Cardinals release Muñoz, assign 13 players to minors

Yairo Muñoz batted .273 with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs in 465 at-bats over the last two seasons with St. Louis.
Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals‘ spring roster reduction began Saturday with the release of Yairo Muñoz and the assignment of 13 players to the minor leagues.

Muñoz, 25, was placed on unconditional release waivers. The infielder, who was expected to secure a spot on the St. Louis bench, spent most of the last two seasons with the Cardinals, batting .273 with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs in 465 at-bats in a utility role.

Muñoz suffered an injured hamstring in his final spring appearance.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Muñoz left the club without warning and flew home to the Dominican Republic without explanation.

“Last week, he hopped on a plane and flew to the Dominican Republic, unbeknownst to us,” Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak told the newspaper. “Trying to determine what is the next, best step, we just decided based on what we’re hearing from his agent maybe cutting ties make the most sense. He just wasn’t happy here, and was frustrated with how he was used last year. Didn’t like the writing on the wall that he was seeing this year.”

The other moves by the club:

• Pitcher Ricardo Sánchez and infielder Elehuris Montero were optioned to Double-A Springfield.

• Pitcher Alvaro Seijas was optioned to Class A Palm Beach.

• Ten non-roster invitees were reassigned to the club’s minor league camp: pitchers Akeem Bostick, Nabil Crismatt, Seth Elledge, Alex FaGalde, Griffin Roberts, Angel Rondón and Ramón Santos, infielder Luken Baker and catchers Julio Rodríguez and Alexis Wilson.

The Cardinals’ now have 57 players in major league camp.