6:35 AM EST, Sat January 31, 2015
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Viva El Birdos 19 hours ago

Hunt and Peck: Matheny is in the heating business

Welp. because... real estate didn't really work out. this idiot can't even figure out a double switch and he now wants to work on my furnace? pic.twitter.com/xSSPp261hS — alex fritz (@boxcar_fritz) January 29, 2015 what else is going on in baseball... You may not like Alex Rodriguez, but you would miss him if he were gone. - SBNation Ben Revere only had 76 total swings & misses last year... There were 121 players who had 76 or more strikeouts last year. — Daren Willman (@darenw) January 28, 2015 Are they any advantages to the Philles keeping Jonathan Papelbon? -...
Viva El Birdos 21 hours ago

A Q&A with St. Louis Cardinals pitching prospect Tim Cooney

In his own words: Tim Cooney discusses topics such as the pitch clock, pitching out of the bullpen, and even his skills on the dance floor. Highlighted by a one-hit shutout against the Iowa Cubs on May 29th, St. Louis Cardinals pitching prospect Tim Cooney experienced an up-and-down 2014 in his first season with the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds. Drafted in the third round of the 2012 MLB Draft, Cooney, the organization's #7 prospect according to Baseball America, aims to be the second member of his respective draft class to achieve a big-league promotion (behind Michael Wacha, of...
Viva El Birdos 23 hours ago

MLB payroll obligations: 2015-2020

A look at each MLB club's salary obligations through 2020 (excluding the Blue Jays). On Thursday, I took a look at whether the St. Louis Cardinals have the payroll flexibility necessary to sign Jason Heyward to a long-term extension. In that post, I included a graphic with the Cardinals' guaranteed salary obligations from 2015 through 2020 that included where St. Louis ranks in MLB in terms of those commitments. A few folks inquired where I got the information for the rankings. The answer, of course, is the indispensable Cot's Baseball Contracts, which is now under the Baseball Prospectus...
Viva El Birdos Jan 29, 2015

Top 25 Future Redbirds for 2015: Power, Potential, Risk

The Cardinals don't have any start talents among the current position player crop in the minors. Most of the players have flaws that either limit their upside or are high upside players that haven't begun to climb the development curve. Before we get into the players in today's post, a few housekeeping items: In the vein of expanding Future Redbird coverage in 2015: F-R is looking for anyone who has interest in writing the Daily Farm Reports during the 2015 season. I'm envisioning some changes to how this will be accomplished this season and am also looking for the assistance of a web...
The Cardinal Nation Jan 29, 2015

Interview: Stan Musial Biographer Joseph Stanton

Exclusive interview with Stan Musial biographer Joseph Stanton.
Viva El Birdos Jan 29, 2015

Matt Adams needs to beat expectations in 2015

Along with the rest of the team, Matt Adams' power numbers fell in 2014. He will need to beat expectations in 2015 to secure his future with the Cardinals. Matt Adams is in a very secure position with the Cardinals in 2015. The Cardinals as well as the rest of baseball are starving for power, and Adams provides it, leading the team in slugging percentage at .457. Adams is still young and cheap at 26. As a pre-arbitration player, he makes near the minimum salary. Adams plays first base, and there is no prospect pushing him for time. Mark Reynolds could eat into some plate appearances versus...
Viva El Birdos Jan 29, 2015

Do the St. Louis Cardinals have the payroll flexibility necessary to sign Jason Heyward long term?

On Episode 15 of the Viva El Birdos podcast, Aaron Finkel and I got to talking about the likelihood that new St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward, who is set to become a free agent after the 2015 season, might sign a long-term extension. During the course of that discussion, Aaron and I looked at the Cardinals' current payroll obligations through the next five years. The Cardinals have the payroll space necessary to sign Heyward. We know through the reporting of Derrick Goold at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the Cardinals put together three- and five-year payroll plans....
Viva El Birdos Jan 28, 2015

Jim Edmonds belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame, so follow @JimEdmondsHOF

The unofficial Jim Edmonds for the Hall of Fame campaign has an official Twitter account. It is the position of Viva El Birdos that current St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame member and former all-time great Major League Baseball center fielder, Jim Edmonds, should be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown by the Baseball Writers Association of America members who have been given the ability to vote for ten (but no more than ten!) retired ballplayers every year. VEB has long touted Edmonds's Hall of Fame case, with former site manager Dan Moore eloquently musing about the...
The Cardinal Nation Jan 28, 2015

Keith Hernandez Should Not Be Considered a Met Only

Consider a player’s team Hall of Fame credentials rather than discarding his candidacy because he starred for another team, too.
Viva El Birdos Jan 28, 2015

Trevor Rosenthal and a look at pitch usage, sequencing, and location

In the first half of 2014, Rosenthal went first-pitch fastball 85.96% of the time. Will he make an adjustment in 2015 and beyond? It was an interesting year for Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal. On the surface, it looks like a solid season as he posted a 3.20 ERA (2.99 FIP) and racked up 45 saves (in 51 chances, 88.2%), but upon further review, his fWAR dropped to 1.0 (from 2.2), his strikeout rate dropped to 28.3% (from 34.7%), and his walk rate ballooned to 13.6% (from 6.4%). After what we saw in 2013 (especially the playoffs), we probably set too lofty of expectations for the...
Viva El Birdos Jan 28, 2015

Let's Talk About Something Silly, Shall We?

