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Cardinals announce minor-league opening day rosters; Walker at Class AA Springfield, McGreevy starting for High-A Peoria

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St. Louis Cardinals start day 3 of team workouts in Jupiter

St. Louis Cardinals non-roster infielder Jordan Walker throws during individual defensive drills on the third day of team workouts on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, at the Cardinals spring training facility in Jupiter, Fla. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

JUPITER, Fla — Minor-league opening day has arrived, and along with that, finalized rosters for all four Cardinals affiliates. The 2022 minor-league season begins Tuesday night with Class AAA Memphis opening up at home versus Braves Class AAA affiliate Gwinnett. The remaining Cardinals affiliates will open up their campaigns on Friday.

Along with some probable opening day starters, these a few of the notable names that highlight the Cardinals minor-leaguer opening day rosters at each level:

Class AAA Memphis: Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. against Gwinnett

Probable opening day starter: Right-hander T.J. Zeuch

Zeuch will get the start in the Memphis Redbirds season opener versus Gwinnett after he went 4-3 with a 4.39 ERA across 96 1/3 innings in Class AAA last season. The righty spent the first half of the 2021 season with Class AAA Buffalo during his time in the Blue Jays developmental system. He was acquired by the Cardinals when the club traded for him in exchange for cash. He also logged 15 innings of work and gave up 16 runs (11 earned) in the major-leagues with Toronto in 2021.

Notable roster inclusions: Utilityman Brendan Donovan, infielder/outfielder Juan Yepez, infielder Nolan Gorman, outfielder Alec Burleson, left-handed pitchers Matthew Liberatore and Zack Thompson, and right-handed pitcher Connor Thomas

Class AA Springfield: Friday, 6:35 p.m. against Northwest Arkansas

Probable opening day starter: Right-hander Connor Lunn

Lunn spent his entire 2021 season with Class High-A Peoria where he made 23 starts and threw 120 1/3 innings. He went 6-8 with a 3.96 ERA and had a .700 strike percentage for his 1,810 total pitches thrown. The 2021 season was his first full season of minor-league baseball since getting drafted by the Cardinals with the 335th overall pick in the 2019 draft. The University of Southern California product led Peoria’s qualified pitcher with a 1.14 WHIP a season ago.

Notable roster inclusions: Third baseman Jordan Walker, first baseman Todd Lott, shortstop Delvin Perez and third baseman Malcom Nunez

Walker headlines this group as he makes the leap from playing in both Class Low-A and High-A last year. Walker slashed .317/.388/.548 with 14 homers and 44 RBIs. He also stole 14 bases and drew 33 walks. Getting to Class AA is a notable step for the 19-year-old’s development considering some current major-league stars reached that level at the same age. Current MLB players who reached Class AA by the time they were 19 years old include Angels Mike Trout, Nationals Juan Soto and Padres Fernando Tatis Jr.

Class High-A Peoria: Friday, 6:40 p.m. against Wisconsin

Probable opening day starter: Right-hander Michael McGreevy

The Cardinals first round pick from a year ago is lined up to get the opening day nod for the Chiefs as when they take on Wisconsin on the road. McGreevy’s minor-league opening day start will be just his eighth start of professional baseball. Drafted with the 18th overall pick in 2021, the University of California-Santa Barbara product gave up eight runs in 7 2/3 innings after he spent time in the Florida Complex League and with Class Low-A Palm Beach.

Notable roster inclusions: Infielder Masyn Winn and right-handed pitchers Gordon Graceffo and Ian Bedell, and outfielder Jhon Torres

Class Low-A Palm Beach: Friday, 5:30 p.m. against Jupiter

Probable opening day starter: Right-hander Inohan Paniagua

The 2022 season marks the third year in the minors for Paniagua. He finished last year with a 3.88 ERA in 46 1/3 innings and made 16 appearances (five starts). He lowered his hits allowed per nine innings from 10.80 in 2019 to a 7.19 mark a season ago. He also raised his strikeouts per nine innings from a 7.85 mark in 2019 to 12.04 last year. Since signing with the Cardinals in 2017, the 22-year-old has a 4.71 ERA through his minors career.

Notable roster inclusions: Outfielder Ryan Holgate

Some notable exclusions from Palm Beach’s roster include outfielder Joshua Baez and right-hander Tink Hence. Cardinals minor-leaguers not on opening day rosters, like Baez, will continue their preseason as a part of the extended spring training in Jupiter, Fla. 

Daniel Guerrero

@TheDanielGuerrero on Twitter

dguerrerro@post-dispatch.com

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