I had the pleasure on Friday evening of being the latest victim of Daniel Shoptaw’s (C70 at the Bat) podcast, Conversations with C70. We talked about how I became a baseball fan, some of my favorite baseball memories, blogging, and the current state of the Cardinals. You can hit up the podcast below.
“The sky is falling!” That’s been the common sentiment I’ve seen over the last couple days, since the news came that shortstop Rafael Furcal is still feeling the effects of the elbow injury he sustained last season and has been shut down. News came out yesterday that he’s going to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion after meeting with the team’s doctor on Monday. Odds are ever increasing that he won’t break camp with the Cardinals and will begin the 2013 season on the disabled list.
The Cardinals were caught with their pants down for failing to acquire a big name shortstop in the offseason. They should have babysat Furcal through the winter to make sure they knew how the arm was. The season is doomed. We need to mash the panic button and trade everyone away for Troy Tulowitzki.
Those have been some of the statements I’ve seen Cardinals fans making over the last couple days. There may be some truth to the statements, but they aren’t all truth. They are worth considering. Continue reading
The St. Louis Cardinals made their first cuts of spring training today, sending catchers Adam Ehrlich and Jesus Montero, along with infielder Starlin Rodriguez to minor league camp. The team may make additional cuts over the next couple days with minor league spring training expected to begin March 6th.
Ehrlich has appeared in 3 games and has walked in both of his plate appearances. Montero has appeared once and struck out in his only plate appearance. Rodriguez has gotten the most playing time, appearing in three games going 1-for-4 with a double.
The move leaves 55 players remaining in camp, you can check to see who is left on my Spring Roster page.
Back from a 50 game suspension for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, Cody Stanley received an invite to Spring Training thanks to being a catcher. Stanley, 24, was a fourth round pick out of the 2010 MLB Draft out of UNC-Wilmington. Scout.com lists him as the Cardinals’ #26 prospect.
He played last year mostly in Palm Beach where he put up a .280/.300/.401 line in 45 games after returning from suspension. His plate discipline seems to be questionable as he walked just six times in 180 plate appearances last year. He’s said to have average tools with athleticism being his best attribute. He’s also been called very raw and an eager learner.
Stanley seems to have everything you’d need to put together a long career, but can he put all those tools together in a package that teams want? That’s my question about Stanley. He wouldn’t play for me though without a better batting eye.
Starlin Rodriguez is a switch hitting second baseman from the Dominican Republic. He actually originally signed for the 2009 season with the Tampa Bay Rays and played 8 games for them in the Dominican Summer League before he failed a physical and the team voided his contract. That led to him being signed that fall by the Cardinals.
Last year in Palm Beach for the Cardinals he hit .300/.373/.442 with 8 HR and 48 RBI in 114 games. Over his four seasons in the minors he’s hit .293/.364/.419. It’s probably good enough to get the jump to Double-A ball. The team obviously thinks enough of him to bring him to major league camp, perhaps in the hopes that it’ll help his learning curve being around veteran players.
He’s a guy that doesn’t get a lot of press, but comes across as a very toolsy player who could be very good if he can bring it all together. He is 23 years old, so he doesn’t have much time for setbacks. And he is about to make what I feel is the key jump in the minor leagues, from A ball to AA. He just needs to keep progressing and maybe he could make Kolten Wong‘s life interesting in a couple years if he puts it together.
Too bad he doesn’t play shortstop.
The Cardinals announced today that they have signed General Manager John Mozeliak to a three year extension that will run through the 2016 season. Also, they have picked up the option year on Mike Matheny‘s contract which keeps him the skipper of the team through 2014.
Mozeliak inherited a 78 win team in 2007, a team that was mostly aging stars on offense and was missing Chris Carpenter. Since then, the team has had five straight winning seasons, one of just two teams to have accomplished that (Yankees being the other). His teams have also gone to two straight National League Championship Series’ and the future still seems as bright as ever.
Matheny will be entering his sophomore season as manager and led the team to an 88-74 record last season. He managed a team that lost Albert Pujols to free agency, as well as Chris Carpenter and Lance Berkman for most of the year with injury and still finished just two games worse than the Cardinals’ did the year before. He also had the Cardinals one win away from a second straight World Series trip. Continue reading