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Cards add Batista, Snell

The Cardinals added a pair of depth arms on Friday, according to a team announcement.

It wasn't exactly the announcement of the signing of Albert Pujols fans were hoping to hear on the eve of the Winter Warm-Up. But the Redbirds rotation and bullpen could certainly use the safety net.

Signed to minor league contracts are Miguel Batista and Ian Snell.

Batista, 40 next month, pitched for Washington in 2010 and put together a 1-2 record with a 3.70 ERA in 82 2/3 innings. He struck out 55 and walked 39 while allowing 71 hits. Batista will likley have a shot to make the Cardinals bullpen in 2011.

Cardinals fans may best remember Batista as the guy who started a bench clearing brawl at Busch Stadium when he pitched for the Diamonbacks in April 2003. The former Cubs pitcher plunked St. Louis first baseman Tino Martinez with a pitch then stared at him as Martinez made his way to first base. Cooler heads briefly prevailed. But when Martinez was forced out at second, Batista said something to him on the way to the dugout and Tino headed to the mound. Batista threw the baseball at Martinez and then backpeddled away from the St. Louis first sackers punches as the benches empties.

Snell, 29, won 14 games for the 2006 Pirates. But that's his only trip into double figures in the wins category. Overall, he's 38-53 with a 4.80 ERA. He started eight games in 2010 and was 0-5 with a 6.41 ERA. He seems destined to be the club's sixth starter while working out the kinks in Memphis. But his rapidly declining numbers -- he struck out 177 in 208 innings in 2007 but has a nearly 1:1 strikeouts to walks ratio the last two years -- combined with his Pirates pedigree keep steering my thought to Kip Wells.

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