Cards add pair of pitchers

The St. Louis Cardinals made a depth move today, adding veteran pitchers Miguel Batista and Ian Snell on minor league contracts.

Batista, 39, spent last season as a reliever for the Washington Nationals where he posted a 3.70 ERA in 57 relief appearances and 1 start. That start was a spot start taking the place of Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg. Batista has served time in the majors as both a reliever and a starter for several different teams. The Cardinals will be his 10th major league club.

Snell, 29, has struggled at the major league level for the most part. He did post 14 wins in 2006 as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates rotation. Snell went 0-5 with a 6.41 ERA in 8 starts and 4 relief appearances.

Both pitchers are reported to have clauses to get out of their contracts if they do not make the major league roster out of spring training.

Personally, I think Batista stands a better chance of making the team. He has experienced success both in the bullpen and as a starting pitcher. Plus he was successful just one year ago. I like that move. However, he is competing for a right handed spot in an already crowded field of talented right handed relievers. Batista’s advantage would be his starting ability.

I don’t quite understand the Snell signing, but my guess is that he would be more likely to decline a release and accept an assignment to Memphis if it came to that. There’s already talk that he’s the next Dave Duncan project.

However, both are minor league contracts so they are low risk and high reward if these guys pan out. The question would be, what do the Cardinals do if Snell does enough to earn a rotation spot and Kyle Lohse doesn’t? Do they sit Lohse’s nearly $12 million salary?