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Saturday, June 09, 2018

Joe Kelly Has the Best Draft Day Story Ever

“I turned 21 the day of the Draft. So double-whammy,” the Red Sox reliever said. “I knew I was getting drafted, obviously, and I turned 21 that day. So obviously that doesn’t mix too well. Let’s just say I was really, really, really belligerently drunk before the draft even started.”

 

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 09, 2018 at 12:14 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, cardinals, draft, red sox

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Red Schoendienst, St. Louis Cardinals Star and Oldest Hall of Famer, Dies at 95

The epitome of the baseball lifer, Schoendienst became a revered figure in St. Louis. He first donned a Cardinals uniform at a tryout camp in 1942 — a red-haired, freckle-faced teenager from the Midwest who was later likened in the press to a latter-day Huckleberry Finn. While in his 90s, he was listed as a special assistant to the general manager.

Playing second base, his position for nearly his entire playing career, Schoendienst teamed with shortstop Marty Marion in a superb double-play combination, most notably on the 1946 Cardinals team that defeated the Boston Red Sox in a seven-game World Series. Bobby Doerr, Boston’s second baseman in that Series, had been the oldest surviving Hall of Famer, ahead of Schoendienst, when he died at 99 in November 2017.


Wednesday, June 06, 2018

What the baseball world looked like when Nolan Gorman, MLB’s first 2000s prospect, was born

Great little nugget here: Cardinals first-round pick Nolan Gorman was born on May 10, 2000.

He’s the first child of the 2000s to ever be drafted.

ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 06, 2018 at 01:27 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, draft picks

Friday, June 01, 2018

Munoz home run caps five-run ninth as Cardinals pull out 10-8 win

Yairo Munoz hit a walk-off three-run homer as the Cardinals scored five runs in the ninth inning to pull out a 10-8 win over the Pirates on a bizarre Thursday night at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals went into the ninth down 8-5 and sent five hitters to the plate against Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez, and all of them scored.

Ouch.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 01, 2018 at 11:19 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, pirates

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Sullivan: Baseball’s Hardest Thrower Gets the Second-Fewest Strikeouts

Most counterintuitive observation of the day?

Or ever?

Part of this is easy to understand. Why doesn’t Hicks strike more batters out? Just look at the walks. He’s wild. Been better lately, but still wild. Hicks’ overall strike rate ranks in the sixth percentile. Batters are better when they’re not behind in the count. If you don’t have command, you want to at least have control.

Another factor here is that Hicks doesn’t throw a hard four-seamer. Rather, he throws a sinker, and while it’s a hard sinker, sinkers in general are more hittable. This year, four-seamers at 95 or harder have allowed a contact rate of 76%. Meanwhile, sinkers and two-seamers at 95 or harder have allowed a contact rate of 81%. Not all sinkers are created alike, and, of course, someone like Zach Britton can get whiffs on a sinker all day long, but the movement tends to just be more contact-friendly. We know that because it’s what the numbers have always suggested. A rising four-seamer can appear to be deceptive. Sinkers are thrown lower, and they drop closer to the bat path.

As you’d imagine, there’s still another factor. Hicks doesn’t exclusively throw his fastball — he also has a breaking ball around 85. But it’s not a slider he controls very well. I looked at pitcher swing rates, league wide, when they throw non-fastballs. The swing rate against Hicks’ non-fastballs ranks in the 1st percentile. Almost the lowest rate in the game. Which could be a good thing, if Hicks could reliably spot his slider around the zone edge. Instead, Hicks has been a fastball pitcher without a pitch for hitters to chase. As noted earlier, major-league hitters are exceptionally good, and they can time any existing fastball provided they don’t have to worry about anything else.

It seems bizarre for Hicks’ strikeouts to be where they are, just given his arm strength. And yet we should remember we’ve seen hints of this. Chapman has forever been a strikeout machine, because he’s paired his four-seam fastball with a dangerous slider. Yet Brian Ellington averaged almost 100, and he posted underwhelming strikeout rates. Ditto last season’s Joe Kelly. Ditto 2016’s Mauricio Cabrera. Cabrera’s fastball actually averaged over 100. He struck out 19.8% of opponents. Josh Collmenter struck out more batters than that. Hicks is the most extreme data point in both directions, but baseball has been telling us for a while that velocity doesn’t equal punch outs. Not, at least, at the velocity levels we’ve observed.

 

Stormy JE Posted: May 23, 2018 at 06:32 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, fastballs, jordan hicks, strikeouts, velocity

Monday, May 21, 2018

VHS via Leitch: Phillie broadcast commenting on impending rain delay

Leitch:

This clip explains Midwestern weather to East Coasters better than anything I’ve ever seen.

Best fans thunderstorms in baseball.

