Pitchers and catchers report earlier than position players to spring training every year so the pitchers can begin the process of gradually working their way into regular-season shape (with the catchers catching the throws that do so). Pitchers start out with relatively small work loads, so teams need a lot of pitchers to eat the innings in early spring exhibitions. As spring training progresses, work loads grow. The need for innings decreases. Clubs consequently cut pitchers from major-league camp, so they can get work in minor-league camp to get ready for the forthcoming minor-league season. That's precisely what the St. Louis Cardinals did on Saturday, as reported by Paul Hagan at MLB.com.
The Cardinals optioned and reassigned a mix of arms, most of whom are likely to spend the 2015 season in either Memphis or the majors (when a need arises).
- The Cardinals optioned 40-man roster members Nick Greenwood and Sam Tuivailala (Future Redbirds No. 13 prospect) to Triple-A Memphis.
- St. Louis reassigned non-roster invitees Zach Petrick (recipient of the organization's 2013 Pitcher of the Year award and the Future Redbirds No. 18 prospect), Tim Cooney (a likely Future Redbirds top 10 prospect—we'll have to wait and see), Dean Kiekhefer, and Miguel Socolovich.
- Red: Likely 25-man roster member. (I still have Marco Gonzales in red, though it sounds like the coaching staff is leaning toward having him start the season in Memphis if Jaime Garcia, Carlos Martinez, and Kevin Siegrist are healthy and effective come opening day.)
- Navy Blue: Spring training competition. The bench is still an open question, though the answers appears more and more likely to involve Randal Grichuk and Pete Kozma.
- Royal Blue: Member of the 40-man roster but unlikely to make the opening-day 25-man active MLB roster.
- Light Blue: Non-roster invitee.
- Gray: Optioned or reassigned to minor-league camp.