Trio officially added to Cards opening day roster

Formally confirming what was made obvious due to earlier cuts, on Sunday the St. Louis Cardinals announced they have purchased the contracts of third baseman David Freese, infielder Joe Thurston and outfielder Colby Rasmus from the Triple-A Memphis roster.

With incumbent third baseman Troy Glaus out until perhaps mid-season due to the aftermath of shoulder surgery, Freese, 25, will not only make his MLB debut, but should also see a majority of the time at third base for the Cardinals.

Rasmus, 22, the former two-time organization Minor League Player of the Year, will also don a major league uniform during the regular season for the first time. He is expected to share innings in the outfield with returnees Chris Duncan, Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick and play any of the three positions defensively.

Thurston is the dean of the three both in terms of age (29) and MLB experience (just short of one season in total across five different years – 2002-04, 2006 and 2008). Yet, the second baseman has just 66 career MLB at-bats over 59 games. In addition to serving as an infield reserve, the left-handed hitter should see time in the outfield for the 2009 Cardinals.

The Cardinals 40-man roster is now at 37 with the three additions and the active roster is set at 25 in advance of the club’s 2009 season opener Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium.

Spring minors schedule ended by weather

Sunday’s scheduled exhibition game between the home Quad Cities River Bandits and the visiting Double-A Springfield Cardinals has been cancelled. It was the final scheduled exhibition of the spring schedule for any of the Cardinals clubs.

Morning rain and sleet led to poor field conditions, and with an afternoon forecast for snow added to the mix the game was called due to weather. The game will not be made up as the Springfield team heads to Missouri to prepare for their Texas League opener on Thursday.

The River Bandits will take the day off on Monday before having their first practice at Modern Woodmen Park on Tuesday afternoon. The River Bandits will open the 2009 regular season on the road against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Thursday. Quad Cities’ home opener against the Beloit Snappers will take place on Monday, April 13, at 3:00 p.m.