Duke would welcome return to Cardinals

Lefty performed well after return from Tommy John surgery

Duke would welcome return to Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' desire to retool their bullpen this winter has already led them to show interest in re-signing free-agent-to-be Juan Nicasio, who spent the final four weeks of the 2017 season with St. Louis. But could they also target another reliever soon to come off their 40-man roster?

Zach Duke, a 13-year veteran and one of four Cardinals due to enter free agency at the conclusion of the World Series, intends to continue pitching, and his expedited return from Tommy John surgery gave Duke the opportunity to show that he still can.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yadi on ground in PR delivering food, water

Cards catcher also raising funds for Maria victims in his homeland

Yadi on ground in PR delivering food, water

ST. LOUIS -- There has been little opportunity for Yadier Molina to rest since the Cardinals' season ended two weeks ago, as his time and energy have been spent traversing the streets of Puerto Rico to hand-deliver food, water and ice to residents recovering from Hurricane Maria.

Molina arrived in Puerto Rico two days after the team's final game to oversee the distribution of five truckloads of goods to people in the northern Puerto Rican towns of Vega Alta, Dorado, Utuado and Cayey. The stops were particularly personal to Molina, who grew up in Vega Alta and now has a home in Dorado.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Busch Stadium to host Kenny Chesney concert

Country singer to play in St. Louis on July 21, 2018

Busch Stadium to host Kenny Chesney concert

ST. LOUIS -- Country music singer Kenny Chesney will bring his Trip Around The Sun Tour to St. Louis for a summertime concert at Busch Stadium in 2018, the Cardinals announced on Wednesday.

Tickets for the July 21 concert go on sale at 10 a.m. CT on Oct. 27, and can be purchased at cardinals.com/chesney. A limited number of VIP packages and all-inclusive tickets are also available for purchase.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards' Knizner clutch in Fall League win

Cards' Knizner clutch in Fall League win

PEORIA, Ariz. - Andrew Knizner showed an ability to hit during his first pro season and has continued to impress in the early stages of the Arizona Fall League.

The Cardinals' No. 27 prospect has always had a feel for hitting, and he proved it once again as he led Surprise to a 10-3 win over Peoria on Tuesday.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Grichuk may be odd man out in Cards' outfield

Grichuk may be odd man out in Cards' outfield

ST. LOUIS -- While the Cardinals will proceed into the offseason seeking to enhance their roster with impact additions, their winter work will also entail weighing the necessity and cost of certain subtractions. That's particularly true as it pertains to the organization's buildup of outfield depth, where too many options have muddied the outlook for 2018.

In an effort to reduce roster redundancies, the Cardinals are expected to dangle various outfielders as possible trade pieces while the organization seeks to address other deficiencies.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Should Cards dive back in with Lynn?

Beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answers questions from fans

Inbox: Should Cards dive back in with Lynn?

ST. LOUIS --  While postseason baseball continues elsewhere, I know fans of the Cardinals are already looking forward to 2018 and anticipating a busy offseason leading up to it. You can expect regular content on Cardinals.com related to the team's offseason work and frequent Inboxes in which I'll get to your pressing questions. We'll start things off by grabbing a handful of questions from Twitter for this week's edition:

Any thought to re-signing Lance Lynn for the rotation and moving Michael Wacha to closer? What type of contract is Lynn expecting to get in free agency?
-- Michael Napariu (@mnapariu)

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Alcantara dominates in comeback AFL win

Alcantara dominates in comeback AFL win

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- After a rough start to begin the Arizona Fall League, Sandy Alcantara was absolutely dominant on Monday.

The Cardinals' No. 9 prospect was unhittable as Surprise topped Scottsdale, 9-8, in walk-off fashion at Surprise Stadium.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

What are Cards' biggest needs entering '18?

Impact bat, closer among areas St. Louis likely to address

What are Cards' biggest needs entering '18?

ST. LOUIS -- Having missed the playoffs in consecutive years for just the second time this century, the Cardinals have a critical offseason ahead in which they'll seek to retool a roster that had too much redundancy and not enough stars.

The to-do list is lengthy, which suggests this will be one of the more active winters the organization has had in some time. Look for substantial roster churn, impact additions and clarity of direction to be among the byproducts of that work.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Knizner up for another challenge in Fall League

Cardinals' No. 27 prospect continues to learn intricacies of position

Knizner up for another challenge in Fall League

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Andrew Knizner has answered every challenge the Cardinals have placed in front of him thus far and hopes to do so again while playing with the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League.

Knizner, the Cardinals' No. 27 prospect, was selected in the seventh round (226th overall) of the 2016 Draft and has already reached Double-A, skipping the Class A Advanced level in his first full professional season.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reyes continues recovery, optimistic about OD

Right-hander will be more than year removed from Tommy John when season starts

Reyes continues recovery, optimistic about OD

ST. LOUIS -- A season lost provided perspective gained for Alex Reyes, who, after entering Spring Training ranked as baseball's top right-handed pitching prospect, learned that he'd be shut down for the year before ever throwing a pitch in camp.

