HOUSTON -- Thirteen years ago, a reporter asked Lance Berkman, "What did you major in at Rice?"
"Eligibility," he answered.
HOUSTON -- Thirteen years ago, a reporter asked Lance Berkman, "What did you major in at Rice?"
"Eligibility," he answered.
The Cardinals acquired infielder Ty Kelly from the Mariners Thursday in exchange for right-handed pitcher Sam Gaviglio. Kelly was added to the Cardinals' 40-man roster, which is now at 37.
Kelly, 26, batted .263 with 15 home runs and a team-high 80 RBIs in 134 games with Triple-A Tacoma this past season. A switch-hitting infielder, he hit 14 of his 15 home runs from the left side and batted .378 with seven home runs with runners in scoring position.
ST. LOUIS -- As Mike Matheny stood back and listened to the advice and emotion that poured out of Carlos Martinez, he felt both the pride and the heartbreak of a father. Seeing the way Martinez was turning tragedy into teaching was stirring, but the undertones of Martinez's talk to the teenagers who gathered near him were that he wished he didn't have this experience from which to speak.
There were about 50 kids in attendance, about half of those from a St. Louis-area baseball team that Matheny had accompanied on the visit to the Dominican Republic. It was his second visit to the Caribbean nation within a three-week span, though the only one that had been planned.
After Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic last month, fans everywhere sent their thoughts, condolences and prayers to Taveras' family. Some did so on Twitter, others left physical remembrances.
On Thursday evening, Taveras' family took to Oscar's Twitter account to thank those that reached out, and to post items left by fans in memory of Taveras.
ST. LOUIS -- Ray Sadecki, a left-handed pitcher who won 20 games for the Cardinals in their 1964 championship season, died Monday due to complications of blood cancer. He was 73.
Born in Kansas City, Kan., Sadecki debuted for the Cardinals in 1960 and went on to enjoy an 18-year Major League playing career. Eight of those seasons came in St. Louis, followed by stints with the Mets, Giants, Royals, Braves and Brewers. He finished with a career record of 135-131 and 3.78 ERA over 563 appearances (328 starts).
ST. LOUIS -- Though the Cardinals' offseason plans changed course substantially after Oscar Taveras' death in late October, the organization was still able to address its most glaring needs within two weeks of free agency opening.
So what does that leave the Cardinals needing to do in the remaining weeks before Spring Training? Perhaps not much.
As we speak, the most balanced, deepest and quite possibly toughest division in baseball is the National League Central.
You can search for a truly weak link in this group, but the search will be in vain. With the emergence of the Cubs as a force to be reckoned with, the division no longer contains a soft spot, a rest area or the expectation of a walkover anywhere within its borders.
Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
ST. LOUIS -- With a high concentration of outfielders already projected to be on the Cardinals' Opening Day roster, Shane Robinson has been squeezed out of a roster spot and sent looking for another club to latch onto for 2015.
Choosing not to advance into arbitration with Robinson, the Cardinals have released the 30-year-old outfielder. In other roster tweaks, the team also added catcher Cody Stanley to the 40-man roster by selecting his contract and removed right-hander Keith Butler. Butler cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Memphis.
ST. LOUIS -- Needing to fill an unexpected hole in right field for 2015, the Cardinals went for a big splash, acquiring outfielder Jason Heyward from the Braves along with right-handed reliever Jordan Walden. The cost was heavy, however, as the Cardinals sent a pair of former first-round Draft picks -- right-handers Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins -- to Atlanta to complete the four-player trade on Monday.
The trade comes three weeks after the death of 22-year-old outfielder Oscar Taveras, who, along with Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty, was expected to cover the right-field position in 2015. Uncertain if Grichuk and Piscotty alone could provide the Cardinals with the offensive upgrade they sought, general manager John Mozeliak had to quickly alter his offseason checklist. Finding an established right fielder landed on top of it.
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals unveiled their 2015 Grapefruit League schedule on Tuesday. The 28-game slate includes a rare visit from the American League East champion Orioles, as well as home games against 2014 postseason participants Washington and Detroit.
The Cardinals will open Spring Training on Feb. 20, with pitchers and catchers required to report one day earlier. Position players must report by Feb. 24 so the club can hold its first full-squad workout on Feb. 25. Eight days later, the Cardinals will begin their slate of exhibition games as the road team against the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium.
