St. Louis Cardinals: Spring Training roster released

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Cardinals expect to see 22 non-roster invitees, pitchers and catchers to report February 17, first game slated for March 3 against Miami

We are getting there, Cardinal fans. Three weeks from now, Cardinal pitchers and catchers will report at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, and baseball season will have officially begun. All of the off-season misery, namely Mizzou football and basketball  in my experience, will be a distant memory and it will be baseball time once again.

Cardinal fans that are lucky enough to take in the experience first hand will get first dibs at seeing how injury guys from last year look ahead of 2016. They will get to check in on the progression of the Cardinals of tomorrow, and they will get a chance to see new faces in their first action in a Cardinals uniform. Cardinal fans will get their first look at the likes of Seung-Hwan Oh, Mike Leake, and backup catcher Brayan Pena. They will also get the chance to check in on the rehab process that Yadier Molina goes through as he recovers from multiple thumb surgeries.

The position battle between Brandon Moss and Matt Adams will get underway, and fans will have their first opportunity to form an opinion on who they believe should handle first base duties.

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In all, there will be 22-non roster invitees in Jupiter this spring, meaning that they have been invited to camp but are not a part of the team’s 40-man roster. Among those invitees that have spent time in the Cardinal organization include catching prospect Carson Kelly, and infield prospects Jacob Wilson and Patrick Wisdom.

Non-roster invitee headliners that are new to the organization include pitcher Jeremy Hefner, catcher Eric Fryer and  outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker.

Hefner threw 224 1/3 innings with the Mets between 2013 and 2014 with a 4.65 ERA. He is trying to come back from a pair of Tommy John surgeries, the first taking place in the summer of 2013 and the second occurring in October of 2014.

Fryer, a 30-year-old catcher, has appeared in 65 Major League games between Pittsburgh and Minnesota. He has a .243 average with two home runs in 140 career at-bats.

Hazelbaker is a former fourth-round pick of the Boston Red Sox and sports a career .264 batting average.

Next: Who plays first base in 2016?

The rest of the 2016 Spring Training non-roster invitees can be found on the Cardinals official website. Thanks to Fox Sports Midwest and KMOX radio, there will be broadcast coverage of every Spring Training game as well.

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