Reyes, 23, underwent Tommy John surgery the same week the Cardinals held their first full-squad workout. But instead of returning home or remaining in Florida once Spring Training ended to continue his rehab, Reyes relocated his work to St. Louis so that he could be exposed to a full big league season, even if from the sidelines.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trio of Cardinals prospects opens AFL season

Trio of Cardinals prospects opens AFL season

While the MLB postseason was on hiatus due to Tuesday's National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile rainout, many of baseball's future stars took the field for the beginning of this year's Arizona Fall League slate.

Three of the Cardinals' top prospects -- right-handers Sandy Alcantara (the club's No. 9 prospect, per MLBPipeline.com) and Jordan Hicks (No. 14) and outfielder Oscar Mercado (No. 18) -- were in action for the Surprise Saguaros' opener, a 4-3 loss to the Salt River Rafters at Surprise Stadium.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Flaherty, Bader named Prospects of the Year

Flaherty, Bader named Prospects of the Year

ST. LOUIS -- A banner year for the Cardinals' Minor League system featured standout performers at every level. Tops among them, though, were outfielder Harrison Bader and right-hander Jack Flaherty, who have been chosen by the MLBPipeline.com staff as the organization's Hitting and Pitching Prospects of the Year.

To be eligible for consideration, players must have spent at least half the year in the Minors, appeared on the team's Top 30 Prospects list and played the entire year in the organization. Flaherty ranks third on the Cardinals' prospect list, while Bader slots in fifth.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards enter offseason in pursuit of impact bat

Cards enter offseason in pursuit of impact bat

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' offseason planning began in earnest on Monday, when president of baseball operations John Mozeliak sat down with staff to dissect how the organization can correct course after failing to reach the postseason for a second consecutive season.

That answer is multi-dimensional and not entirely defined so soon. The starting point, however, certainly seems to be.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mozeliak weighs in on free agents, OF roles

Team president discusses offseason plans in end-of-year press conference

Mozeliak weighs in on free agents, OF roles

ST. LOUIS -- President of baseball operations John Mozeliak said Tuesday that the Cardinals are still weighing whether to offer Lance Lynn a qualifying offer at the conclusion of the World Series.

The value of the one-year qualifying offer this offseason is set around $18.1 million, and it is binding if a player accepts. That will factor into the Cardinals' calculations. Should the Cardinals make the offer and have it rejected by Lynn, they would receive a compensatory pick in the 2018 MLB Draft after the Competitive Balance Round B.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cardinals won't bring back Lilliquist, Ilsley

Cardinals won't bring back Lilliquist, Ilsley

ST. LOUIS -- Citing a desire to change philosophy and approach to managing a pitching staff, the Cardinals informed pitching coach Derek Lilliquist and bullpen coach Blaise Ilsley on Monday that their contracts would not be renewed for 2018.

President of baseball operations John Mozeliak said he expects the rest of manager Mike Matheny's staff to return next season. The exception to that is Ron "Pop" Warner, who stepped in as "quality control coach" when the organization underwent a midseason staff shakeup. Warner is likely to return to his previous role of assistant field coordinator.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Martinez named NL Rookie of the Month

Martinez named NL Rookie of the Month

The Cardinals' Jose Martinez was named the National League Rookie of the Month after a September in which he was one of the toughest outs in the Majors.

Martinez posted a .353/.433/.553 line in 25 games in September and October with four homers and 18 RBIs. His 30 hits and .986 OPS paced the Cardinals that month. He might have accomplished more had he not missed three games from Sept. 23-25 due to a left thumb sprain.

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Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yadi among most popular jerseys

Yadi among most popular jerseys

Aaron Judge has the highest number in all of Major League Baseball, and this time we are talking about total sales of his No. 99 Yankees jersey.

MLB and the MLB Players Association jointly announced the latest Most Popular Jerseys rankings on Tuesday, and the rookie slugger topped the list to add another distinction to an historic first full year. The list is based on sales of Majestic jerseys from MLBShop.com since Opening Day.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Follow him on Twitter @Marathoner and read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com/blogs hub. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pham to Rally Cat, Cards had off-script '17

Pham to Rally Cat, Cards had off-script '17

ST. LOUIS -- So much went off script for the Cardinals this season, including the finish that left the Cardinals a third-place team, their lowest standing since 2008.

