St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training: Pitcher Francisco Samuel Released

The St. Louis Cardinals have released relief pitcher Francisco Samuel, as B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest reported on Wednesday. Samuel was once considered one of the Cardinals' better prospects.

A few years ago, Samuel was part of a contingent of impressive St. Louis relief pitcher prospects that also included names like Chris Perez, Jason Motte and Jess Todd. Now 25, Samuel has always battled major command issues that haven't really improved over time.

Last season, Samuel posted a brutal 12.21 ERA with 17 strikeouts and 16 walks over 14 innings with Triple-A Memphis. Other than a breakout 2008 during which he posted a 2.83 ERA across two levels as a 21-year-old, the pitcher's minor league performance has been simply brutal.

Over 213 minor league innings, Samuel has a 5.66 career ERA with 270 strikeouts and 204 walks.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more in-depth coverage of the Cardinals, head over to Viva El Birdos. And for more from around the world of baseball, visit Baseball Nation.

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