ST. LOUIS -- As part of the countdown to the start of Spring Training, cardinals.com continues its series of stories designed to examine various issues, address important questions and spotlight players who could be critical to the Cardinals' success in 2016.
After highlighting a group of bounce-back candidates and some new faces, it's time to identify some prospects to keep an eye on this spring. Considering only those invited to Major League camp, here are five worth watching:
This is the final installment in a six-part Around the Horn series that has taken a position-by-position look at the Cardinals' projected starters and backup options heading into Spring Training. After previously highlighting the club's catchers, infielders (middle and corner), outfielders and starting pitchers, let's wrap up with an examination of the team's relief options.
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals, though not exceptionally active this winter, did prioritize a bullpen rebuild in hopes of avoiding the same workload issues that cost the club late last season.
ST. LOUIS -- As a countdown to the start of Spring Training, cardinals.com continues with a series of stories designed to examine various issues, address important questions and spotlight players who could be critical to the Cardinals' success.
After highlighting a group of bounce-back candidates in the first installment of this series, it's time to take a look at the organization's fresh faces. The Cardinals feature six players on their 40-man roster who were signed and/or acquired from other clubs this offseason. Here is a look at each of the six:
ST. LOUIS -- Contrary to what the below-freezing temperatures and snow-frosted ground may suggest, there was evidence of spring blooming at Busch Stadium on Thursday.
The first of two moving trucks bound for the Cardinals' Spring Training complex in Jupiter, Fla., was loaded by 11 a.m. CT on Thursday, one week before the team is scheduled to hold its first workout for pitchers and catchers. That truck, which will carry approximately 22,000 pounds of equipment and personal belongings, headed south alongside a second one, loaded up on Friday.
Longtime closer in Korea, Japan will serve as Cardinals' setup man in 2016
By Jenifer Langosch
ST. LOUIS -- Seung Hwan Oh, the South Korean reliever signed by the Cardinals last month, has received his work visa and is expected to report on Jupiter, Fla., on time for the start of Cardinals Spring Training.
Recent reports out of Oh's home country speculated that the 33-year-old may be delayed from traveling to the U.S. because of an extended visa application process. But he had his interview with South Korean officials late last week, and he has now received the necessary paperwork to travel.
ST. LOUIS -- With their offseason work completed, the Cardinals will begin their defense of three consecutive National League Central Division titles next week, as players and staff gather together again at the team's spring complex in Jupiter, Fla.
Pitchers and catchers must report by Feb. 17, and the club's first full-squad workout will take place the following week. In the days leading up to those early workouts, Cardinals.com will offer a series of stories to examine issues and questions that should gain clarity during the team's time in Florida.
In February 1982, McKeon traded Ozzie from Padres to Cardinals
By Doug Miller
It was December 1981, and Jack McKeon had yet another situation on his hands.
It had only taken McKeon, then the general manager of the San Diego Padres, one offseason on the job to build such a significant reputation as a wheeler and dealer that he had earned the nickname "Trader Jack," and now he was faced with another potential mega-trade.
This is the fifth installment in a six-part Around the Horn series that will take a position-by-position look at the Cardinals' projected starters and backup options heading into Spring Training. After previously looking at the club's catching depth, corner infield, middle infield and outfield options, let's examine the group of starting pitchers.
ST. LOUIS -- Anchored by their rotation a year ago, the Cardinals enter 2016 hopeful of both rebound and repeat seasons. They'll need both, too, in order to match the success of a 2015 rotation that was baseball's best.
On the heels of South Korean reliever Seung Hwan Oh signing with the Cardinals, MLB.com began an examination of the organization's decade-long journey back into the Asian market. Earlier installments of this three-part series included a look at the foundation the organization built in Asia, and an inspection of the nuances of scouting there. In this final installment, MLB.com will trace the road to signing Oh and examine what that signing could mean for the organization's future in this market.
