By Rob Rains
The Cardinals are bringing 32 non-roster players to their major-league camp this spring, including most of their top prospects and one former first-round pick who is returning to the organization.
The top three prospects in the organization, outfielder Dylan Carlson, third baseman Nolan Gorman and left-handed pitcher Matthew Liberatore, acquired from Tampa last month, top the list, which includes 17 pitchers invited to camp on a non-roster basis.
One of those is left-hander Rob Kaminsky, re-signed as a minor-league free agent over the winter. Kaminsky was drafted by the Cardinals in the first round in 2013 and traded to the Indians in 2015, where he was battled several injuries.
Among the other notable non-roster pitchers in camp will be left-hander Zack Thompson, the team’s first-round pick in last year’s amateur draft, and right-hander Griffin Roberts, their top pitching selection in the 2018 draft.
Right-hander Angel Rondon, named the organization’s minor-league pitcher of the year for 2019, also is on the list of invited players.
The Cardinals also will be bringing nine non-roster catchers to camp, including 19-year-old Ivan Herrera, expected to start this season at Double A Springfield. Herrera joins Gorman, also 19, as the youngest players in camp.
Part of the reason the Cardinals are bringing so many minor-leaguers to the major-league camp this spring is the earlier start to the major-league season on March 26. The minor-league seasons won’t begin until April 9, so the minor-league spring training camp won’t open until March 9.
The late opening to that camp likely will mean several of the non-roster players will stay in the big-league camp longer than is sometimes the case. The organization also is not holding its early spring camp for minor-leaguers this season.
The first official workout for the pitchers and catchers in Jupiter will be on Feb. 12 with the first official full-squad workout set for Feb. 17. The spring training schedule of games will begin on Feb, 22.
Pitchers (17): Akeem Bostick, Nabil Ceismatt, Jesus Cruz, Bryan Dobzanski, Seth Elledge, Alex FaGalde, Rob Kaminsky, Evan Kruczynski, Matthew Liberatore, Johan Oviedo, Tommy Parsons, Roel Ramirez, Griffin Roberts, Angel Rondon, Ramon Santos, Zack Thompson and Kodi Whitley.
Catchers (9): Aaron Antonini, Jose Godoy, Oscar Hernandez, Ivan Herrera, Dennis Ortega, Pedro Pages, Julio Rodriguez, Carlos Soto and Alexis Wilson.
Infielders (5): Luken Baker, Nolan Gorman, Evan Mendoza, John Nogowski and Max Schrock.
Outfielders (1): Dylan Carlson.
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