9:45 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
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Viva El Birdos 45 mins ago

St. Louis Cardinals Trade Rumors: Redbirds hone in on starting pitching

With a week to go, the Cardinals are prioritizing an upgrade to the rotation. For Cardinals fans, Ye Olde Trade Rumour began grinding away a few weeks ago when rumors swirled that the organization was closing in on a trade that would bring Jake Peavy to St. Louis. The next day, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the Cards were prioritizing an offensive upgrade over pitching. As I noted at the time, prioritizing offense and upgrading the rotation are not mutually exclusive goals. And, with a week to go before MLB's non-waiver trade deadline, the Cardinals reportedly...
Viva El Birdos 14 hours ago
Evening Off Thread and Taveras benching reaction

Evening Off Thread and Taveras benching reaction

No game tonight, but feel free to stick around and take a look at my reaction to Oscar Taveras' benching on Tuesday night. Oscar Taveras did not start on Tuesday night. I went on a slight rant/screed/whatever you want to call it on twitter. Here's what happened: Sometime early in the day on Tuesday, I got to thinking about Oscar Taveras as I sometimes do. I took a look at his Game Log over at Fangraphs, and I discovered something. Oscar Taveras started the 1st 4 games after his recall, then just 6 of 12. In the 3 starts he went hitless, he was benched the next day. — Craig Edwards...
Viva El Birdos 19 hours ago

Moonlight Graham, Eddie Phillips and the Designated Pinch Runner

Eddie Phillips played in nine games for the Cardinals, but never made a plate appearance and never played the field. There is a memorable moment in Field of Dreams when Archie "Moonlight" Graham, a ballplayer who made the majors but never got an at-bat, gets a chance to go back and step up to the plate. The real-life Graham came into one game as a defensive sub for the New York Giants in 1905. He never took the field again. It’s a poignant idea: Achieving a dream but also just missing it. I wondered, have the Cardinals ever had their own "Moonlight" Graham? As it turns out, five...
Viva El Birdos 22 hours ago
Oscar Taveras, the lineup card, & player development

Oscar Taveras, the lineup card, & player development

Manager Mike Matheny has presented a false choice in his frame of his decision to relegate Oscar Taveras to the role of bench bat. As Matt Adams climbed up the St. Louis Cardinals organizational ladder, I maintained a healthy level of skepticism about the slugger’s ability to develop into a middle-of-the-order bat in the big leagues. Adams won the Texas League Player of the Year award in 2011 with a .300/.357/.566/.923 line that included 32 homers and 101 RBI in 115 games to boot. Daniel Descalso hitting .326/.397/.520/.917 in the Texas League over 82 games between 2008 and 2009 was still...
Viva El Birdos Jul 24, 2014

Hall of Fame 2014: Tony La Russa

Tony La Russa has long made his mark in baseball by doing things differently. He started with the White Sox with little experience or reputation, but went on to manage champions in Oakland and St. Louis using a relentless, active approach. Putting an imprint on a game is an easy task for the manager. A manager sets the lineup, calls for bunts, steals and intentional walks, removes the starter, makes double-switches, and calls for pinch hitters. The more moves a manager makes, the more the manager gets noticed. The more the manager gets noticed, the more people talk about a manager's...
Viva El Birdos Jul 24, 2014

Recap 7/23: Cards dominated in 3-0 loss

The Cardinals pitched worse, hit worse, and played worse baseball than the Rays in a loss that should have been worse than it was. It's probably not a good thing when the best thing you can say about this game is that "it could have been much worse."  Because it could have.  Lance Lynn was not sharp, but managed to gut through 6.1 IP.  (Disclaimer: I was watching from right field so my view was not ideal to analyze Lynn's game.)  The Cardinals bats looked dreadful, largely due to Alex Cobb although they also looked awful against the bullpen.  The defense let down Lynn with a "wild...
The Cardinal Nation Jul 23, 2014

Will a Devalued Taveras Follow Rasmus’ Path Out of Town?

