With the recent addition of three minor leaguers, Shaun Garceau, Katsuhiko Maekawa and Brad Furnish, the number of non-roster invitees (NRIs) set to arrive at the St. Louis Cardinals spring training camp this weekend has grown to 23.
In terms of the primary complement of players in spring training camp, the contents of the 40-man roster, that total has now dropped to 34 players with the subtraction of just-released second baseman Adam Kennedy.
Given these changes and some further work I have done on past NRIs since last time, it seems a good time to revisit the subject for an update as well as an expansion.
I will also note a post by Derrick Goold on his blog that highlights some of the top NRIs in 2009 camp. He did stub his toe slightly on the historical references by labeling Quinton McCracken an NRI, though the outfielder wasn’t. (McCracken was on the 40-man roster in 2001 camp.) In all fairness, several of the current NRIs are Goold’s primary focus and he knows those guys well.
First up here are the updated totals for 2009 along with a longer historical view back to 2000. I will note that the past totals are not necessarily the exact numbers on day one of camp. In some seasons, players were added after spring training was underway. Instead, these numbers include all players in camp those springs.
In other words, don’t be surprised if the 2009 totals change again, but don’t worry. I’ll keep everyone updated if you are not already into this subject yourselves.
Update 2/28: Hyang-Nam Choi added (Clayton Mortensen injured). Corrected McCormick not added. (MLB.com report in error.) NRI total is 26.
Update 2/26: Mark McCormick and Trey Hearne added (Matt Scherer and Mitchell Boggs slowed). Updated NRI total is 26.
Update 2/24: Justin Fiske added. New NRI total 24.
|Total in camp||60||62||69||59||61||58||62||63||58||62||66|
|x as of 2/28/09|
|NRI made 25-man||TBD||2||2||0||2||2||3||4||1||3||2|
As a refresher, here are the identities of the 26 non-roster invitees so far this spring.
|Pitchers (14)||Catchers (6)||Infielders (4)||Outfielders (2)|
|Tyler Herron||Bryan Anderson||Allen Craig||Jon Jay|
|Clayton Mortensen||Tony Cruz||David Freese||Colby Rasmus|
|Ian Ostlund||Luis De La Cruz||Joe Thurston|
|Adam Ottavino||Steven Hill||Brett Wallace|
|Fernando Salas||Justin Knoedler|
|Francisco Samuel||Matt Pagnozzi|
|Brad Furnish||added 2/10|
|Katsuhiko Maekawa||added 2/10|
|Shaun Garceau||added 2/10|
|Justin Fiske||added 2/24|
|Mark McCormick||added 2/26|
|Trey Hearne||added 2/26|
|Hyang-Nam Choi||added 2/28|
In my earlier NRI article mentioned above, for each recent season, I had highlighted several well-known players that either made the club as an NRI or failed in their attempt. Wouldn’t you know it; a subsequent request was made to share the names of every NRI player.
Being a sucker for reader challenges on interesting topics, I took the bait and did the work.
I have broken the list from left to right into those few who made the team, including the three first-time MLBers, followed by veterans cut, split between pitchers and position players (called “hitters” to save space). Next are the youngsters that didn’t make the team, also broken out by pitchers and position players.
The final column lists the extra catchers, at least one of whom remains a genuine prospect. That is Bryan Anderson (pictured), who in 2009 is attending his fourth consecutive big league spring camp as a member of the organization.
That is a record since 2000 at least, but being Rule 5-eligible this coming winter means that odds are very low that Anderson will have the opportunity to extend his NRI streak to five in a row in 2010. More than likely, he will finally be on the Cardinals 40-man roster or will be gone.
