Cards announce 61 Spring Training invitees

Group includes 22 non-roster players

Cards announce 61 Spring Training invitees

ST. LOUIS -- With less than one month remaining until the team opens Spring Training, the Cardinals announced on Wednesday that they plan to bring 61 players to Major League camp. Those players will include the 39 already on the club's 40-man roster, as well as another 22 non-roster invitees, highlighted by prospects Luke Weaver, Austin Gomber and Carson Kelly.

The Cards will hold their first spring workout for pitchers and catchers on Feb. 18 and their first full-squad workout five days after that. The club's first Grapefruit League game is scheduled for March 3 against the Marlins. An exhibition game against Florida Atlanta University will precede that on March 2.

Cardinals' Spring Training schedule

The breakdown of the team's current Spring Training invite list features 33 pitchers, eight catchers, 13 infielders and seven outfielders. Of the 39 players on the 40-man roster, six were added to the organization this offseason. Those include Jayson Aquino, Matt Bowman, Mike Leake, Seung Hwan Oh, Brayan Pena and Jedd Gyorko.

Hot Stove Tracker

The following 22 players received non-roster invitations: catcher Steve Bean, catcher Luis Cruz, catcher Eric Fryer, right-hander Silfredo Garcia, left-hander Gomber, right-hander Juan Gonzalez, outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker, right-hander Jeremy Hefner, catcher Kelly, left-hander Corey Littrell, right-hander Deck McGuire, right-hander Trey Nielsen, right-hander Daniel Poncedeleon, infielder Jonathan Rodriguez, catcher Alberto Rosario, right-hander Robby Rowland, right-hander J.C. Sulbaran, right-hander Tyler Waldron, infielder David Washington, right-hander Weaver, infielder Jacob Wilson and infielder Patrick Wisdom.

Notably missing from this list of non-roster invitees is top prospect Alex Reyes, who has instead been assigned to participate in the Cardinals' S.T.E.P. (Spring Training Early Program) camp after receiving a 50-game suspension in November for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. As a result, Reyes is not permitted to participate in any spring games in which the Cardinals charge paid admission.

This year, S.T.E.P. will be attended by 26 of the organization's most talented Minor League players. In addition to Reyes, those will include pitchers Sandy Alcantara, John Brebbia, Junior Fernandez, Jack Flaherty, Derian Gonzalez, Josh Lucas, Mike Mayers, Arturo Reyes, Rowan Wick and Jacob Woodford; catchers Christopher Chinea, Jose Godoy, Ryan McCarvel and Brian O'Keefe; infielders Eliezer Alvarez, Paul DeJong, Juan Herrera, Chris Jacobs, Oscar Mercado, Darren Seferina and Edmundo Sosa; and outfielders Harrison Bader, C.J. McElroy, Nick Plummer and Magneuris Sierra.

An invite to S.T.E.P. not only gives these Minor League players a head start on their spring work, but it also offers them an opportunity to meet the Major League staff and attend various seminars.

The organization's other Minor League pitchers and catchers will report on March 7. Position players will be required to report by March 9.

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