A discussion of food in our nation's ballparks, fueled by necessity. So I find myself writing to you on this cold late January morning by way of an LG G3. The upside of that is that it's a very nice phone, and I've been perfectly happy with it in the seven months or so I've had it. The downside of it is that, despite being a very nice phone, my LG G3 quite stubbornly remains a phone, and if you'll allow me I'm going to enlighten you as to one of the finer points of blogging on a phone: it ain't ideal. I'm composing this via phone because I temporarily find myself in dire straits...
Viva El Birdos Jan 28, 2015

Will the St. Louis Cardinals enjoy better luck with RISP in 2015?

In 2013, the Cardinals enjoyed extremely good fortunes with RISP. In 2014, the Cardinals hit about as badly with RISP as they did overall. Will the Cards experience better results in 2015? Do you remember how good the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals performed with runners in scoring position? Silly question, I know, since the dead horse that was that club's RISP batting line has had its skeleton beaten to dust long ago. Nonetheless, a refresher: 2013 St. Louis Cardinals Team Splits ...
Viva El Birdos Jan 27, 2015

Hunt and Peck: Rest in peace, Mr. Cub

Baseball says goodbye to Ernie Banks. THIS JUST IN: Cubs Hall of Fame SS Ernie Banks dies at age of 83. pic.twitter.com/1B5iDJxAyB — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 24, 2015 To the man who always wanted to play two: RIP Ernie Banks. pic.twitter.com/FWXxP9tvS7 — CBS Sports (@CBSSports) January 24, 2015 Ernie Banks has died at age 83 Banks was known as "Mr Cub. His 512 HR rank tied for 22nd all-time — ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 24, 2015 RIP Ernie Banks. One of the good guys. "Let's play two." — Baseballism (@Baseballism) January 24,...
The Cardinal Nation Jan 27, 2015

Former Cardinals Broadcaster Jerry Gross Passed Away

A versatile San Diego-based broadcaster who once called St. Louis Cardinals games has died at 81.
Viva El Birdos Jan 27, 2015

Top 25 Future Redbirds for 2015: Pitchers that are juuuuust a bit outside

These guys just missed inclusion in the Future Redbirds Top 25 prospects for 2015 for various reasons, but mostly due to organizational depth. If you've been following any of the prospect talk surrounding the Cardinals organization this offseason, the phrase you'll notice most often is "No stars". That's especially true of the position players who competed in a full season league in 2014 and while I'm a bit more bullish on the pitching in the system, the lack of any big bat anywhere above A ball is what most of the conversation is focused on. What this system does have, however, is a ton of...
Viva El Birdos Jan 27, 2015

A six-man rotation is a bad idea

The Cardinals are looking to manage innings from their starters this season due to concerns with injuries, but a six-man rotation is not a good way to go for the Cardinals in 2015. With Adam Wainwright coming off surgery, Michael Wacha with a rare shoulder condition, John Lackey 36 years old, and Carlos Martinez set to have an innings cap, the Cardinals are looking for ways to preserve innings for their starters. Derrick Goold reported on John Mozeliak's desire at Winter Warmup. "You brought up two young pitchers [Martinez and Wacha] who we do have to manage how much they work," Cardinals...
Viva El Birdos Jan 27, 2015

How do the St. Louis Cardinals' hitting peripherals compare to MLB as a whole?

A look at how the Cardinals position players' K%, BB%, LD%, GB%, and FB% compare to MLB non-pitchers. On Monday, we took a look at how the St. Louis Cardinals' likely 2015 starting rotation peripherals compare to the major-league starter rates. Back when the Cardinals signed free-agent Mark Reynolds, I was very intrigued by the fact that the slugger had an anti-Cardinal batting profile. That's when I first had the idea to compare the Cardinals' position players' batting profiles. It seems like a natural follow-up to the starting rotation post. In putting the below graphs together, I...
Viva El Birdos Jan 26, 2015

Jon Jay's batting average is vital to his success

Jon Jay continues to plug along, putting together another solid year in 2014 on the strength of a high BABIP. If he is to see success again in 2015, that BABIP needs to stay up. Jon Jay is not usually the type of player who creates intense debate among fans. He was never a top prospect, and never projected to hit for power. Expectations have never been exceedingly high. He has never garnered a high salary, been heavily involved in trade rumors, or made any missteps with the press or fans. He plays an important defensive position reasonably well, and in his worst offensive season he was...
The Cardinal Nation Jan 26, 2015

About Tony Cruz and Bob Uecker

Thinking about two St. Louis Cardinals reserve catchers a half-century apart.
Viva El Birdos Jan 26, 2015

What are the profiles of the St. Louis Cardinals' projected 2015 starting pitchers?

Late January is the dead of winter, made all the more lifeless by the complete and utter lack of baseball. It often leads me to ask myself about broader concepts. Given the rise in strikeouts across baseball that is strangling offensive production, I wondered a few days back what it meant to be a "strikeout pitcher" in this day and age of gaudy K totals. As I was comparing individual pitchers to the league-wide strikeout rate, I thought it might be fun to take a gander at how the projected 2015 St. Louis Cardinals starters compare to MLB starters as a whole when it comes to various...

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