|2008||NRI made 25-man||Veteran pitcher cut||Veteran hitter cut||Rookie pitcher cut||Rookie hitter cut||Extra catchers|
|Ron Villone||Cliff Politte||Juan Gonzalez||Mitchell Boggs||David Freese||Bryan Anderson|
|Rico Washington *||Dewan Brazelton||D’Angelo Jimenez||Hugo Castellanos||Amaury Marti||Nick Derba|
|* 1st MLB action||Ron Flores||Josh Phelps||Jaime Garcia||Colby Rasmus||Gabe Johnson|
|John Wasdin||Clayton Mortensen||Nick Stavinoha||Mark Johnson|
|Adam Ottavino||Matt Pagnozzi|
|Chris Perez||Brandon Yarbrough|
|P.J. Walters||David Carpenter|
|2007||NRI made 25-man||Veteran pitcher cut||Veteran hitter cut||Rookie pitcher cut||Rookie hitter cut||Extra catchers|
|none||Mike Smith||Eli Marrero||Kelvin Jimenez||Rick Ankiel||Bryan Anderson|
|Jolbert Cabrera||Chris Lambert||Tagg Bozied||Ryan Christianson|
|Ryan Ludwick||Mike Parisi||Edgar Gonzalez||Brian Esposito|
|Mike Sillman||Miguel Negron||Michel Hernandez|
|Mark Worrell||Colby Rasmus||Danilo Sanchez|
|2006||NRI made 25-man||Veteran pitcher cut||Veteran hitter cut||Rookie pitcher cut||Rookie hitter cut||Extra catchers|
|Josh Hancock||Alan Benes||Dave Berg||Andy Cavazos||none||Bryan Anderson|
|Scott Spiezio||Brian Falkenborg||Brian Daubach||Randy Leek||Brian Esposito|
|Jeff Nelson||Ramon Nivar||Rich Rundles||Iker Franco|
|Blaine Neal||Prentice Redman||Gabe Johnson|
|John Riedling||Jason Motte|
|Dennis Tankersley||Kit Pellow|
|2005||NRI made 25-man||Veteran pitcher cut||Veteran hitter cut||Rookie pitcher cut||Rookie hitter cut||Extra catchers|
|Bill Pulsipher||Bob File||Raul Gonzalez||Jeremy Cummings||Skip Schumaker||Brad Cresse|
|Abraham Nunez||Toby Borland||Mike Bell||Anthony Reyes||Chris Duncan||Gabe Johnson|
|Chris Gissell||Wilton Guerrero||Brad Thompson||Jason Motte|
|Nerio Rodriguez||Brandon Berger||Dan Moylan|
|2004||NRI made 25-man||Veteran pitcher cut||Veteran hitter cut||Rookie pitcher cut||Rookie hitter cut||Extra catchers|
|Tony Womack||Alan Benes||Kevin Witt||Matt Duff||none||Mike Mahoney|
|Ray Lankford||Doug Creek||Emil Brown||Tyler Johnson||Yadier Molina|
|Cody McKay||Randy Flores||Greg Vaughn||Spike Lundberg||Dan Moylan|
|Joe Horgan||Wilson Delgado||Matt Pagnozzi|
|Alan Levrault||Scott Seabol|
|Chad Paronto||John Mabry|
|Jason Pearson||Mark Quinn|
|2003||NRI made 25-man||Veteran pitcher cut||Veteran hitter cut||Rookie pitcher cut||Rookie hitter cut||Extra catchers|
|Cal Eldred||Todd Erdos||Kurt Abbott||Juan Pena||John Nelson||Kevin Brown|
|Lance Painter||Nerio Rodriguez||Jose Nieves||Kevin Ohme||Mike Peeples||Alex Delgado|
|Russ Springer||John Snyder||Ivanon Coffie||Dan Moylan|
|Kiko Calero *||Dan Serafini||Jon Nunnally||Luis Rodriguez|
|* 1st MLB action||Todd Dunwoody||Yadier Molina|
|2002||NRI made 25-man||Veteran pitcher cut||Veteran hitter cut||Rookie pitcher cut||Rookie hitter cut||Extra catchers|
|Eduardo Perez||Rich Loiselle||Al Martin||Kevin Sheredy||Ryan Balfe||Matt Garrick|
|Gabe Molina||Mike Coolbaugh||Clint Weibl||Stubby Clapp||B.J. Wasgis|
|Travis Smith||Wilson Delgado||Chris Duncan||Jamie Pogue|
|Chris Snopek||Chris Haas|
|Ernie Young||Tony Mota|
|2001||NRI made 25-man||Veteran pitcher cut||Veteran hitter cut||Rookie pitcher cut||Rookie hitter cut||Extra catchers|
|John Mabry||Dan Carlson||Shane Andrews||Bud Smith||Stubby Clapp||David Benham|
|Jeff Tabaka||Mike Cather||Bernard Gilkey||Blake Williams||Luis Garcia||Mike Figga|
|Albert Pujols*||Jim Corsi||Kevin Polcovich||Lou Lucca||Matt Garrick|
|* 1st MLB action||Rick Krivda||Kerry Robinson||Mike Stefanski|
|2000||NRI made 25-man||Veteran pitcher cut||Veteran hitter cut||Rookie pitcher cut||Rookie hitter cut||Extra catchers|
|Shawon Dunston||Jim Dougherty||Brian McRae||John Ambrose||Lou Lucca||David Benham|
|Dave Wainhouse||Rick Heiserman||Ernie Young||Justin Brunette||Chris Haas||Steve Bieser|
|John Hudek||Glenn Murray||Chad Hutchinson||Chris Richard||Keith McDonald|
|Mike James||Casey Candaele||Jason Woolf||Henry Mercedes|
|Luis Garcia||Luis Saturria||Marc Ronan|
It is worth noting that I perhaps should have split the rookies out even further. Their common thread is lack of significant MLB experience. Yet among the legitimate farmhands trying to work their way to the top is a hybrid, former pitcher turned rookie hitter Rick Ankiel (2007) as well as career minor league journeymen such as Tagg Bozied, who was also in camp that same spring.
Another interesting name for trivia lovers is that of Matt Pagnozzi, nephew of beloved former Cardinals catcher Tom Pagnozzi (in St. Louis from 1987 through 1998). The younger catcher may have set a record of his own when he was passed over for three seasons between his initial invite in 2004 and his next chance in 2008.
With his current invite, Pags the junior has snagged his second in a row and third overall. That must have excited Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch who mentioned him as one of three catching candidates to make the big league roster should Yadier Molina or Jason LaRue require time on the DL. That seems overly-optimistic for a career .208 hitter over six minor league seasons.