4:23 PM EST, Sat February 13, 2016
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Viva El Birdos 5 hours ago

Viva El Birdos Cardinals Top Prospects: #4 Tim Cooney

Counting down the Cardinals top prospects with a lefty who could see time in St. Louis this season. p>Editor's Note: Red Baron has compiled this year's top prospects in three parts, which can be found by clicking on Part I, Part II, and Part III. The post below is a portion of those massive posts, focusing in on a single prospect at a time, which should make a search of any one prospect easier to find. All of our 2016 prospect coverage and write-ups can be found at the Viva El Birdos 2016 Prospects hub. #4: Tim Cooney, LHP Opening Day 2016 Age: 25 2015 Level: Triple A Memphis,...
Viva El Birdos 8 hours ago

Cardinals News and Notes: Grichuk's defense, Holliday and first base, and the Simpsons

Catching you up on the Cardinals The big news in Major League Baseball yesterday was not Cardinals-related, but that Mets reliever Jennry Mejia had been suspended by MLB for steroids a third time. This suspension resulted in a lifetime ban. If you are curious about the chemistry involved in some of the banned substances that Jennry Mejia has taken during one of his three test failures, Joe Schwarz covered that back in April when Mejia tested positive the first time. In other news: Randal Grichuk Randal Grichuk and his future on defense-While Grichuk is a much-debated player in general...
Viva El Birdos 21 hours ago

Making sense of Matt Carpenter's projection

Marp is projected for his worst season as a full-timer, which seems odd Over the last three years, Matt Carpenter has been the most valuable Cardinal, accumulating just over 16 wins in that time frame, and never less than four wins. Which is why I've continued to be a little bothered by his projections. Steamer has him at 3.7 with Zips at 3.8, both lower than his worst performance over those three years. Either projection would of course represent a great season, but I couldn't shake the idea that he's better than that. Usually, I trust the projections. Of course, regression is inevitable....
Viva El Birdos Feb 12, 2016

St. Louis, the Cardinals, and the Simpsons

The Cardinals as well as the city of St. Louis have a few prominent associations with the Simpsons Over at the Sporting News, Jesse Spector took the new Frinkiac.com meme generator for the Simpsons and picked out quotes and images from the Simpsons that fit for all teams. He chose the episode with Mark McGwire which may or may not have foretold the ongoing hacking scandal. That episode was certainly Cardinals-related as Mark McGwire walked around the entire episode in full uniform, but it is not the only Cardinals, St. Louis, or Missouri-related episode on the Simpsons. One of the most...
Viva El Birdos Feb 12, 2016

Matt Holliday, first baseman? - A Hunt and Peck

Oh great, this again.... Countless words have been typed on Matt Holliday, stalwart and statue in left field for the entirety of his career, and the possibility of him moving to first base. The idea seems innocent enough. Holliday is not fleet of foot, or really... like, graceful at all, but he is still a great hitter. Maybe first base would be a good place to hide his slightly below average glove? It would also solve the Cardinals first base woes and upgrade the outfield defense. In theory, this is a great idea. In reality however... The glove smack gets me every time. Okay, so it...
The Cardinal Nation Feb 12, 2016

Early Line has Cardinals at 87.5 wins, Cubs at 89

The Atlantis Casino has issued its early over/under win totals for the 2016 Major League Baseball season. Another tight National League Central race could be ahead.
Viva El Birdos Feb 12, 2016

The defensive future of Randal Grichuk

While many questions have been asked about Randal Grichuk's future prospects as a hitter, it is worth evaluating how sure of his future defensive value in center field we are. Before the 2015 season, Randal Grichuk was projected by Baseball Prospectus's PECOTA system to be worth 0.6 Wins Above Replacement Player, with a .239 batting average, .275 on-base percentage, and .414 slugging percentage. This was the median projection. Grichuk's 90th percentile projection was more optimistic--2 WARP in 313 plate appearances. In March 2015, this level of performance would have sounded terrific. After...
Viva El Birdos Feb 12, 2016

