The big rumor out of St. Louis right now has nothing to do with potential trades, but rather retaining one of our own. No, not Albert Pujols. It seems that reports are circulating that the Cardinals and 25 year old left handed starter Jaime Garcia are closing on an four year extension.
Garcia was drafted in 2005 by the Cardinals and won the fifth starter’s role in spring training in 2010 after coming back from Tommy John surgery. He posted a 2.70 ERA over 28 starts and 163 innings. He also finished third in rookie of the year voting.
With Garcia being a potential “Super Two” during the offseason, one of a handful of players with more than two but less than three years of MLB service time who become arbitration eligible a year earlier. The four year deal would buy out his four years of arbitration and offer him two option years, according to the rumor. Something I’ve expected to happen this offseason, and very similar to the deal proposed to Adam Wainwright when he hit his arbitration years.
The rumored cost of the contract is a 4 year, $27.5 million deal with two option years. That puts the average annual value of the contract at $6.875 million per year. With the type of pitcher Garcia seems to be evolving into, this looks like a stellar deal for both the Cardinals and Garcia. The Cardinals lock up one of the top young pitchers in the game through the 2015 seasons and Garcia doesn’t have to worry about pitching for his next contract. Continue reading
After the news of Ryan Franklin‘s release settled yesterday, the question of who would replace him on the active roster began to get asked.
I assumed that it would be Bryan Augenstein, since he is already on the 40 man roster. Rather, the Cardinals decided to add Brandon Dickson to the roster according to a Joe Strauss tweet.
Dickson, 26, was a non-drafted free agent that signed with the Cardinals in 2006. After going 11-8 with a 3.26 ERA for Memphis last year, he got his first shot at major league hitters during this season’s Spring Training.
Once there, he struggled. In 9 innings this spring, he allowed 12 hits, issued 3 walks, and was tagged for 6 earned runs. That’s good for a 6.00 ERA and opposing hitters were teeing off at a .316 average against him.
Dickson was returned to Memphis again this year where he got off to a rough start. In April and May he had 10 starts and posted a 1-6 record and a 4.60 ERA. However, since the beginning of June, he is 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA in 5 starts and a relief apperance. He allowed fewer than 2 earned runs in 4 of those 5 starts.
Through his years in the minor leagues, Dickson has made just 9 relief appearances over the last two years. He has spent most of his time as a starter. Which, with the Cardinals saying that Lance Lynn will get an opportunity to be a regular member of the bullpen, rather than the long reliever, Dickson can fill that role and eat innings if the need arises. It should be interesting to watch how he performs.
He will become the eighth Cardinal to make his major league debut this year. Also the 11th Cardinal to get the call from the minor leagues this season. The Cardinals are also 43-38 and just a game out in the NL Central. Not to shabby for a team who was listed as the 7th worst minor league system before the season started.
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The Cardinals continued their renovation of the bullpen today as they called up Raul Valdes from Memphis and optioned Maikel Cleto back to the minor leagues.
The move really reflects just how poorly the Cardinals bullpen has pitched in recent days. Cleto, I believe, had the Cardinals’ longest active scoreless innings streak at 1.1 innings.
Valdes, however, hopefully will solidify the Cardinals’ issues against left handed batters. While he struggled in the starting rotation in Memphis, once he moved to the bullpen, he has been magic. 16.1 innings pitched, 6 hits, 1 walk, 1 earned run.
Yeah, I’ll take that.
That means the Cardinals are currently carrying three left handed relievers, which could signal that another move will be forthcoming for the Cards in the bullpen. In the Cards bullpen the left handed pitcher is really what people like to call the LOOGY, which stands for Lefty-One-Out-GuY. You bring him in against a left handed hitter to give you an out before you bring in a right handed reliever to finish the rest of the inning. This is done for matchup reasons.
The surprise news came down just over half an hour ago from the Cardinals official Twitter.
Miguel Batista has been given his unconditional release from the organization. To fill his spot on the roster, Lance Lynn has been called up from Memphis and will be available out of the bullpen tonight.
Batista, 40, was a statistical anomaly early in the season. He seemed to get hit up when given situations where men were on base, but never found himself tagged with many earned runs. Over the first two months of the season he carried a 2.01 ERA over 22.1 innings of work.
However, June has been tough on Batista who has thrown 7 innings and allowed 10 earned runs on 7 hits and 5 walks. That’s good for a 12.86 ERA over 7 appearances. Last night’s appearance seemed to be the final straw for the club as Batista failed to finish out the inning, instead getting tagged for three earned runs without recording an out.
With the release, you have to wonder if that’s the last we see of Miguel Batista in a major league uniform.
The word today is that Mitchell Boggs is on his way back to St. Louis while Lance Lynn is headed back to Memphis.
Lynn, 24, had moments of brilliance and moments of disappointment in his two major league starts. At times he would cruise through the other team, and then he would struggle. In the end, he was 1-1 with a 5.23 ERA as he threw 10 1/3 innings in his two starts.
Boggs, 27, posted a 2.45 ERA in 14 2/3 innings in Memphis over 4 starts. His demotion to the Redbirds was part of an overall play to stretch him back out as a starter just in case one of the team’s starters went down longer term. It was Boggs who was the best candidate for this move as he has both starting experience and major league experience.
But Boggs will return for the Cardinals as an off day allows the team to skip the appearance of Kyle McClellan‘s spot in the rotation next time it comes up. Boggs’ return will allow for another arm in the over worked bullpen, but apparently the Cardinals would still rather him be in Memphis starting.
What this does, though, is creates some interesting storylines when guys start coming off the disabled list. Continue reading