Redbird Dugout 2013

Maybe this is a little bit of a State of the Blog post. While the 2012 season was not successful as the 2011 season was in terms of visitors to the blog, I was unable to be as reliable with posting as I wanted. That left me contemplating several options going into this offseason. After two years had my blog run it’s course? No, I was still interested in writing about the Cardinals. I wanted to have a blog, I wanted to have a place to share. So the goal became finding a way where I could maintain the blog like I felt it needed to be maintained, but still not completely ignore my job and my wife.

So here comes my plan for Redbird Dugout in 2013. Less conventional blogging, more shorter posts. The idea is that it’s more like a Tumblr-style where posts aren’t as long, but posts may be more frequent and more focused on one simple thought. While I’m sure there will be the occasional 1,000+ word missive, I’m expecting those to be rare, maybe once a week at most. The Tumblr-style will also allow me to feel like I can share more baseball related things I find. A funny baseball image? Post that up. A good quote from someone? Post that up too.

With the conventional style, the pressure was on to treat it like I would a regular sports website. At least it was from myself. The change should help.

We are up with the new format right now. There is still a few little display fixes yet to do, but for the most part, the base site is now ready. I’m excited for what 2013 can hold for Redbird Dugout and hopefully it’s closer to 2011 success than 2012’s failures. Preview season will start soon and we’ve got just 47 days until baseball is played again. The excitement is building.

Cards take two in Rule 5 Draft

The Cardinals were quiet in the Major League portion of Thursday morning’s Rule 5 Draft, but took two players in the Triple-A portion. The St. Louis Cardinals added infielder Matt Cerda and left handed pitcher Jay Voss. The organization also lost Stephen Hill who was selected by the Oakland Athletics. Since Voss and Cerda were selected in the Triple-A portion of the draft, they only need to remain in Triple-A.

Cerda, 22, was a 4th round pick of the 2008 draft by the Chicago Cubs out of high school. He has spent time through the years playing second and third base as well as a little catcher. Last year he hit .266/.394/.355 with 3 HR and 15 RBI for the Cubs’ Double-A affiliate Tennessee Smokies.

I’d expect Cerda to end up playing mostly third base as the Cardinals’ Kolten Wong will spend his time at second base. The organization has had a hole at third base since Matt Carpenter made the opening day roster last year. Zack Cox has also been traded, creating another hole. He fills a need and I like his on base percentage alot. Plus he seems to be a pretty good second baseman defensively by the numbers.
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Cards add Randy Choate

The winter meetings were going rather quiet for the St. Louis Cardinals. Until today, that is. The Cardinals have agreed to terms on a $7.5 million, 3 year deal with 37-year-old veteran left hander Randy Choate pending a physical. The deal solidifies the bullpen from the left side as he will pair with 27-year-old Marc Rzepczynski.

Entering the offseason the Cardinals hadn’t spent good money on a left handed reliever in a few years, and it has shown. It was one of the primary issues that the organization needed to address in the offseason, if not the primary one (though I labelled it key #2 in a previous post). I had the feeling entering the offseason that John Mozeliak was as tired as I was at dumpster diving for a fringe left handed reliever and hoping you could work magic and squeeze a year or two of performance out of him. It was time to get a reliable arm.

Choate is not the player I was hoping the Cardinals would add, and after Sean Burnett went to the Angels on an $8 million, 2 year deal when I thought he’d get $12 million over 2 years, I’m even a little more frustrated. Burnett is one of those lefties that can pitch both ways. And yes, while we have our seventh, eighth, and ninth innings locked up, if an opposing manager tries to play matchups late in the game, Burnett is the kind of pitcher you can leave in there so you don’t burn through your bullpen in a single inning. However, if you are looking for a straight up Lefty-One-Out-GuY (or LOOGY), Choate was one of the best on the market this offseason.
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Cardinals release 2013 Spring Training schedule

The St. Louis Cardinals are just 85 days from playing baseball once again. The team released their 2013 Spring Training schedule that begins on February 23rd, 2013, as the visiting team in Jupiter against the Miami Marlins. Their preparatory slate of games will finish up in Port St. Lucie against the New York Mets on March 29th.

The Cardinals will play 32 games over the 35 day span and finish up with 9 straight as they prepare to begin the 2013 season against the Diamondbacks on April 1st.

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McClellan released, Johnson signed

It’s the end of the road in a Cardinals uniform for Kyle McClellan. Officially, anyway. We knew it for quite some time. In fact, even McClellan knew it, saying when he had surgery this summer that he figured his time with the organization was over.

GM John Mozeliak informed McClellan of his release today, a week ahead of the team’s deadline to tender offers to it’s arbitration eligible pitchers. McClellan, 28, is one of those players. There were a combination of factors that led to this point.

McClellan’s arm has caused him issues for the past year, culminating in a labrum repair in July. MLB rules prohibit McClellan’s salary from dropped more than 20%, meaning he would have been due at least $2 million this offseason. The team acquired Edward Mujica at the trade deadline and took the reins of the 7th inning role that was to be McClellan’s this year. And finally, the team could use that $2 million elsewhere this offseason as they are projected to once again surpass the $110 million mark in Opening Day payroll.
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