Cardinals news and notes: The Wizard, Pham, and Oh

Appreciating Ozzie Smith and yesterday in VEB. Yesterday marked the 34th anniversary of Ozzie Smith joining the Cardinals.  If you were a Cardinals fan when Ozzie was in or near or his prime it was almost impossible for him to not be your favorite player not just for his unprecedented athleticism he brought to the field but also his constant presence.  He alone bridged the gap between the 1982 World Series team and the Ray Lankford and Brian Jordan era.  I could watch a highlight reel of his best defensive plays all day but what allowed him to be such an enduring shortstop in the NL...
Viva El Birdos Feb 11, 2016

Seung Hwan Oh and any potential visa issue is behind him

After some concerns that the Cardinals newest member of the bullpen might be late to camp, it appears all issues have been resolved. Before Seung Hwan Oh signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, there were some governmental delays related to gambling in a foreign casino, which is against the law in South Korea. After those issues were satisfactorily resolved, Oh flew to the United States to introduce himself and make his signing official. After that was completed, it was expected that Oh would have no problems reporting on February 17, when pitchers and catchers are due to report to Jupiter,...
Viva El Birdos Feb 11, 2016

Cardinals place three prospects in Keith Law's Top 100

While the Cardinals system placed in Keith Law's bottom half of teams, they did land three prospects in the Top 100, including one in the Top 10. Keith Law released his top 100 prospects over at ESPN earlier today. Based on his review of the farm systems, which we covered yesterday, we knew that Law had placed three Cardinals' prospects in his Top 100, but we did not know which three players nor did we know their placement. That information came today as Alex Reyes received the lofty number eight ranking overall with Marco Gonzales coming in at 76 and Jack Flaherty at 83 in Law's annual...
Viva El Birdos Feb 11, 2016

Carlos Martinez ready to SOAR! - A Hunt and Peck

Like, literally. Carlos Martinez is having a blast this offseason. HE IS FLYING A PLANE. heart u Just chillin on a Sunday #Bahamas #usssss ✈️ with @repostapp A video posted by Carlos Martinez (@tsunamy0327) on Feb 7, 2016 at 1:01pm PST what else is going on in baseball... World Baseball Classic qualifier in Australia | MLB.com Giancarlo Stanton most extreme home runs | MLB.com Time to get hyped for the first round of 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers | MLB.com Pujols is the greatest right-handed hitter since Hank. | Sports on Earth Finding a Team for Yulieski...
Viva El Birdos Feb 11, 2016

Tommy Pham's long strange trip to 2016

The odds of Tommy Pham having prosperous career are likely stacked against him but he might have the skills to overcome them anyway. On September 16, 2015, the Cardinals scraped by to a 5-4 win over the Brewers in Milwaukee.  It was the middle game of an important three-game sweep with a road series versus the Cubs looming on the horizon and the Cardinals clinging to a three game lead in the NL Central.  As much as the Cardinals have a "Pete Kozma game" or a "Tommy Herr seat cushion game" this evening belonged to another Tommy - this was the Tommy Pham game.  He hit towering home runs in...
Viva El Birdos Feb 11, 2016

Searching for a weakness in Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta

After being named the 2015 National League Cy Young Award winner over Los Angeles Dodgers co-aces Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, expectations have never been higher for Jake Arrieta. Of course, a contributing factor to these expectations is the offseason excitement surrounding Arrieta's team, the Chicago Cubs, who has made significant, roster-defining splashes (Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, John Lackey) in the free agent market. After finishing three wins short from an appearance in the World Series, it is safe to say team president Theo Epstein can taste the opportunity of finally...
Viva El Birdos Feb 11, 2016

