12:19 PM EDT, Wed June 29, 2016
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Viva El Birdos 19 mins ago

Adam Wainwright's flattened curveball

Adam Wainwright has fought through an interesting 2016 season thus far. Let's take a look at how his curveball has performed compared to previous seasons. The 2016 season has been anything but smooth for St. Louis Cardinals Opening Day starter Adam Wainwright. While he has certainly improved from his slow start, largely through a few changes in fastball location, he is not quite to the point where he is widely considered "dangerous again," a level he predicted he would soon be at back in mid-May. Now, by fWAR, Wainwright has essentially provided equal production (1.6) to three of his...
Viva El Birdos 1 hour ago

Considering Yulieski Gourriel

One of the most intriguing storylines in baseball right now is the question of what will happen with the highest-profile Cuban defector of the last year or so. Could the Cardinals be a fit? The Cuban bubble in major league baseball appears, for the most part, to have popped. I mean two things when I say the bubble has popped: one, the remarkable flow of Cuban defectors with high-level baseball skills over the past several years seems to have slowed to a mere trickle. (At best.) And two, the wave of superstar players that were projected to take over the big leagues simply hasn't...
Viva El Birdos 5 hours ago

Cards News and Notes: Pena, Adjustments, Reyes

Yesterday's VEB Alex Reyes' role on the 2016 Cardinals: I explore the possibilities for Alex Reyes to either join the bullpen or rotation, and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Gosh, I just love Matt Carpenter: Yesterday's Hunt and Peck The Adjustment Tool: Ben Godar on Matt Carpenter, Stephen Piscotty, and Aledmys Diaz and their ability to adjust at the major league level. Brayan Pena to rejoin Cardinals, Eric Fryer designated for assignment: A roster update from Craig Memphis Redbirds Game Briefly Delayed During the 5th Inning: Your daily farm report Cards vs. Royals Game Thread:...
Viva El Birdos 12 hours ago

MVP candidate Matt Carpenter leads offense to 8-4 win over Royals

The Cardinals scored more runs than the other team It may not seem like it but Michael Wacha and Yordano Ventura are a lot alike at this point in the season.  Both had debuts that maybe raised expectations too high for that team's fanbase.  Both have had relatively disappointing seasons.  Both have been strong in recent starts.  Admittedly, I'm forcing this comparison because Wacha has been decent and Ventura has been bad overall.  But it was reasonable to expect anything to happen from today's matchup. In the end though, the most likely result happened: the better pitcher this season...
Viva El Birdos 12 hours ago

Cards' league best hitting showed up & scored more than 4 runs, defeating the Royals on 6/28/16

Wacha and the bullpen held the Royals to 4 while the Cardinals hitters outhit any defensive liabilities they presented tonight and won the game 8 runs to 4! Lineups ST. LOUIS CARDINALS KANSAS CITY ROYALS Matt Carpenter - 2B Whit Merrifield - LF Brandon Moss - LF Alcides Escobar - SS Matt Holliday - DH Lorenzo Cain - CF Stephen Piscotty - RF Eric Hosmer - 1B Matt Adams - 1B Kendrys Morales - DH Jhonny Peralta - 3B Paulo Orlando - RF Yadier Molina - C Cheslor Cuthbert - 3B Kolten Wong - CF Christian Colon - 2B Greg Garcia - SS Drew Butera -...
Viva El Birdos 19 hours ago

St. Louis Cardinals Prospect Report: Memphis Redbirds Game Briefly Delayed During the 5th Inning

Jeremy Hazelbaker was unhappy with the New Orleans Zephyrs. The Memphis Redbirds and New Orleans Zephyrs got into a bit of a dust up. And John Kilichowski made his debut with State College last night. Triple-A: Memphis 4 - New Orleans 3 Jeremy Hazelbaker (LF): 0-2 Charlie Tilson (PR-LF): 1-1, R, 3B Randal Grichuk (CF): 1-4, 2B Carlos Peguero (RF): 1-4, R David Washington (1B): 1-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K Deck McGuire (SP): 6 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 3 K, 1 HR Dean Kiekhefer (RP): .1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB Miguel Socolovich (RP): .1 IP, 2 K Things got a little heated during the 5th...
Viva El Birdos 21 hours ago