Is Oscar Taveras heading for a Colby Rasmus-like scenario in which he is devalued before being traded away?
Viva El Birdos Jul 23, 2014

Bases Loaded Woes and the State of the Offense

A look at how the Cardinals have fared with the bases loaded in 2014 It was July 1st. The Cardinals were in the midst of a three-game set against the San Francisco Giants on the road. In the 4th inning of the game, the Redbirds had loaded the bases against Tim Lincecum, with the game still tied at 0. My stomach turned the second Yadier Molina had been hit by a pitch to load the bases full, because of the situation that lie ahead. St. Louis had loaded the bases with no outs, and I should have been (at the least) a happy fan. But I had seen far too many instances like this that went down the...
Viva El Birdos Jul 23, 2014

The ninth-inning at bat from Oscar Taveras warrants numerous starts in a row

But, seriously, get Taveras in the starting lineup—even if a trade is on the horizon. Should a single at bat when a game is all but over (down 7-2 with two outs in the ninth) determine something of this magnitude? Absolutely not, but with Mike Matheny's propensity to utilize small-sample-sized hitter versus pitcher statistics, along with quirky reverse splits, sometimes drastic decisions need to be made for the betterment of the team. Before we get into the meat of this discussion, let's set it up with a few pregame quotes on Oscar Taveras from the manager: Matheny talking Taveras/Craig...
Viva El Birdos Jul 23, 2014

Unintended and Overvalued; or: A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To the Trade Market

Considering the trade market, why it's so thin, and what that has to do with the amateur draft. First things first: I don't want to talk about last night's game. I'm going with that thing my mother (and presumably your mother as well), told me when I was very young: if you don't have anything nice to say, just don't say anything at all. Adam Wainwright was awful, the offense was just as bad, and the Cardinals lost a game they really needed to win. The Redbirds managed to occupy first place for all of about four hours the other day; I fully expect them to go 3-7 over the next ten games in...
Viva El Birdos Jul 23, 2014
Daily Farm Report: Starts by Marco Gonzales, Jimmy Reed and Ian McKinney Highlight the Night

Daily Farm Report: Starts by Marco Gonzales, Jimmy Reed and Ian McKinney Highlight the Night

The system goes 4-2 on the day. Memphis 6 - Omaha 3 Notables: Shane Robinson (DH): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI Randal Grichuk (CF): 1-5, R, 3 K Stephen Piscotty (RF): 3-4, R, 2 RBI, SB (9) Xavier Scruggs (1B): 1-3, R, 2B, K Greg Garcia (2B): 1-2, 2B, RBI, BB, K Thomas Pham (CF): 2-4, R, RBI Pete Kozma (SS): 1-4, CS Marco Gonzales (SP): 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 2 HR Notes: After his rough stint with the big club, and rocky AAA debut, Marco Gonzales was back to his old self. The 2 solo shots he surrendered were the only blemishes on a strong start. Meanwhile the Redbird...
Viva El Birdos Jul 23, 2014

Cardinals vs Rays recap: Waino and company fall to Rays 7-2

Frustrating fifth finishes feathered friends Tonight our beloved St. Louis Cardinals sent Adam Wainwright (12-4, 1.83 ERA, 2.53 FIP, 3.25 xFIP) against the Tampa Bay Rays Highland, Illinois native Jake Odorizzi (5-8, 4.01 ERA, 3.22 FIP, 3.58 xFIP). Early rumblings were heard from VEB and the Twitterverse as the lineups were announced sans exciting rookie Oscar Taveras. Matheny talking Taveras/Craig pregame: Weve got to do what we can to win today, were not here in the development business.— Chris Hrabe (@chrabe) July 22, 2014 Hence, Allen Craig's 84 wRC+ into the lineup. Cardinals...
Viva El Birdos Jul 22, 2014
Cardinals host Rays series preview, July 22-23

Cardinals host Rays series preview, July 22-23

The Cards and Rays split a pair of games in Tampa June 10-11. The 47-53 Rays come to visit the 54-45 Cardinals to finish the season series. The Schedule: Adam Wainwright takes on Jake Odorizzi tonight at 7:15 central. Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb pitch tomorrow night at 6:15. About the Rays, briefly When the Cardinals saw the Rays in early June (that series preview is here), Tampa was 16 games under .500. Today they are 6 games under. They've managed that 10 game swing over the last 40 days primarily because their hitting has really come around. In the last 30 days, among players with at...
Viva El Birdos Jul 22, 2014
PLATOON

