Originally written on Cardinals Farm  |  Last updated 1/21/14
On Tuesday, the Cardinals announced their non-roster invitees to Spring Training. Lets take a look at who was invited and why they received invites. Who: Pitchers Marco Gonzales, Lee Stoppelman, Jordan Swagerty, Tim Cooney, Sam Gaviglio, Zach Petrick, and Jose Almarante. Infielders Xavier Scruggs, Luis Mateo, Scott Moore, and Patrick Wisdom. Outfielders James Ramsey and Stephen Piscotty. Catchers Ed Easley, Carson Kelly, Travis Tartamella, Casey Rasmus, and Cody Stanley. Why: Minor leaguers are invited to big league spring training for a couple of reasons. It allows them to face tough competition and they get the best coaching in the system. While the big league 25-man roster is almost set, this is valuable time for the young players. Many, if not all, of these players will eventually return to minor league camp to receive more playing time during spring. When: Pitchers and catchers will report on February 12th with the first full squad workout on February 18th. The first spring training game is February 28th against their Jupiter facility-mates the Miami Marlins. Players to Watch:  Xavier Scruggs may be getting his last shot in the Cardinals organization and could be considered a deep sleeper for a future 40-man roster spot. Scruggs has tons of power and can get on base, but is limited with his strikeouts and lack of positional flexibility. Jordan Swagerty should be 100% for the first time since Spring Training 2012. Once thought of as a “can’t miss” prospect, Swagerty looks to rebound from a tough 2013. 2013 Minor  League Pitcher of the Year Zach Petrick enters camp as a household name. He looks to build on his huge 2013 success and has his sights on a future major league debut either late in 2014 or 2015. Middler infielder Luis Mateo earns his first big league invite and has his sights set on the starting second base job for the Memphis Redbirds. Mateo is a plus defender who has struggled at the plate after hitting 12 home runs in 2012 for the Low-A Peoria Chiefs. Minor League Management Shuffles Erik Pappas was named the hitting coach of the Double-A Springfield Cardinals, replacing Phillip Wellman who took a position within the Los Angeles Angels organization. Pappas was with the Peoria Chiefs in 2013 and will be replaced by Jobel Jimenez. Jimenez has been with the Cardinals since 2007 and was the hitting coach for the Gulf Coast Cardinals last season. Replacing Jimenez will be Kleininger Teran. Follow me on Twitter @CardinalsFarm or on Facebook. If you have any questions, you can e-mail me at john@cardinalsfarm.com.
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