This is a tremendous trade for the St. Louis Cardinals. Not because they got the best of the Atlanta Braves. Truth is, they may not have.
In fact, the Braves know exactly what they're getting, and it's plenty good. The Cardinals can't do this. They're getting a quality player. They're also taking a bigger risk, and isn't this why we love the Hot Stove season?
Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
ST. LOUIS -- Because the Cardinals were able to land outfielder Jason Heyward and reliever Jordan Walden by dealing from their starting-pitching depth, they now project to enter Spring Training ready to host another fifth-starter competition.
Shelby Miller's absence opens up a spot in the rotation that had been expected to feature him along with Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, John Lackey and Michael Wacha. Now, Carlos Martinez and Marco Gonzales will factor into those rotation plans, along with Jaime Garcia, if healthy.
ATLANTA -- When the Braves and Cardinals announced a four-player trade that featured Jason Heyward and Shelby Miller on Monday, there was reason to draw similarities to the famous, or infamous, trade these two teams made 11 years ago.
Only this time, it is the Braves who are hoping to strengthen their future with a deal that allows the Cardinals to satisfy an immediate need with what could prove to be a short-term solution.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
ST. LOUIS -- In hiring their fourth assistant hitting coach in the last four seasons, the Cardinals again went outside the organization to land former batting champ and St. Louis-area native Bill Mueller. General manager John Mozeliak announced the hire at the end of a news conference he held on Monday to address the team's four-player trade with the Braves.
"Bill Mueller, to me, is a guy who is a superstar," manager Mike Matheny said. "This guy just has the people skills. He's got the communication skills. The times that we've gotten to talk with him, just a very similar idea and approach as [hitting coach] John Mabry. I think they're really going to work well together. I know our guys who know Bill are excited about his presence here as well."
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Fall League is known as baseball's finishing school because it has graduated a ton of talent to the Major Leagues since it began play in 1992. The AFL has produced 212 All-Stars, including 35 in this year's Midsummer Classic, 25 Rookies of the Year, 13 MVPs and five Cy Young Award winners.
Based on the quality of the talent in the AFL this year, more big leaguers and stars are on the way. The league wrapped up its 23rd season on Saturday, with the Salt River Rafters outlasting the Peoria Javelinas, 14-7, for their fourth title and first since 2011.
TOKYO -- A day after arriving to Tokyo from Osaka via bullet train, Astros outfielder Dexter Fowler, Cardinals reliever Randy Choate and Angels pitcher Hector Santiago participated in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony on Friday, several hours before their game against the Japanese National Team at the Tokyo Dome (6 p.m. JT, 4 a.m. ET on MLB Network and MLB.TV).
After strolling through a garden with Buddhist statues and magnificently manicured greenery, the trio of players representing Major League Baseball in the Japan All-Star Series were treated to Matcha, a powdered green tea, and assorted sweets as part of a tradition that dates back to the 14th century.
David Venn is executive editor of LasMayores.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
ST. LOUIS -- For the fourth time in his career, Adam Wainwright can boast of being a top-three finisher for the National League Cy Young Award. He continues, however, to await his first win.
In a vote that unanimously selected Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw as the NL Cy Young Award recipient, Wainwright came in third, also behind Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto. Of the 30 ballots cast, seven placed Wainwright second and the other 23 slotted him in third place.
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras had a blood-alcohol content of .287 when he crashed his car into a tree on Oct. 26, according to an Associated Press report citing Tessie Sanchez, a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office in the Dominican Republic. The legal limit in the Dominican Republic is .05.
Taveras, 22, and his girlfriend, 18-year-old Edilia Arvelo, died in the one-car accident.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There are a lot of reasons for the rest of the National League Central -- and, really, for all of Major League Baseball -- to envy the Cardinals and their perennial success. However, one of the most impressive aspects of their M.O. is the track record for quickly advancing high-ceiling pitchers.
St. Louis GM John Mozeliak attributed the trend to having the nerve to try it and to having the foresight to Draft the right guys to carry it out.
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals outfielder Shane Robinson is one of 26 players with less than three years of service time in the Majors to qualify for salary arbitration this offseason through the Super Two rule.
With Robinson included, the Cardinals now have six players eligible for arbitration, including three for the first time. Robinson is, however, also considered to be a non-tender candidate, as the Cardinals can choose not to go through the arbitration process with him and instead let him enter free agency.
