Heyward, relievers highlight Cards' new faces

Belisle, Villanueva, Walden bolster St. Louis pitching staff

Heyward, relievers highlight Cards' new faces

ST. LOUIS -- As a countdown to the start of Spring Training, cardinals.com continues with a series of stories designed to examine various issues, address important questions and spotlight players that could be critical to the Cardinals' success. After highlighting a group of bounce-back candidates in the first installment of this series, it's time to take a look at the organization's fresh faces.

RHP Matt Belisle: During his recent appearance at Cardinals Winter Warm-Up, Belisle was effusive in his praise for the organization and excited to find his fit in it. The Cardinals hope that will be as a workhorse in the bullpen, where the veteran could fit as a bridge from the starting pitchers to setup relievers.

RHP Carlos Villanueva: Instead of going out to sign a high-end free-agent starter, the Cardinals chose to add depth to their staff with the recent signing of Villanueva. The veteran arrives on a Minor League deal, but his ability to pitch as a starter and reliever gives the Cardinals flexibility in finding a fit.

RHP Jordan Walden: Though he was the lesser-talked-about player in November's four-player trade with Atlanta, Walden was a key piece nonetheless. With Carlos Martinez likely headed into the rotation, Walden is the favorite to fill the hole as the team's right-handed setup man.

Walden fans Cutch in the 8th

C Mike Ohlman: Looking to fortify their catching depth, the Cardinals acquired Ohlman from the Orioles for cash considerations earlier this month. He's targeted to start the year in the Minors, where the Cardinals hope Ohlman can tap into his offensive potential. 

INF Dean Anna: Anna, the Cardinals' first free-agent signing of the offseason, appeared in 12 games with the Yankees last season. He'll report to Cardinals camp as one of four infielders vying for a bench spot on the Opening Day roster and brings useful defensive versatility.

INF Ty Kelly: Like Anna, Kelly will also be in the mix to fill the utility-infielder need the Cardinals have after the departure of Daniel Descalso. Kelly, who was swapped with Sam Gaviglio in a November trade with Seattle, is most comfortable defensively at second and third. 

1B Mark Reynolds: The veteran corner infielder was pursued by the Cardinals as part of their effort to find insurance behind Matt Adams at first base. Should Adams again struggle to hit left-handed pitching, Reynolds should get an opportunity for somewhat regular playing time.

Hot Stove on Reynolds to Cards

OF Jason Heyward: Heyward was the organization's prized acquisition this offseason and was the answer to the team's unexpected hole in right field. He brings a Gold Glove pedigree to the position and should deepen the lineup. Exactly where he will fit in that lineup is to be determined in camp.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.