photo: Nolan Gorman with Tre Fletcher behind (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
When St. Louis Cardinals Summer Camp opened, manager Mike Shildt sketched out a tentative portion of his overall schedule as it relates to the organization’s alternate camp, Summer Camp South, in Springfield, MO.
- Friday, July 11 or Sunday, July 12: Roster cuts
- Monday, July 13: Scheduled camp day off
- Tuesday, July 14 Summer Camp South opens
In terms of players, the Cardinals have already named 48 of their 60 allowable players in the 2020 pool. The group in Springfield will include cuts from St. Louis as the team narrows down to its 30 active players for Opening Day on July 24, plus as many as 12 additional invitees.
The players sent down from St. Louis will be joined by three coaches, Jose Oquendo will be leading Summer Camp South, assisted by minor league pitching coordinator Tim Leveque and hitting coordinator Russ Steinhorn. Former catcher and current Johnson City manager Roberto Espinoza will be joining them in Springfield.
On Wednesday evening, six days before Summer Camp South was scheduled to begin, Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak offered additional information to the media via Zoom. It started with an update to the working schedule and included the final 12 names.
Due to the testing delays over last weekend and wanting to avoid next weekend for the necessary testing lead and two-day quarantine time, the start of Summer Camp South has been pushed out two days, to Thursday, July 16. The St. Louis cuts will not occur until at least Monday, July 13 and the day off remains to be determined.
“We are delaying that a couple of days,” Mozeliak said, referring to the start of Summer Camp South. “We will now open on the 16th.”
“The purpose of that is just to try to avoid any of the prior weekend testing issues that we experienced here. Also given the fact that we had some question marks about this camp and then we are hoping to add three more here shortly (previously announced as Zack Thompson, Seth Elledge and Rob Kaminsky), I thought we will have enough protection here, and ultimately open that camp (Springfield) and let baseball begin there.”
Mozeliak also added that they plan to keep Summer Camp South “open as long as possible.” However, exceptions will be considered for participants who want to take classes in the fall term.
St. Louis Cardinals press release
The St. Louis Cardinals announced 12 players will be invited to their Alternate Training Site located at Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo., home of the Cardinals’ Double-A affiliate Springfield Cardinals.
Among the 12 players invited are 2020 first round selection 3B Jordan Walker and second round selection SS/RHP Masyn Winn.
Matthew Liberatore, a left-handed pitcher acquired by the Cardinals via trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, will be at the Alternate Training Site, as well as his high school rival and friend 3B Nolan Gorman, the Cardinals first round selection in 2018.
Nine of the players reporting to Springfield also took part in 2020 Major League Spring Training in Jupiter, Fla. Also taking part in the Alternate Training Camp will be 19-year old outfielder Tre Fletcher, the Cardinals second round selection in the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft.
“Now that we have completed our intake process at our St. Louis Summer Camp we will now begin the process of opening our camp in Springfield,” said St. Louis Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak. “We will have a balance of players who we feel can protect our Major League roster along with players we deem as prospects. We will follow the identical protocols in Springfield that we do here in St. Louis.”
The 12 players are scheduled to report on Sunday, July 12 and will begin workouts on Thursday, July 16. The addition of these 12 players will bring the Cardinals to a combined 60 players participating in their primary St. Louis Cardinals Summer Camp and at their Alternate Training Site.
Invites to the Alternate Training Site in Springfield:
RHP Nabil Crismatt
OF Tre Fletcher
3B Nolan Gorman
LHP Matthew Liberatore
INF Evan Mendoza
3B Malcom Nunez
RHP Roel Ramírez
C Julio Rodríguez
RHP Angel Rondón
RHP Alvaro Seijas
3B Jordan Walker
SS/RHP Masyn Winn
Other Mo notes
Mozeliak commented that with as many as 34 players in Summer Camp South, they can play intrasquad games. They will not push too fast as the later 12 will be experiencing their first baseball in a few months. The camp will be creative, while knowing they cannot replicate a regular season.
On Trejyn Fletcher – “He needs to play baseball.”
On including 2020 draft picks – “Get drafted players into the ebb and flow of pro ball.” Does not know yet if there will be an Instructional League (so this may be the only opportunity this season).
On Jordan Walker – “Will get a look at third base.” “Getting into baseball rhythm.”
On Masyn Winn – “Will allow him access to both positions (shortstop and pitching).”
On Tink Hence (2020 draftee not invited) – “It is just a matter of numbers. Could have argued for 65 of 70 (players active this season, but are limited to 60).
Brian Walton’s roster analysis
Here are the 12 newest invitees broken down by position and age as well as ranking in The Cardinal Nation’s Top 50 Prospect List. Also noted is their final level of play in 2019.
|The final 12||Position||Age||Top 50||2019 level|
|Malcom Nunez||3B||19||15||Rk Adv|
|Tre Fletcher||OF||19||18||Rk Adv|
5 ½ of the 12 are pitchers and 6 ½ are position players. As noted above, Winn has one foot firmly planted in each group.
The dozen include four members of TCN’s current top 10. Just two are unranked and only one, off-season free agent signee Nabil Crismatt, is a surprise to me. Then again, as Mozeliak noted, some of the players in camp are primarily there as St. Louis depth insurance. The 25-year old right-handed pitcher fits that bill.
Beyond Crismatt, the only other members of the 12 I did not predict (from my pre-camp article) are Evan Mendoza and Roel Ramirez. The Memphis shortstop and right-handed reliever, respectively, are other potential good St. Louis depth additions. In fact, the 24-year old Mendoza can also play first base and third and Ramirez, 25, is the only true relief pitcher in the group of six hurlers added. My trio of misses are not coincidentally the three oldest players of the 12.
Eight of the 12 finished 2019 in full season ball. The exceptions are high school draft picks Walker and Winn plus the Johnson City duo of third baseman Malcom Nuñez and outfielder Fletcher. All four are still teenagers.
Only Alvaro Seijas is currently on the Cardinals’ 40-man roster, a hurdle any player must first pass before making his St. Louis debut. Again not coincidentally, the right-hander is the longest tenured Cardinal of the 12, having signed as an international free agent five years ago, in July 2015.
To view the Summer Camp South roster, click here. And 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.
As manager Mike Shildt, PBO Mozeliak and selected players meet with the media after daily Summer Camp practices, summaries of their comments are posted on The Cardinal Nation’s free message board. (A userid is not required to read forum comments.)
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