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Former Cardinal Players in Organized Baseball

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How many players currently in organized baseball do you think either played for the Cardinals in a game or were in the Cards’ minor league system at some point? It surprised me to learn that there are about two 40-man rosters worth of players who are either on another club’s 40-man roster, in their minor league system or just recently released. In analyzing the rosters of other organization, I was mildly shocked by a couple of names that are still floating around.

FORMER CARDS ON 40-MAN ROSTERS (39)

Luke Voit (Yankees), Adam Ottavino (Yankees), Jose Martinez (Rays), Randy Arozarena (Rays), Randal Grichuk (Blue Jays), Sam Gaviglio (Blue Jays), Breyvic Valera (Blue Jays), Steve Cishek (White Sox), Oscar Mercado (Indians), Trevor Rosenthal (Royals), Rich Hill (Twins), Aledmys Diaz (Astros), Mike Mayers (Angels), Albert Pujols (Angels), Stephen Piscotty (A’s), Marco Gonzales (Mariners), Patrick Wisdom (Mariners), Lance Lynn (Rangers), Adolis Garcia (Rangers), Marcell Ozuna (Braves), Sandy Alcantara (Marlins), Magnueris Sierra (Marlins), Michael Wacha (Mets), Robert Stock (Phillies), Rowan Wick (Cubs), Daniel Descalso (Cubs), Jason Heyward (Cubs), Matt Bowman (Reds), Jedd Gyorko (Brewers), Carson Kelly (Diamondbacks), Zac Gallen (Diamondbacks), Luke Weaver (Diamondbacks), Andy Young (Diamondbacks), Joe Kelly (Dodgers), Luis Perdomo (Padres), Greg Garcia (Padres), Tommy Pham (Padres), Donovan Solano (Giants), Ramon Urias (Orioles)

*The Diamondbacks have the lead with 4 former Cardinals had a 5th former Cardinal on the 40-man roster until Mike Leake opted out of the 2020 season and was placed on the restricted list.

*Adam Ottavino was the Cards’ 1st round draft choice in 2006 and a former starting pitching prospect. He was on the Cards’ 40-man roster on two different occasions. He got injured and the Cards eventually gave up on him, losing him to the Rockies on an outright assignment waiver claim. He’s turned into quite a nice reliever.

*Sam Gaviglio was the Cards’ 5th round draft choice in 2011. He was never on the Cards’ 40-man roster. The Cards traded him to the Mariners in November 2014 for IF Ty Kelly, who was lost on an outright assignment waiver claim to the Blue Jays in July 2015. Gaviglio doesn’t throw hard, but relies on a wipeout slider. He was in the Jays’ rotation in 2018 and their bullpen last year.

*After a rough 2019 struggling with 3 different organizations, Trevor Rosenthal initially signed a minor league deal with the Royals for this year with an opt-out clause that allowed him to back out if he wasn’t added to the 40-man by a certain date. He showed enough in spring that the Royals decided to add him. We may get to see him this year, as the Cards play the Royals 6 times.

*Rich Hill never did pitch in the majors for the Cardinals. The Cards signed him to a minor league deal for AAA Memphis in 2010, but he didn’t make the big club out of spring and we never did add him to the 40-man. He opted out of his contract midway through the year. It took him a few years to turn his career around, but he’s still hanging on at 40 years old looking at a rotation spot with the Twins.

*Robert Stock was the Cards’ 2nd round draft choice in 2009—as a catcher. When he got to Class A Quad Cities in 2010, he couldn’t hit. Like Jason Motte before him, the Cards liked his strong arm and switched him to pitching in 2012. The Cards’ organization released him in December 2014 after he walked over 9 men per 9 innings in 11 games for Pam Beach. After time in 3 organizations and a stint in the independent leagues, Stock resurfaced as a non-roster invitee to the Padres’ camp in 2018. He was eventually added and saw time in the bullpen for the Padres for the next 2 years. The Phillies claimed him on outright assignment waivers last October.

*Breyvic Valera was a Cardinal organizational soldier who we traded to the Dodgers in April of 2018 to give Yairo Munoz a 40-man roster spot. In just two seasons, Valera bounced from the Dodgers to the Orioles, Giants, Yankees, Blue Jays, Padres, and now the Blue Jays again, who just claimed him on outright assignment waivers on July 1st. He is out of minor league options.

*Donovan Solano was in the Cardinal organization from 2005 though 2011, and was declared an automatic Rule 55 minor league free agent in November of 2011. He played in the majors for the Marlins and Yankees, but was stuck in the minors for 2 years with the Yankees and Dodgers organizations before resurfacing in the majors with the Giants last year.

*As far as I can tell, out of all the above 40-man roster players, only Ramon Urias was left off of his club’s 60-man Club Player Pool.

FORMER CARDS THAT ARE NRIs IN SUMMER CAMP (25)

Yairo Munoz (Red Sox), Tyler Lyons (Yankees), Sean Gilmartin (Rays), Ryan Sherriff (Rays), Ruben Tejada (Blue Jays), Dominic Leone (Indians), Steven Baron (Indians), Greg Holland (Royals), Oscar Hernandez (Royals), Wilfredo Tovar (Twins), Joe Hudson (Mariners), Brian O’Keefe (Mariners), Juan Nicasio (Rangers), Pete Kozma (Braves), Daniel Castano (Marlins), Chasen Shreve (Mets), Matt Adams (Mets), Bud Norris (Phillies), Nick Martini (Phillies), Sam Freeman (Nationals), David Carpenter (Reds), Francisco Pena (Reds), Shelby Miller (Brewers), Jon Jay (Diamondbacks), Anthony Garcia (Dodgers)

*Pete Kozma tested positive for COVID and was symptomatic.

*Oscar Hernandez was a catcher in the Cards’ first spring training, but was released by Memphis in May. The Royals picked him up after having to put two of their catchers on the COVID-19 related injury list.

*Of this group, all but Gilmartin, Tovar, O’Keefe, Castano, Martini, Carpenter and Garcia played in the majors for the Cards. Garcia was on the Cards’ 40-man for a short while.

FORMER CARDS THAT WERE SIGNED TO MINOR LEAGUE DEALS BUT LEFT OFF OF THEIR CLUBS’ 60-MAN CPP (11)

Hunter Cervenka (Orioles), Johan Mieses (Red Sox), Shane Robinson (Braves), Rafael Ortega (Braves), Mark Rzepczynski (Blue Jays), Adalberto Mejia (White Sox), Conner Greene (Royals), Drew Robinson (Giants), Preston Guilmet (Marlins), Jacob Wilson (Nationals), Kyle Barraclough (Padres)

*Sugar Shane missed getting playing time in the majors for the first time last season since the Cards released him after the 2014 season. The dream might be over.

FORMER CARDS PLAYERS RECENTLY RELEASED

Sam Tuivalala (Mariners), Edwin Jackson (Diamondbacks AAA), Alberto Rosario (Diamondbacks AAA), Merandy Gonzalez (Nationals AAA), Charlie Tilson (Pirates AAA), Zac Rosscup (Rockies AAA), Tyson Ross (Giants AAA after he announced he would opt out)

*I couldn’t believe Edwin Jackson was still around, but he was only 36 this season and 27 when he pitched for the 2011 Cardinals. He got to the majors at a young age.

CONCLUSION

What do you all think? Do you have any regrets that some of these players are no longer with the club? Did any of the names hanging around shock you? Let me know in the comments, and let’s talk about them.