PLATOON

Recent roster changes have given Mike Matheny the ability to aggressively platoon. Should he? Oscar Taveras' theoretical existence, George Kottaras' signing, and Peter Bourjos' daring escape out of Mike Matheny's garden of forgotten toys have allowed the manager to shift his lineups from very lefty heavy to very righty heavy when he chooses. Last Saturday, against RHP Zack Greinke, 6 of the Cardinals' 8 position player starters batted lefty . On Sunday night, against the LHP Clayton Kershaw, the Cardinals reversed those numbers and started 6 position players who hit right-handed. But all...
Viva El Birdos Jul 22, 2014
Future Redbirds Top 20 St. Louis Cardinals Prospects: Mid-Season Review, #1-10

Future Redbirds Top 20 St. Louis Cardinals Prospects: Mid-Season Review, #1-10

Part two of the mid-season review will look at the top ten preseason prospects. You can find part one with the prospects 11-20 here. 10. Charlie Tilson (fourstick: 13; Cardinals645: 12) Our take in February: After fighting off various injuries for his first couple of seasons as a professional, Tilson emerged a bit last year with a clean bill of health, hitting .303/.349/.388 in 411 PA's at Peoria before moving up for a cup of coffee with Palm Beach and continuing his torrid pace there. Still just entering his age 21 season, there's still a ton of projection in Tilson's bat to go along...
Viva El Birdos Jul 22, 2014

St. Louis Cardinals Daily Farm Report: Oscar Mercado, Casey Turgeon, and Blake Drake lead Johnson City's eight-run attack

Memphis loses to Omaha 1 - 4 Shane Robinson (CF), 1 for 4, K Randal Grichuk (RF), 2 for 4, 3B, K, R Stephen Piscotty (DH), 0 for 3, 2 Ks, RBI Xavier Scruggs (1B), 3 for 4, K Thomas Pham (LF), 1 for 3, BB, K Pete Kozma (SS), 0 for 4, K Tim Cooney, 6.0 IP, 4 Ks, 2 BBs, 6 Hits, 1 R, 0 ER, Pickoff Notes: Xavier Scruggs had a miserable April, hitting .207 with a solitary HR while whiffing 28 times. After an impressive May and June he is now up to .260/.344/.423. His July has been fairly mediocre at .250/.308/.417 so far, but his last ten games have seen him hit .371/.405/.657. There's no...
The Cardinal Nation Jul 21, 2014

Join TCN and TCN Blog in Supporting Alana Subleski

Among the items in a benefit auction is a three-month subscription to The Cardinal Nation.
Viva El Birdos Jul 21, 2014
Evening open thread for stupid off day

Evening open thread for stupid off day

I'm watching Cliff Lee. What about you?
Viva El Birdos Jul 21, 2014

Hunt and Peck: Links of the Weekend

Infographic Monday! Matt Holliday has hit 258 home runs in his career, 119 with the Birds on the Bat. Let's take a look at them. Matt Holliday Career Homers | Create Infographics - Infogram (career); Infogram (2014); Inforgram (2013) what else is going on in baseball... What happened to the "clean up" hitter? (thanks flood!) - Beyond the Box Score Colby Lewis is made at Colby Rasmus for dang darn it all bunting with a... wait for it... TWO RUN LEAD! What a selfish disgrace. - SBNation The Astros and top pick Brady Aiken were unable to reach a deal. - MLB The Braves...
Viva El Birdos Jul 21, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals Trade Rumors: Payroll Considerations

St. Louis Cardinals Trade Rumors: Payroll Considerations

Most trade speculation has revolved around trade targets like David Price and Cliff Lee or the players the Cardinals would have to give up, like Oscar Taveras or Carlos Martinez. While the infusion of cash from national television deals and fantastic home attendance does allow for more spending, St. Louis is not a major market and payroll will be considered with any trade. In any big trade the Cardinals consider, like David Price or Cliff Lee, the biggest consideration for the Cardinals will be the players they have to give up. Secondary, but hardly incidental in their pursuit of an...

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