But the journey from an Opening Day walk-off win over the defending world champs to a sour season ending at home was dotted with plenty of intrigue. The Cardinals stayed in the postseason mix until the regular season's final days and highlighted the year with surprise emergences and impactful returns.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wainwright to undergo elbow surgery Tuesday

Veteran expects to have normal offseason throwing program, be ready by Spring Training

Wainwright to undergo elbow surgery Tuesday

ST. LOUIS -- Compromised by a bone bruise in his right elbow for the final two months of the season, Adam Wainwright will undergo an elbow arthroscopy procedure on Tuesday to have a piece of cartilage shaved down. It's the same procedure Wainwright had following the 2014 season.

The medical staff has advised Wainwright that he'll need six weeks of recovering before beginning the rehab process. He expects to be fully healthy by the time Spring Training starts in February and should be able to engage in a normal offseason throwing program.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Carpenter's shoulder won't require surgery

Carpenter's shoulder won't require surgery

ST. LOUIS -- Matt Carpenter confirmed on Sunday that he will not require offseason surgery to heal his ailing right shoulder.

Carpenter sat out the Cardinals' final three games and underwent a follow-up MRI to the one he had a month ago. The exam showed the same thing now that the doctors knew then, which is that Carpenter is dealing with inflammation and not a structural issue.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Grichuk goes deep, but Cards fall to end '17

Grichuk goes deep, but Cards fall to end '17

ST. LOUIS -- After taking their playoff aspirations to the penultimate day of the season, the Brewers capped off their strong season with a series victory over the Cardinals. Their 86th victory -- the most by a Brewers team since 2011 -- came in a 6-1 win at Busch Stadium on Sunday.

The Cardinals, who stumbled to the finish with losses in seven of their final nine games, end the year as an 83-win club.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aledmys exits with left hamstring strain

Aledmys exits with left hamstring strain

ST. LOUIS -- A season already dotted with adversity ended prematurely for Aledmys Diaz on Sunday, when he had to be removed from the Cardinals' 6-1 loss to the Brewers after sustaining a left hamstring strain in the second inning.

Diaz came up hobbling after trying to beat out an infield single in his first at-bat. Replay review eventually overturned the initial safe call, though Diaz had already walked off the field alongside a team athletic trainer by the time the ruling was made.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arcia, C-Mart compete in pregame standoff

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Arcia, C-Mart compete in pregame standoff

With the regular season ending on Sunday, some players just couldn't bear the thought of leaving the field. So, after the anthem ended and before the game began, both the D-backs-Royals game and Brewers-Cardinals game featured some epic standoffs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Draft order set; Cardinals to pick 19th

Giants, Phillies, White Sox and Reds follow Detroit in top five

Draft order set; Cardinals to pick 19th

Both the San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers had designs on the postseason in 2017. For a variety of reasons, things didn't work out as planned. The consolation prize? Getting to pick at the top of the 2018 Draft.

It came down to the final day of the season and both teams finished tied with 64-98 records. By virtue of the Tigers' .534 winning percentage in 2016 (the Giants finished that season at .537), they get the first pick. Detroit has had the No. 1 pick just once before, taking Matt Anderson in 1997.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards rally from 6 down to eliminate Brewers

Cards rally from 6 down to eliminate Brewers

ST. LOUIS -- An unexpected and spirited run of relevance to the season's final days came crashing to an end for the Brewers on Saturday, when they squandered a six-run lead and fell out of postseason contention with a 7-6 loss to the Cardinals.

The defeat dropped Milwaukee 2 1/2 games behind the Rockies for the second National League Wild Card spot with only one game left on the schedule. It leaves the Brewers to mull over an opportunity missed and settle for a surprise second-place finish in the NL Central.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Recent pickup Nicasio wants to stay in St. Louis

Recent pickup Nicasio wants to stay in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- He's been a member of the organization for only 24 days, but reliever Juan Nicasio said on Saturday that he has significant interest in turning that into a much longer stay.

Making that happen would require an extension, as Nicasio is due to be a free agent for the first time in his career at the end of the season.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards unable to derail Crew's WC hopes

Cards unable to derail Crew's WC hopes

ST. LOUIS -- There is no longer any margin for error, but there is still hope for the Brewers, who ensured themselves of another day in the National League Wild Card race with a 5-3 win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Friday.

Boosted by batterymates Stephen Vogt and Chase Anderson, the Brewers cruised to their 85th win while facing a Cardinals club that, for the first time since 2010, entered a regular-season game with October out of their sights. In contrast, the Brewers had everything on the line.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards fall to Cubs in 11; playoff hopes dashed

Cards fall to Cubs in 11; playoff hopes dashed

ST. LOUIS -- In a season the Cardinals often felt so close to putting the pieces together that would ignite a push into October, their postseason aspirations -- perhaps fittingly, and certainly cruelly -- ended dramatically by falling just short one final time.

There is no longer a path back to the playoffs for St. Louis, which, with a 2-1, 11-inning loss to the Cubs on Thursday, fell four games back of the Rockies for the final National League Wild Card spot. Just three games remain on the Cardinals' schedule.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.