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.
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.
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.
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.
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.