photo: Zack Thompson (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
As has been widely reported, the St. Louis Cardinals are running their first week of Summer Camp without their full complement of 22 pitchers.
One of the previously missing, Carlos Martinez, received the desired negative result from his inboard testing on Tuesday. However, the right-hander lost workout time because he was among the many whose Friday tests were not delivered to MLB’s lab until Monday.
Left-handers Genesis Cabrera and Ricardo Sanchez and third baseman Elehuris Montero previously tested positive. While asymptomatic, the trio remain out of camp until they pass the necessary protocol testing. Also absent are two right-handers – Giovanny Gallegos, who is home in Mexico, and Alex Reyes.
While the three who tested positive were not among my projected 30 to start the Major League season on St. Louis’ active roster, the other two are.
As reinforcements, the Cardinals added three non-roster pitchers to their Summer Camp roster on Tuesday, bringing the invited total to 48, 25 of whom call the mound home. The newest arrivals are lefties Zack Thompson and Rob Kaminsky and righty Seth Elledge.
This means the organization can add as many as 12 more players to their maximum pool of 60 eligible to participate in the 2020 season. They, along with upcoming cuts from St. Louis, are expected to report to Summer Camp South in Springfield, MO, which will open on July 14.
Despite being the furthest away from St. Louis in prior experience (High-A), Thompson was by far the most effective of this trio in spring camp and has the highest ceiling. St. Louis’ first-round draft pick in 2019 is The Cardinal Nation’s eighth-ranked prospect.
In 2019, Thompson made his professional debut with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals, striking out four batters over two scoreless appearances. The former University of Kentucky star finished at Palm Beach, posting a 3.77 ERA in 12 games. He fanned 21 batters over 14 1/3 innings pitched.
In March camp, the 22-year old tossed three perfect innings with three strikeouts.
In case there is any doubt about the Cardinals intentions with Thompson, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak made it clear that Thompson is still projected to be on the Summer Camp South roster when the season begins.
Kaminsky, the former Cardinals prospect sent to Cleveland in trade, re-signed with the organization as a minor league free agent in December. The 25-year old was still in MLB spring camp when it was shut down, having been charged with two runs in three innings on four hits and four walks.
The New Jersey native was St. Louis’ first round draft pick in 2013 and remained in the Cardinals system until his trade to the Indians for outfielder Brandon Moss in July 2015. Kaminsky endured at least five stints on the injured list while Cleveland property, including missing almost all of the 2017 campaign. When he returned, Kaminsky was moved to the bullpen.
Kaminsky spent all of 2016 through the first half of 2019 at Double-A before finishing last season with the Tribe’s Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs, where he registered a 5.11 ERA in 23 appearances. He became a free agent following the season. With the Cardinals, Kaminsky was expected to serve as left-handed relief depth at Memphis.
Elledge is The Cardinal Nation’s 34th-ranked prospect. The 23-year old was invited to big-league camp this spring, but was among the first cuts, announced on March 7. (Among the others in that group were 40-man roster players Montero and Sanchez.) Elledge only threw one spring inning, yielding two runs on four hits and a walk.
Acquired from Seattle for Sam Tuivailala in the summer of 2018, Elledge used a solid first full season with the Cardinals organization to earn a 2019 Arizona Fall League invitation. Elledge split last summer between Triple-A Memphis and Double-A Springfield, compiling a 4.26 combined ERA in 47 games. The slider-fastball artist struck out 75 batters in 67 2/3 innings.
Elledge is a contender to be added to the 40-man roster and make his MLB debut either this season or next.
To view the Summer Camp roster 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 John 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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