Brayan Pena to rejoin Cardinals, Eric Fryer designated for assignment

Cardinals finally get the backup catcher they planned on. In an unfortunate spring training incident, Brayan Pena slipped in a visiting dugout just as the season was drawing near. As a result, Pena had surgery on his left knee, keeping him out of game action until a few weeks ago. After spending the maximum 20 days on a rehab assignment, Pena is rejoining the team. Eric Fryer, who did nothing wrong in his time with the Cardinals, has been designated for assignment with the hope that the Cardinals will be able to pass him through to Memphis. Fryer hit well for the Cardinals, with a...
Viva El Birdos 22 hours ago

The adjustment tool

Whatever their physical tools, the success of Aledmys Diaz, Matt Carpenter and Stephen Piscotty is based largely on their ability to make adjustments. Advance Scouting is nothing new in baseball, but in this era when data is more easily compiled, the speed at which teams develop a "book" on a player is faster than ever. Look even just at the heat maps in this piece Joe Schwarz wrote about Aledmys Diaz at the end of May. In April, Diaz was a relative unknown, and pitchers mixed-it-up with balls all around the zone. By May, they were attacking him almost exclusively with balls down-and-away,...
Viva El Birdos 23 hours ago

Gosh, I just love Matt Carpenter - A Hunt and Peck

We all do! Since becoming a starter in 2013, Matt Carpenter has been a very good hitter - one of the best in baseball, really. Every season, he has seemingly become a different type of good hitter - high contact - low strikeout, high on base percentage, and then 2015's high power - high (for him) strikeout rate version being the most recent. 2016 has become another thing entirely. This season, so far, Carpenter has appeared to become the best version of all the previous versions. Not only is the man hitting for power (his slugging percentage is the highest of his career), but his walk rate...
Viva El Birdos Jun 28, 2016

Alex Reyes' role on the 2016 Cardinals

In what way, if any, will Alex Reyes contribute to the big league club this year? On Saturday, I wrote about the Cardinals' bullpen and my assessment that they would probably bounce back, and probably be upgraded at the deadline. Alex Reyes is a short-term consideration for the bullpen, but I only mentioned him once, when declining to include him along with Sam Tuivailala and Miguel Socolovich as possible options from Memphis to upgrade the big league pen. That was because that article was already over 1,100 words without considering Reyes, and his situation is very complex. So complex in...
Viva El Birdos Jun 28, 2016

Cardinals news and notes: Carpenter, dingers, Royals

The Cardinals-Royals series is a waste of time and inter-league play should be abolished (as well as yesterday at VEB) Try as I might, I've never been able to get all that excited for the Cardinals-Royals rivalry. I hardly even consider it a rivalry - at least not when compared to the Cubs. It doesn't help that I barely remember 1985. I've also never lived in Missouri - let alone near wherever the imaginary line is in the middle of the state that separates the two fan bases (for Cardinals-Cubs in Illinois, this line would probably run east-west across Bloomington-Normal). And, for all...
Viva El Birdos Jun 27, 2016

Cardinals should destroy the Royals

A series preview The Cardinals outscored the Seattle Mariners 18-15 over the weekend. With the blown save Friday and the rough outing for Mike Leake Saturday, that netted the Cardinals just one win out of three coming off a sweep of the Cubs. The Cardinals are now set to start a four game series (technically it is two two-game series’ as two games are in St. Louis and two games are in Kansas City, but if you think I’m writing two separate previews on the exact same team 48 hours apart, you are crazy) with their in-state brethren and defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals....
The Cardinal Nation Jun 27, 2016

How Good is Matt Carpenter’s .500 June OBP?