Cards news and notes: future catchers, the first NLCS, dingers, Kieth Law

catching you up on yesterday's VEB Behind Yadi the Cardinals are pretty thin on catching talent in the organization. The Red Baron thus looked at three catching prospects eligible for this year's draft. Follow the link to get all of his thoughts on what's so great about these guys. Yesterday Ben shared another chapter of Cardinals History on the "first NLCS". This wasn't actually an NLCS, as it occurred in 1946 and the first NLCS wasn't until 1969, but it was a tie breaker series to determine the NL representative in the World Series. I was not aware of this series and it was a very fun...
Viva El Birdos Feb 10, 2016

A look at future Cardinals' rotations

how will things shake out in a few years? Last Friday I used The Red Baron's Top 21(ish) Cardinals prospects list to categorize the Cardinals' prospects in terms of what level of the minor leagues they were likely to start the year at in 2016. Today, I will utilize that same list, but it will be in the name of projecting what the Cardinals' rotation could look like in the years ahead. Now before we get started, a caveat: Pitchers are volatile. Prospects are volatile. Pitching prospects are doubly volatile, or possibly volatile squared. The Cardinals certainly can't count on these pitchers...
Viva El Birdos Feb 10, 2016

Cardinals prospects ranked by Keith Law in bottom half of systems

ESPN's Keith Law ranks the farm systems Prospect season is still in full gear. We have top-100s, top-101s overall that are continuing to role out. Various publications release top-10s, top-20s, and top-30s by team. Keith Law's top-100 comes out tomorrow, but he gave something of a preview today by ranking the systems of all 30 teams. After ranking the Cardinals 13th last season, a season that saw solid contributions from system graduates in Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk, Law put the Cardinals at 19th out of 30 systems. Nineteenth obviously is not a great ranking for a farm system,...
Viva El Birdos Feb 10, 2016

The 2016 Cardinals Home Run Leader will be... ? - A Hunt and Peck

Grichuk? Gyorko? Moss? The Cardinals are not known for their home run prowess. Part of this might be due to an organizational philosophy of not only  acquiring a certain type of hitter - line drive hitters - but also coaching hitters to hit to all fields. Maybe. Another factor is the stadium the team plays half its games in, Busch Stadium III, to be precise, seems to suppress home runs due to reasons I am not able to explain. Combine all this with the fact that offense as a whole has been on the decline for years and you have team that lacks a deep threat. This might explain why the...
Viva El Birdos Feb 10, 2016

The first National League Championship Series

20+ years before the NLCS became an annual event, St. Louis played in the first-ever tie-breaker series in 1946. The National League Championship Series officially began in 1969, when the league was divided into two divisions. The Cardinals have won that series seven times. But all the way back in 1946, the Cardinals played in the first-ever tie-breaker series to determine the National League Champion. While players had left the league for several seasons to fight in World War II, 1945 was by far the most disrupted season - so much so that the Chicago Cubs actually won the pennant. In St....
Viva El Birdos Feb 10, 2016

2016 Draft Preview No. 5: Catch a Rising Star

Three young catching prospects, all with big-time offensive potential, and featuring various levels of defensive polish and ability. The intro will be short, because I wrote a bunch of intro-y sort of stuff in the first player's scouting report for whatever reason. (Usually I write these from beginning to end, but sometimes I skip writing the preamble and do the reports themselves first.) What we have here today is a group of three catchers, all of whom, somewhat strangely, hit from the left side (it's a weird theme of this year's draft; lefty-hitting catchers), and offer varying degrees...
Viva El Birdos Feb 10, 2016

Cardinals news and notes: Holliday, Martinez, and free agents

In which we revisit some old friends and contemplate future rules. It snowed in St. Louis on Monday. It may snow today and it is expected to snow on Sunday. Forget whether or not it is baseball season: does it feel like baseball season to you? No, not yet. But a month from today, the Cardinals will play a Spring Training game. Two months from today, the Cardinals will play a regular season game. It will require patience, but in time, baseball will be here. Until then, here's some posts to whet your appetite. The Gurriel brothers Craig Edwards analyzed recent Cuban defectors Yulieski...

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