The St. Louis Cardinals began working their way toward a 25-man, opening-day roster Monday by assigning 11 players to the minor leagues.
Marco Gonzales and Sandy Alcantara were the two biggest names in the roster moves.
Gonzales is coming off a 2016 Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss the entire season. As a 22-year-old rookie, he pitch 34.1 innings in the regular season and picked up two wins out of the bullpen in the 2014 playoffs.
Alcantara has shown a fastball that approaches triple-digits, making him a fast-rising prospect in the Cardinals' system. In 122 innings, he piled up 153 strikeouts and 59 walks between single-A and advanced-A leagues in 2016. Before the 2016 season, he was the no. 19 prospect in the system, but jumped all the way to no. 9 after his age 21 season.
Other players heading to Minor League rosters are infielders Eliezer Alvarez and Edmundo Sosa, pitchers Jack Flaherty, Austin Gomber, Daniel Poncedeleon and Robby Rowland and catchers Andrew Knizner, Jeremy Martinez and Dennis Ortega.
Gonzalez, Alvares and Sosa were optioned to minor-league rosters, opening up three spots on the 40-man Major League roster.