

Bader being out may help someone make the team who can play multiple positions.

Nogowski having an impressive camp. Good to see. Not overly surprised.

Hopeful to secure vaccine for players. Will have better idea of plan by end of next week. Will assess players’ willingness. Hope most of them take it. Mo will get his shots as soon as he can. Hope to get Tier 1 and 2 individuals in first wave. If others can be added, it would take a lot of stress off the season. Will have plan, but high probability they will leave FL without vaccines. Each state dependent. MLB hasn’t come up with direct solution. (Missouri governor says all adults can get vaccine starting 4/9.)

Didn’t make bullpen moves in offseason because we had talent. Will be smart in how they are using Hicks. Will get a number of late-game opportunities.

Mikolas will throw a bullpen before leaving camp. Maybe not facing hitters until at alternate camp.

Kim is cleared. Next 8 days telling if he can break with team. Chance he will not be ready.

Rondon has had a really good camp. Very impressive. Taking very good at-bats. But Sosa is out of options. Goal is to retain as many talented players as we can.

Shildt post-game remarks

Martinez loves to compete. Has own style. Distracts himself sometimes. Sinker and secondary pitches working.

Maddux slowed Hicks down after walk. First time in 9th in almost two years. His stuff was really special today too. 98-99 with late movement is pretty special. Controlled strike zone and mixed in slider.

Nogowski is headsy guy. See and knows game. Likes to play, competes well. Done everything possible he could to make the team. Made the plays today. Get it done kind of guy.

Williams had key hit late. Can’t ignore it. Got rally started yesterday. Drove in two to give insurance. Has done his part, especially recently.

Roster won’t be easy decisions. Guys doing everything they can.

Bench players will be complement to the entire team. Fairly high versatility now, but need to have a lot of skill coming off bench. Need to be ready to play and perform.

Ponce is starting Thursday.

With Bader out, Dylan and Lane most likely candidates. Feels O’Neill is in a good place in LF. Edman could play OF, too. Lane could be in center with Carlson in right. Not decided. Not putting pressure on Dylan or Lave to be the captain of the outfield.

On Carpenter, the science of the game is pretty amazing. 103 mph off the bat. Ball doesn’t carry out to RF.

Will play 2 pm B-Game Thursday vs. Marlins. Mostly guys who have already been sent out will participate.

Really good chance that CMart will be third starter.


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Cardinals Drop 10 in Second Round of Spring Reductions


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24 0-to-3 Year Players Agree to Terms with Cardinals

photo: Genesis Cabrera (Jeff Curry/Imagn)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Saturday, March 13) that they have agreed to terms and signed one-year contracts for the 2021 season with 24 players.

Agreeing to terms among the team’s 0 to 3 Major League service time players were pitchers Génesis Cabrera, Seth Elledge, Junior Fernandez, Giovanny Gallegos, Ryan Helsley, Dakota Hudson, Johan Oviedo, Daniel Ponce de Leon, Johan Quezada, Angel Rondón, Tyler Webb, Kodi Whitley and Jake Woodford; catchers Ivan Herrera, Andrew Knizner and Ali Sánchez; infielders Tommy Edman, John Nogowski and Edmundo Sosa, and outfielders Dylan Carlson, Austin Dean, Tyler O’Neill, Lane Thomas and Justin Williams.

Brian Walton’s take

This is business as usual, occurring this time every spring.

It appears this year’s process was calm after two consecutive springs in which staff ace Jack Flaherty chose not to agree to the team’s offer in protest. He was docked by the team but still had accept it if he wanted to play. In his first year of arbitration eligibility in 2021, Flaherty took the team to hearing and won his case.

To the above 24, all players who are not yet arbitration-eligible (which comes shortly before three seasons in the majors) are bound to salaries pre-determined by their teams. The primary requirement is that the players make above the MLB minimum salary of $570,500 this coming season.

The Cardinals use a pre-set salary scale driven by formulas for these pre-arbitration players, but their pay is relatively close to the base. As is the case for most players in this population across MLB, their actual pay is far below their market value. This matter may be put on the table during the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations this year.


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Cardinals Prospects on BaseballHQ’s 2021 Mega-Lists


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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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