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The increasingly homegrown St. Louis Cardinals

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

Pete Kozma is now in line to be the Cardinals' starting shortstop. (Getty Images)

On Tuesday, the Cardinals opted to part ways with infielder Ronny Cedeno (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). The move means that Pete Kozma will, barring injury, open the 2013 season as the Cardinals' starting shortstop. With that in mind, let's have a look at this probable opening-day lineup.

1 - Jon Jay, CF
2 - Carlos Beltran, RF
3 - Matt Holliday, LF
4 - Allen Craig, 1B
5 - Yadier Molina, C
6 - David Freese, 3B
7 - Matt Carpenter, 2B
8 - Pete Kozma, SS

For those counting, that's five of eight lineup members who were drafted/signed and developed by the Cardinals. The exceptions are Holliday (trade), Beltran (free agency) and Freese (trade).

Now consider that three of the five rotation spots will likely to go to homegrown Cardinals (Jaime Garcia, Lance Lynn and Shelby Miller). Of the five bench players who figure to be rostered, only one -- Ty Wigginton -- isn't a Cardinal lifer. The bullpen? Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs, Trevor Rosenthal and Fernando Salas all came up through the Cardinal system.

Add it all up, and of the 25 players likely to be named to the active roster, 16 are homegrown Cardinals. Yes, 64 percent of the Cardinals 25-man is homegrown. Throw in Freese and Wainwright, who were acquired via trade as minor-leaguers, and 72 percent of the Cardinals roster has spent all or part of their formative minor-league years in the system.

In the free-agent era, that's a point of distinction, and for the Cardinals it's a point of pride.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook. Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: @MattSnyder27, @daynperry and @mikeaxisa.

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