The Triple-A Memphis Redbirds will begin their 2013 season tonight at Auto Zone Park against the Oklahoma City Redhawks, an affiliate of the Houston Astros. Major league third baseman David Freese will be in town, expected to begin a rehab stint this weekend, which will be a treat for Memphis fans. John Gast, talked about as one of the Cardinals’ best left handed pitching prospects, will get the opening day start. He struggled in Memphis last season but will be looking for redemption.
The April 1st roster released by the team features seven players who are on the Cardinals’ 40 man roster. Left handed outfielder Adron Chambers is the only position player. Joining him are right handed pitchers Maikel Cleto, Victor Marte, Eduardo Sanchez, Eric Fornataro, and Jorge Rondon. Left handed reliever Sam Freeman will also start the season there.
The Memphis team will also feature 2012 first round pick Michael Wacha and 2011 first round pick Kolten Wong. Wacha will start in the rotation while Wong will play second base. It also has the #3 prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball America in Oscar Taveras. Continue reading
It was a pretty weird series against the Diamondbacks and it was capped off by a marathon game that sent most Cardinal fans to bed before completion.
There’s a good energy around the Diamondbacks already just three games into the season. My favorite hockey team, the Ottawa Senators, have been calling themselves the “Pesky Sens” this season as they hang around in games and find a way to win them, despite having lost their two best players and starting goalie to injuries. I get that same feeling with this team.
The team worked towards a little makeover in the offseason. Traded Justin Upton and brought in guys who fit manager Kirk Gibson’s desired style of play, a grinding style where they play hard until the final out is tallied. That’s something Cardinals fans ought to be able to respect, it’s the same type of play we appreciate. And grind they did. Continue reading
After an offseason of uncertainty around Adam Wainwright’s future with the Cardinals, the team put that to rest today, introducing Wainwright’s new deal. The team’s number one pitcher put ink on a reported 5 year, $97 million extension that will keep the 31 year old righthander in Cardinal red through 2018. He’ll be 37 the next time he’s scheduled for free agency.
The deal means that he’ll keep pitching to the guy pictured with him, Yadier Molina, for at least the next five years. Molina signed his own five year extension last offseason now making it two years in a row the team has sealed up it’s biggest pending free agent to a longterm extension, spoiling the thoughts of those who figured letting Albert Pujols walk was a sign of things to come for the team.
The new deal will pay Wainwright $19.5 million per year in average annual value and begin in the 2014 season. When you consider the deals that top caliber pitching have been getting in free agency, you have to think that Wainwright left an awful lot on the table in negotiations. The opinion of many is that if he were to turn in a Wainwright-like season this year, he could have easily grabbed $23-25 million per year in free agency. Continue reading
In a surprise move to me, the St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have unconditionally released shortstop Ronny Cedeno. The move leaves Pete Kozma uncontested as the primary shortstop entering the season and opens up a spot on the bench which is expected to be filled by slugging first baseman Matt Adams.
Cedeno, 30, was signed by the Cardinals less than two months ago to a 1 year, $1.15 million contract. He was brought onboard as insurance in the event that Rafael Furcal would be unable to be the team’s regular shortstop and that Pete Kozma’s September was just a lightning strike. Furcal headed for the surgeon’s table, but Kozma was struck twice as he is hitting .318 so far this spring.
On the other hand, Cedeno struggled early but has come on as of late, hitting .290 with a double and a home run. Defensively he has committed 2 errors in his 45 innings at shortstop. The same number as Kozma has in twice as many innings at the position. Continue reading
With the Cardinals getting into the final two weeks of camp, the final jostling for spots on the roster are beginning to take shape. For the Cardinals they have a handful of positions up for grabs. There’s the fifth spot in the rotation that is up for grabs after Chris Carpenter‘s injury. There’s a bullpen spot or two. There’s a couple spots potentially up for grabs on the bench as well.
Today we’ll look at the fifth spot in the rotation. Many, including myself, believe that this was Shelby Miller‘s spot the moment Carpenter called John Mozeliak back in February and told him he wasn’t going to be able to pitch. I’m sure none of us have forgotten that Miller took a no-hitter into the 6th inning of his starting debut on the final day of the season against the Cincinnati Reds.
Miller has struggled, however. Baseball America’s #6 prospect carries a 7.04 ERA over the 7 2/3 innings that he’s thrown. With 10 hits and 2 walks paired with 8 strikeouts, he’s plainly struggled. His worst outing was his last when he allowed 3 earned runs over 2 2/3 innings. In fact he has progressively gotten worse in each start. That may spell him beginning the season in Memphis to get back into the groove he was in the second half of last year when he was dominating the Pacific Coast League and then came up and did it in the big leagues. Continue reading