ST. LOUIS -- On Tuesday, the Cardinals announced the signings of four Minor League free agents, including one, infielder Dean Anna, who has been placed on the team's 40-man roster. With that addition, the Cards have 36 players on their roster.
The other three signees -- right-handed pitcher Marcus Hatley, right-handed pitcher Miguel Socolovich and infielder Scott Moore -- agreed to Minor League contracts with guaranteed invitations to Major League Spring Training. Moore spent 2014 with the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate in Memphis.
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' third annual gift drive to support children of military families at Scott Air Force Base and other area charity agencies will take place on Dec. 3, the organization announced on Wednesday.
From 6 a.m. - 1 p.m. CT that day, members of the Cardinals' front office, along with volunteers and Fredbird, will be collecting new, unwrapped toys for children under 12 and gift cards for teenagers at the Clark Street entrance to Ballpark Village. Anyone who makes a donation will receive a Cardinals stocking, stocking stuffer, coupon for a free Papa John's pizza and complimentary hot chocolate (while supplies last).
ST. LOUIS -- Trying to become the first Cardinals player to win National League Rookie of the Year honors since Albert Pujols in 2001, Kolten Wong had to settle for third in the National League voting behind winner Jacob deGrom and runner-up Billy Hamilton.
Wong received one second-place vote and 11 third-place votes to finish with 14 points. deGrom, who received 26 first-place votes, finished with 142 points. Hamilton had 92 points and four first-place votes.
ST. LOUIS -- Speaking at his end-of-the season press conference three weeks ago, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak loosely outlined the organization's offseason plans. With a returning rotation and minimal position-player turnover, the needs Mozeliak spoke of were mostly of a complementary sort. Of particular emphasis was the budding talent the Cardinals had to cover a hole in right field, therefore minimizing the need to add in this area.
Less than a week later, however, tragedy befell the organization as Oscar Taveras, at the age of 22, was killed in a car accident along with his girlfriend.
ST. LOUIS -- Three days after winning his seventh consecutive Gold Glove, Yadier Molina became the first three-time Platinum Glove Award winner. The Platinum Gloves, which Rawlings has been presenting since 2011, are given to the top fielders in both the National and American Leagues.
Royals outfielder Alex Gordon took home the AL honors, while Molina was deemed the NL's best. The winners are determined through a combination of fan voting and SABR Defensive Index.
ST. LOUIS -- Lefty reliever Randy Choate will represent the Cardinals later this month in the Japan All-Star Series, which will feature a five-game set between a squad of Major League players and Japan's national team, the Samurai Japan.
Choate, the only Cardinals participant, is one of 14 pitchers on the 29-man roster. Boston's John Farrell will serve as manager for the All-Star Series, which will be bookended by exhibition games against a pair of other Japanese clubs.
One strike away from closing out a victory Friday against Salt River, Peoria suddenly found itself scrambling. With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Brandon Drury lined a two-run single off right-hander Brandon Cunniff to tie the score and keep the Rafters hopes alive.
Unbowed, Bubba Starling led off the bottom of the inning with a double for the Javelinas. When Daniel Castro popped up a sacrifice bunt attempt for the first out in the inning, manager Vance Wilson sent Jacob Wilson to the plate as a pinch-hitter to face right-hander Tyson Perez.
ST. LOUIS -- Outfielder Peter Bourjos underwent right hip surgery to address a previously undisclosed hip impingement that, according to general manager John Mozeliak, affected Bourjos throughout much of the second half of the season.
The surgery, which was performed by team orthopedist Dr. David King on Oct. 21, should not limit Bourjos when Spring Training opens in Feburary. The Cardinals are expected to tender Bourjos, a second-time arbitration-eligible player, a contract this winter to bring him back as an extra outfielder in 2015.
ST. LOUIS -- Even though he missed seven weeks due to a thumb injury, Yadier Molina continues to assert himself as one of the best defensive catchers in the history of the game by piling up the golden hardware.
Molina became a seven-time National League Gold Glove Award winner on Tuesday, as Rawlings announced the league winners at each position. Those seven Gold Gloves have come consecutively, too, making him just the fourth player in franchise history to accomplish that feat. In that regard, he is among company that includes Ozzie Smith (1982-92), Bob Gibson (1965-73) and Curt Flood (1963-69).