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

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Scott Rovak- USA TODAY Sports /
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Joe Thurston
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Joe Thurston, UTIL, 2009

After Troy Glaus underwent major shoulder surgery in January of 2009 and left the Cardinals without a third baseman, they brought a trio of players north to split the third base duties. In addition to David Freese and Brian Barden, that group included Thurston, a then-29-year-old who had bounced around baseball after previously being a highly-regarded Los Angeles Dodgers prospect.

Thurston made the Cardinals’ roster more because of his defensive versatility than for his skills at the plate (he had a .239 batting average and .645 OPS during spring training), but he performed capably for the club throughout the course of the 2009 season. Over 124 games, Thurston hit .225/.316/.330 with 25 RBI while seeing defensive action at third base, second base, and in left field. He would play just one more MLB game after leaving the Cardinals following that season, but he got a solid chunk of playing time for a Cards team that won 91 games and advanced to the first round of the playoffs.

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