Remembering Recent Non-Roster Invitees Who Have Made the St. Louis Cardinals’ Opening Day Roster

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St. Louis Cardinals Jack Flaherty
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Scott Spiezio, UTIL, 2006

After two disastrous seasons with the Seattle Mariners—including a 2005 campaign where he went 3-for-47 (.064) at the plate—Scott Spiezio was available to the Cardinals as a minor-league free agent in 2006. The 33-year-old earned his way onto the Opening Day roster with an impressive spring training, and he went on to have the best season of his career during the Cardinals’ World Series campaign.

Tony La Russa took advantage of Spiezio’s exceptional versatility, starting him at four positions—first base, second base, third base, and left field—as well as at designated hitter during interleague play. Spiezio was a major weapon at the plate, hitting .272/.366/.496 with 13 homers and 52 RBI in 321 plate appearances. That performance earned him a two-year, $4.5 million-dollar deal, and though he put up decent numbers in 2007 (a .269/.354/.386 slash line with four homers and 31 RBI), he missed more than a month while dealing with a substance abuse problem. He was released that winter as he dealt with legal trouble, bringing his Cardinals career to an unceremonious end.

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