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Cardinals '13 AFL Roster Contingent Announced

Major league baseball's premier prospect showcase, the Arizona Fall League preliminary rosters have been officially announced by Major-League Baseball on Thursday.

Seven Cardinal farmhands have been chosen to participate in the annual the Arizona Fall League are among those on the preliminary rosters released Thursday which can be viewed here. The seven selections of the Cardinal prospects are young in experience with no players from the Triple-A Memphis roster to represent.

As Derrick Goold explains in this article about the requirements each ML organizations must follow with the number of prospects to send to the Arizona Fall League each fall.

Quick excerpt from his article:

Each of the 30 clubs is required to send seven players to the invitation-only league that is considered a "finishing school" for prospects. The Cardinals sent four pitchers, three of whom are lefties, and three position players, including the two Class AA outfielders.

That can be for most positional players and pitchers to an extent. Although, Clubs also use the Arizona Fall League generally for pitchers who missed significant time during the regular minor league season with an injury and didn't get the workload they were striving for when seasons end. So it's also a good opportunity for pitchers to catch back up on innings missed and get a quality workload before the off-season hits. At times clubs will even send potential Rule 5 eligibles like Kevin Siegrist last year to get one last impression on if they should add him to the 40 man roster or not to protect him from being lost potentially in the Rule 5 draft.

Among the most well-known names in the Cardinals system are Stephen Piscotty who has been designated the priority player, assuring him of regular playing, with at least two or three starts at week. Former second first round pick of the '12 draft James Ramsey looks to continue on his long '13 campaign with a stop in Arizona for the fall. Others sent include Anthony Ferrara who missed a couple of starts in the later part of July with an oblique injury, intriguing young prospect Lee Stoppelman and Dean Kiekhefer (all lefties), the-ground machine Sam Gaviglio whose been designated to the five-man rotation to get a manageable workload from the months he missed during the regular season due to injury, and infielder Jacob Wilson will be a regular along with Ramsey and Piscottty.

As I've noted Piscotty has been designated as the priority player as he will receive most of the playing time out of the positional players. Gaviglio will be a member of the Salt Lake Rafters five-man rotation, with three lefties serving in a relief role. The Cardinals have yet to designate a taxi-squad player for the eighth participant, taxi-squad players are restricted to play Wednesday's and Saturday's only. Last years taxi-squad player was Colin Walsh.

All seven will be managed by Springfield manager Mike Shildt. Salt Lake River Rafters will be staffed with players from the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Rays and Rockies organizations. The Arizona Fall League schedule begins October 8th on a Tuesday.