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Martinez lone absentee due to work visa issue


JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals had near full participation in their first pitchers-and-catchers workout of the spring on Tuesday. The only absence among the expected 36 participating players was 20-year-old righty Carlos Martinez, who remains in the Dominican Republic as he awaits a work visa.

General manager John Mozeliak said that the Cardinals have been in contact with Major League Baseball in hopes that the MLB office can help expedite the visa approval process.

Martinez was among the non-roster players invited to participate in Major League camp. Though he is not in competition for a big league roster spot, the Cardinals were looking forward to having Martinez spend a few weeks shadowing the organization's more experienced pitchers.

"Right now, if it's just a few days or a week, it's not the end of the world," Mozeliak said of Martinez's tardiness. "But if this thing drags into March then obviously it's a huge concern. We'll cross that bridge when we get there."

The Cardinals are also anticipating a visa hang-up with infielder Ronny Cedeno, who is coming from Venezuela. Mozeliak said that Cedeno's delay is due to the fact that the middle infielder did not sign until late January. The Cardinals' position players are supposed to report to Jupiter by the end of the day on Thursday.

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