Putting St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter’s June on-base mark into historical context.
Viva El Birdos Jun 27, 2016

The Cardinals hit a million dingers - A Hunt and Peck

Give or take. Hi lovely readers. Writing this thing five days a week can sometimes exhaust me of creative thought. This is basically why Tuesday Trivia and Tsunamy Thursday became things - for it is in these moments that I must dig deep to think of something fresh and new. Or just embed videos of the Cardinals mashing dingers for your enjoyment. Whatever. Your browser does not support iframes. Also, check out this thing that Tommy Pham did: Your browser does not support iframes. [sighs contentedly] That was satisfying. what else is going on in baseball... Closer Jeurys Familia sets...
Viva El Birdos Jun 27, 2016

Cardinals Farm Report: Grichuk, Hazelbaker, & Pena Continue Working in the Minors

Stats & highlights from all games over the weekend played by Triple-A Memphis, Double-A Springfield, Class-A Advanced Palm Beach, and Class-A Peoria. Enjoy. This weekend, Randal Grichuk and Jeremy Hazelbaker continued playing for the Memphis Redbirds. Brayan Pena, who is on a rehab assignment, caught for the Springfield Cardinals and is nearing a return to the majors. The Palm Beach Cardinals’ game on Sunday against the Charlotte Stone Crabs was suspended in the top of the third inning; the date the game will resume has not yet been announced. The Cardinals were leading 1-0 at the time...
Viva El Birdos Jun 27, 2016

Is Matt Carpenter a superstar?

He just might be Last week, Sporting News came out with their version of the Top 50 Major League Baseball players. As those type of lists tend to do, and as Sporting News clearly intended to do, the list generated a good deal of conversation about rankings and players, overrated, underrated, etc. For fans of the St. Louis Cardinals, drawing the largest amount of ire was the lack of St. Louis Cardinals on the list and particularly no Matt Carpenter. Without getting too deep into the particulars of the list, I will say the following: The panel they created was a good one with smart,...
Viva El Birdos Jun 27, 2016

Cardinals news and notes: Bullpen, Mariners, and prospects

Well, the weekend could've gone better, but it could have gone worse too. Here is some stuff about it. If you will indulge me, I'm going to get Mad Online for a moment. Saturday's baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Seattle Mariners began at 9:10 p.m. in St. Louis. For fans on the Atlantic coast (or, say, in southern Indiana, which is very much Cardinals territory), the game began at 10:10 p.m. That it was a Saturday, a day during which more Cardinals fans than normal could reasonably stay up to watch the game without having to concern themselves with being tired for work...
Viva El Birdos Jun 26, 2016

Cardinals hit... and hit... and HIT - A Recap for June 26, 2016

The Cardinals blister the baseball to win game number 39. Scene 1. Seattle. The visitor's clubhouse beneath the stadium. Seated are CARPENTER, DIAZ, FRYER, HOLLIDAY, MOLINA, PHAM, WAINWRIGHT, WONG Enter MATHENY MATHENY Men, these two fortnights now we have fallen. Now we must fight, lest we fall once again. DIAZ [whispers to MOLINA] Uhh, Yadi, why is Mike talking like that? MOLINA Its Iambic pentameter, Diaz, A device commonly used by Shakespeare. DIAZ But why is he speaking this way? Its weird. MOLINA He is using drama to make a point. The team has lost two games in a row now...
Viva El Birdos Jun 26, 2016

System Sundays: A Brief Consideration of Dylan Carlson's Age

Taking a look at a still-potentially-underrated aspect of prospectdom, as it relates specifically to recent Cardinal drafting tendencies. In the most recent draft (the first of the Randy Flores era, though I'm as yet unsure how relevant that is to this post; we may have to wait a couple years to see if what appear to be trends currently are, in fact, or if it's simply seeing patterns where they don't exist), there were lots and lots of interesting things to consider. The Cards seemed to lean in to taking players from small schools, a demographic they've been attempting to exploit since the...
Viva El Birdos Jun 26, 2016

6.25.2016 St. Louis Cardinals @ Seattle Mariners Recap: (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Another frustrating loss for the good guys. Here's the thing:  it's late.  On a Saturday.  It's after midnight central time.  I'm drunk and there are like 15 people who are going to read this.  Plus I'm depressed about losing.  So I'm just gonna skip the cutesy poem this evening and get right to it.  I don't think anyone will actually mind too much, anyway. So, okay. Mike Leake took the mound tonight against Nathan Karns.  Guys, I don't know who Nathan Karns is; YOU don't know who Nathan Karns is.  All we know is this dude is at least somewhat legit because he's allowed to start a...

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