ST. LOUIS -- Almost seven years before they would make him the organization's first Asian-born signee since So Taguchi in 2002, the Cardinals laid eyes on a then-26-year-old South Korean reliever pitching inside San Diego's Petco Park in March 2009.
ST. LOUIS -- Now two weeks out from the Cardinals' first spring workout, it's once again time to address some of the topics most on your mind. As a reminder to those wishing to submit questions for the next Inbox, please include your name and hometown.
With Aledmys Diaz, Charlie Tilson, Anthony Garcia, etc., added to the 40-man roster, what prospects will we most likely see debut this year? How close are Alex Reyes and Luke Weaver?
-- Parker K., Alma, Ark.
On the heels of South Korean reliever Seung Hwan Oh signing with the Cardinals, MLB.com began an examination of the organization's decade-long journey back into the Asian market. This three-part series began on Monday with a look into why the Cardinals returned to Asia and how they went about structuring their process and resources there. In this second installment, MLB.com explores the logistics of scouting talent in Asia and the near-misses that preceded Oh.
ST. LOUIS -- However deliberate the Cardinals may have been in creating a process that they believe can help evaluate and attract players from Asia, so much about the scouting process in that market remains a guessing game.
Dizzy and Daffy Dean's shoes helped keep 'em straight
By Ben Cosman |
Dizzy and Daffy Dean were not twins. Dizzy was two years older and began his career four years before his brother. They didn't even look that similar -- the eldest Dean with a slightly rounder face than his brother, Daffy with a more prominent chin. It wouldn't be impossible to keep the two straight, in other words.
ST. LOUIS -- This is the fourth installment in a six-part Around the Horn series that will take a position-by-position look at the Cardinals' projected starters and backup options heading into Spring Training. After previously looking at the club's catching depth, corner infield and middle infield options, let's examine the outfield choices.
In taking his talents to Chicago, Jason Heyward presented the Cardinals with an opportunity to pivot in their outfield plans. But in resorting to Plan B, the Cardinals stayed within, preferring to let Randal Grichuk (center field) and Stephen Piscotty (right field) assume everyday roles alongside the team's venerable veteran, Matt Holliday.
With Cubs anointed as favorites, Wainwright, talented squad should be plenty motivated
By Richard Justice
I'm guessing the St. Louis Cardinals are absolutely thrilled that some of us have already conceded the National League Central to the Chicago Cubs. The Cardinals? They're playing for second place -- or third. You can look it up.
Do you think Cards manager Mike Matheny sees this as a gift? Competitive people love this stuff. They feed off being doubted. It motivates them every single day. How about Matt Holliday and Adam Wainwright? Think they're conceding anything to the Cubs?
On the heels of South Korean reliever Seung Hwan Oh signing with the Cardinals, MLB.com began an examination of the organization's decade-long journey back into the Asian market. This series, which will be presented in three stories this week, begins with a look into why the Cards returned to Asia and how they went about structuring their process and resources there.
ST. LOUIS -- Four years before his promotion to general manager, John Mozeliak was part of the Cardinals' front-office group tasked with taking a fresh vision from owner Bill DeWitt Jr. and turning it into a new direction.
ST. LOUIS -- They became the comments heard 'round the rivalry: Jason Heyward's remarks about how the Cardinals' aging core led him to dash for the fountain of youth -- albeit for less guaranteed money -- in Chicago. To the Cardinals, it made the sting of losing their primary offseason target a little more personal.
But while the Cardinals may have a trio of core players past their prime, the team's success won't hinge solely on how Adam Wainwright does on the mound, or what Yadier Molina brings behind the plate, or how much Matt Holliday offers with his bat. In fact, there's a reason why, contrary to outside expectations, the organization didn't pivot its outfield search after Heyward moved on.
ST. LOUIS -- Despite the recent graduation of several prospects to the Majors, the Cardinals' farm system is still rich with up-and-coming talent, evidenced by the inclusion of two right-handed pitchers on MLBPipeline's Top 100 Prospects list for 2016.
