photo: Connor Thomas (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
St. Louis Cardinals press release
The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Thursday, March 16) that the team has reduced its Spring Training roster to 47 players, with three players optioned to the Memphis (AAA) roster.
The team optioned pitcher Connor Thomas, catcher Iván Herrera and outfielder Moisés Gómez today, leaving 33 Major League roster players and 14 non-roster invitees on the Spring Training camp roster.
Brian Walton’s take
As camp moves into its final two weeks, the cuts are coming more quickly, with these two moves announced the day after top pitching prospect Tink Hence was reassigned to the minors.
None were surprising, though as mentioned, all are on the 40-man roster currently, conceivably giving them a slight leg up in competing to make the team. Ultimately, their spring performances made the decisions clearer.
All are Top 20 prospects by The Cardinal Nation, with Herrera ranked seventh, Gomez 14th and Thomas 19th.
Herrera, 22, made his St. Louis debut last summer, but is not deemed ready to fully challenge Andrew Knizner for the reserve role behind starter Willson Contreras. Minor league free agent signee Tres Barrera has taken that role at least for now with my expectation that Barrera (veteran) and Herrera (youngster) share the catching duties at Triple-A Memphis. Pedro Pages, also still in camp, could also figure in the mix.
This spring, Herrera received a scant eight at-bats over seven contests. The native of Panama singled three times and drew three walks against three strikeouts for a line of .375/.545/.375/.920.
Thomas, 24, leveraged an exceptional 2022 Arizona Fall League into a 40-man roster spot. This spring, the lefty started slowly before finishing strongly. Against the Mets on Wednesday, Thomas spun four shutout innings on two hits and no walks.
Overall for the spring, Thomas made three starts totaling nine innings. He yielded four runs on 12 hits and two walks plus a hit batter. The lefty fanned nine.
Thomas will return to the Memphis rotation and work to receive his first big-league call up.
Gomez, 24, leveraged a standout 2022 season – during which he was named the organization’s Co-Player of the Year – into a 40-man spot. However, in his first big-league camp with St. Louis, he was falling short in competition with Juan Yepez, Jordan Walker and others for a right-handed hitting outfield spot.
Gomez received a long look this spring, with 33 at-bats over 14 games. His high strikeout count of 16 looms much larger than his eight hits, including two doubles, two walks and a line of .242/.286/.303/.589.
The native of Venezuela will return to the Memphis corner outfield/designated hitter mix to open 2023.
Minor league transaction
From the back fields of Jupiter, the Cardinals have made their first player release of the spring. On Tuesday, Peoria middle infielder Mack Chambers was let go.
The 23-year-old was St. Louis’ 11th round draft pick in 2021 from New Mexico. Chambers spent 2021 with Low-A Palm Beach and all of 2022 with the High-A Chiefs. In 113 games between the two stops, the switch-handed hitter slashed .230/.320/.336/.656.
To see all players in the system by level and position plus every transaction all year ‘round, check out the always free Roster Matrix here at The Cardinal Nation, refreshed today.
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