2012 Roster Set for Springfield

Springfield, MO – The St. Louis Cardinals have announced the Springfield Cardinals roster for the upcoming season.

New Manager Mike Shildt and returning Hitting Coach Phillip Wellman and Pitching Coach Bryan Eversgerd will be well stocked heading into the 2012 season.

Returning to the roster are 15 players who appeared in a Springfield uniform last year, including Texas League All-Star Pitchers Michael Blazek and Scott Gorgen.  Blazek led the Cardinals with 11 wins and finished second in the Texas League in strikeouts (128).  Gorgen, coming off of Tommy John Surgery that made his miss the 2011 season, was 5-1 with a 1.26 ERA for Springfield in 2010.

The starting staff will feature Gorgen, #17 prospect John Gast (9-8, 4.02 ERA), #11 Prospect Trevor Rosenthal (7-7, 4.11 ERA), Michael Blazek (11-6, 5.45 ERA) and lefty Tyler Lyons (9-4, 4.50 ERA Several other familiar names from the mound will be at Hammons Field in 2012 as starter John Gast and relievers Sam Freeman, Deryk Hooker Jorge Rondon, Scott Schneider, Jesse Simpson and Kevin Thomas return to Springfield.  New to Springfield bullpen are right handers Keith Butler (1-1, 1.23 ERA with Quad Cities and Palm Beach) and Eric Fornataro (7-13, 3.67 ERA with Palm Beach as a starter) and lefty Justin Wright (5-1, 1.26 ERA with Quad Cities and 0-0, 0.57 ERA with Palm Beach).

Leading the infield at second base is newcomer Kolten Wong, a 2011 1st round pick out of the University of Hawaii and the 5th best prospect in the organization.  Xavier Scruggs returns to Springfield after slugging 21 homers in Palm Beach and Jose Garcia (.318 and 19 steals) will be Wong’s double play partner.  Niko Vasquez also makes his return to the hot corner.  Fellow University of Hawaii product Greg Garcia will make if Double-A debut this year.

Number three Prospect Oscar Taveras will patrol the Hammons Field outfield after skipping Palm Beach entirely to make his Texas League debut in 2012.  Taveras batted .386 with eight homeruns and 62 RBI in only 78 games for Quad Cities last season.  Tommy Pham returns to Springfield after an injury plagued 2011 season and will be joined by newcomers Adam Melker, Raniel Rosario and Jake Shaffer, who was signed by the Cardinals out of the Mariners organization on March 31st.

The team arrived on Sunday and hosted the defending world champion St. Louis Cardinals Monday in a 3-2 defeat. They start the season against the Frisco RoughRiders tonight and 7:08pm! Scott Gorgen is scheduled to pitch for the Cardinals against Justin Grimm of the RoughRiders. All games in 2012 can be heard live on JOCK 98.7 FM as well as online at springfieldcardinals.com with play-by-play voice Jeff Levering.

Opening Night will feature 5,000 fans receiving a Great Southern 2012 Magnet Schedule/Picture Frames, the first of nine “Buck a Brat” $1 Johnson Bratwurst nights and everyone will enjoy a post-game Fireworks Spectacular thanks to AM Pyrotechnics.  Tickets are available by visiting the Hammons Field Ticket Office, online at www.springfieldcardinals.com or by calling (417) 863-2143.

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