That list, which was unveiled during an MLB Network special on Friday, includes both 21-year-old Alex Reyes (No. 13) and 20-year-old Jack Flaherty (No. 80). Neither of the two had been featured in last January's Top 100 Prospects list, though both did crack the distinguished list midseason in 2015.
ST. LOUIS -- If all goes as the Cardinals hope this spring, there will be no camp competition for a Major League rotation spot. The club has four rotation returnees -- Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez, Jaime Garcia and Michael Wacha -- to go along with Mike Leake, the new signee the Cardinals needed to complete their starting five.
The only potential interruption to the Cardinals' starting pitching projection would seem to be health.
Cardinals ace: Honor 'means so much more to me' than sports
By Doug Miller
SEATTLE -- Adam Wainwright has stood victorious atop a pitcher's mound after recording the final out in the World Series. He has limped off the field with a torn Achilles tendon that ended his 2015 season right after it began.
And with all that he's experienced on a baseball field throughout an exemplary playing career, the St. Louis Cardinals' right-hander knows that there's a lot more to life than what happens between the lines.
ST. LOUIS -- This is the third installment in a six-part Around the Horn series that will take a position-by-position look at the Cardinals' projected starters and backup options heading into Spring Training. After previously looking at the club's catching depth and corner infield options, let's examine the middle infield choices next.
During their offseason assessment of how a 100-win season abruptly ended in October, the Cardinals cited a few factors, one of which was fatigue. Few could argue that the push to hold off the pursuant Pirates and Cubs during the regular season left the club with little remaining come October.
Carlos Martinez compared his delivery to Bob Gibson's
By Michael Clair |
You don't always expect Major League athletes to be baseball obsessives, though. Often we expect that they treat baseball like it's a kind of job -- a great job, a dream one, even -- but you don't think of them going home to spend hours sorting their baseball cards and watching documentaries on the Expos.
Unless you're Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez, that is.
ST. LOUIS -- More than two months before manager Mike Matheny will have to fill out his first regular-season lineup card of 2016, he finds himself already being lobbied for a new spot in that order.
Kolten Wong, speaking at the Cardinals' Winter Warm-Up event over the weekend, petitioned for consideration as a leadoff hitter, a job that has fallen mostly to Matt Carpenter over the past three seasons. Wong wasn't so much insisting that he could fill the role better than Carpenter, who has been one of the Majors' best at getting on base in recent years, but rather contending that his placement atop the order could deepen the lineup.
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals have added another outfielder to their Spring Training invite list with the signing of 28-year-old Carlos Peguero to a Minor League deal Friday. The contract includes a guaranteed invitation to Major League camp.
Peguero, the eighth player to sign a Minor League contract with the team this offseason, has been on a Major League roster for parts of each of the past five seasons. He was most recently a member of the Red Sox organization and went 14-for-75 in 34 games at the big league level in 2015.
ST. LOUIS -- Having already been honored at the St. Louis Baseball Writers' Dinner earlier this week for realizing his Major League dream after five years of service in the United States Navy, Mitch Harris has traveled to Boston to be honored by that city's chapter of baseball writers at their Thursday night event.
Harris was named the recipient of the Tony Conigliaro Award, which has been presented at the Boston Baseball Writers' Dinner annually since 1990. It goes to a Major League player who has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage. Conigliaro, who debuted with the Red Sox in 1964, had his promising career interrupted when he was struck in the face by a pitch. He continued playing through 1975 and later died of a heart attack at the age of 45.
This is a leap year, and for Major League Baseball, it will mean a one-day leap in the annual non-waiver Trade Deadline.
The non-waiver Trade Deadline this season will be moved to Aug. 1 from the traditional July 31 -- which in 2016 falls on a Sunday. The deadline is 4 p.m. ET, and on July 31, there are seven games scheduled to begin between 1-1:30, five between 2-3:30 and three at 4. There are only eight games on Aug. 1, all of which are night games.