By Rob Rains
The Cardinals will have 33 pitchers in camp when they open spring training on Wednesday, only four of whom will be there for the first time.
Three of those four are new to the organization since the end of last season.
The Cardinals are expected to carry either 13 or 14 pitchers on the 26-man roster to start the regular season, and of the 22 pitchers on the 40-man roster, only one – Angel Rondon – did not pitch in the major leagues last season.
Here is the rundown of the four pitchers who will be in the Cardinals major-league camp for the first time:
Johan Quezada – The newest pitcher on the roster was acquired from the Phillies on Feb. 10 for cash considerations. A 6-foot-9 righthander, Quezada appeared in three games for the Marlins last season. The Phillies had claimed him on waivers at the end of 2020. Quezada, 26, is a native of the Dominican Republic who originally signed with the Twins. The three games he pitched for the Marlins in September are the only three games he has pitched above Class A. He appeared in 33 games, all in relief, for Fort Myers in the Florida State League in 2019.
Domingo Robles (NR) – The Cardinals acquired Robles in a trade from the Pirates organization last September. A 22-year-old lefthander who also is a native of the Dominican Republic, Robles had pitched in the Pirates system since 2015. He split the 2019 season between Class A and Double A and pitching at the higher level in Altoona, he started 18 games and recorded two shutouts. He has started all but four of the 92 games in his minor-league career. In his starts at Double A he issued only 21 walks while striking out 77 batters in 103 innings. The Cardinals obtained Robles in exchange for international bonus pool money.
Austin Warner (NR) – Warner has been in the Cardinals organization since 2017 after he was signed while pitching in independent baseball for the River City Rascals in the Frontier League. The 26-year-old lefthander split the 2019 season between Springfield and Memphis, compiling a combined 8-8 record in 26 games, 25 as a starting pitcher. A product of Bellarmine University who was not drafted out of high school or college, Warner spent a couple of weeks at the alternate site camp but otherwise did not pitch last season. He did make two appearances for the Panama team in the recent Caribbean Series.
Garrett Williams (NR) – The left-handed Williams was selected by the Cardinals from the Angels organization in the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 draft last December. Williams, 26, had been acquired by the Angels in a trade from the Giants in December 2019 but never pitched in the Angels organization because of the canceled 2020 minor-league season. Originally a seventh-round pick by the Giants from Oklahoma State, Williams spent the 2019 season at Double A, being used as both a starter and reliever.
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Photo of Austin Warner by Mark Harrell/Springfield Cardinals