Stormy JE Posted: May 21, 2018 at 08:21 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, broadcasts, cardinals, phillies, rain delay

Monday, May 14, 2018

Wainwright likely headed back to DL after difficult start, loss to San Diego

From the beginning, it was clear that Wainwright did not have his best feel for pitches or the velocity expected.

After the game he said he lacked “snap.”

His fastball hovered below 90 mph, and there were times he had a cutter at 84 mph or 82 mph. His changeup, which usually would be in that range, slipped into the 70s mph. He was able to get outs with his curveball and find a way through two scoreless innings. In the third, a single with the bases loaded produced the Padres’ first run and the end of Wainwright’s start.

“I didn’t have much,” Wainwright said. He added that another turn to the DL and another look at the elbow would give him a chance to determine what’s next and that he still intends “to be a force” at some point this season.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Hochman: Ex-Cardinal Lynn jaded by free-agency experience

“Maybe I’ll just go on and be a hired gun the rest of my career, I don’t really care,” Lynn said in his monotone voice. “If somebody gives me a chance to pitch, I’m going to go do it, I’m not worried about anything else. It’s kind of been who I’ve been my whole life. I’m going to take the ball and I’m going to try to help the team win.

“That’s kind of the unfortunate business part of baseball now. I was here for seven years and there’s no loyalty in the game. So as players, you’ve noticed players not having the loyalty anymore either. Until some of the things get cleaned up with the way the game’s going, the direction, that’s how it’s going to be.


Friday, May 04, 2018

The history of MLB rocking the blues

Powder blues picked up steam throughout the rest of the 1970s and hit their high-water mark in 1980 and ‘81, when there were 11 blue-clad teams. Two of them—the Phillies and the Royals—faced each other in the 1980 World Series, marking the first time powder blues had appeared in the Fall Classic.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Pujols’ Age Revisted

An old subject with a little bit of new information.

bunyon Posted: April 24, 2018 at 02:51 PM | 90 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, cardinals, pujols, scouting

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Lovullo and Molina suspended

I haven’t seen this discussed. It seems off, to me. A manager being suspended is hardly anything as he can manage just as well by text. (I assume he can’t come to the park).

And it looks to me like Lovullo was clearly in the wrong and admits he was in the wrong. But maybe I missed something?

bunyon Posted: April 11, 2018 at 08:17 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, diamondbacks, mothers day

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Tommy Pham Waited Forever to Make It. Now, He’s Got Plenty to Say About His Journey.

“You can’t ##### about it, because if you ##### about it, you f—- up the team,” Pham says. “But I put up an .824 OPS and a 1.4 WAR in 150 at bats. Times that by four—if anybody did that their rookie year, baseball goes crazy over them.

“They said, ‘We believed you could do it all along.’ That’s the thing that’s so mind-boggling. I said, If that’s the f——-’ case, then why was I f——-’ demoted to Triple A? If that’s the case, why the f—- was I batting in the eight hole this year, behind the guy who got f——-’ called up from high A? That s—-, that’s that fake s—-, man.

Very interesting stuff from a very driven guy.

Perry Posted: April 04, 2018 at 09:19 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Greg Holland to sign deal with Cardinals

Finally.

Free-agent closer Greg Holland has agreed to a deal with the Cardinals pending a physical, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak told MLB.com. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, who was first to report the sides were close, said the one-year deal is for a reported $14 million.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2018 at 12:01 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, greg holland

Monday, March 05, 2018

Cardinals lock in DeJong with 6-year extension worth $26 million

It’s one of the largest ever for a player with less than a full year of service time. The deal also includes two option years and a total possible value of $51.5 million, confirmed a source. The options are both club options and they are worth $12.5 million for 2023 and $15 million for 2024.

salvomania Posted: March 05, 2018 at 03:45 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, paul dejong

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Gordo: Cardinals’ rush to trade Grichuk seems puzzling

Perhaps some day his statistics will look as spectacular as his hair.

But that day will not come in St. Louis.

salvomania Posted: January 21, 2018 at 04:56 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cardinals, randal grichuk

Friday, January 19, 2018

BenFred: Everybody can find a story about Musial’s magic | Ben Frederickson | stltoday.com

On the five-year anniversary of the day we lost “Baseball’s Perfect Knight,” find a moment to remember what made him so much bigger than the game.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2018 at 09:34 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history, stan musial

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Molina plans to retire at the end of his three-year extension | Cardinal Beat | stltoday.com

“Three more years, and that’s it,” Molina said.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2018 at 11:10 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, yadier molina

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pujols, La Russa absent as Obama honors Cardinals

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Tuesday dubbed the St. Louis Cardinals the “greatest comeback team in the history of baseball” thanks to their thrilling late-season charge into the playoffs and death-defying, seven-game triumph in last November’s World Series.

[...]

Two key figures of the championship season were absent. Manager Tony La Russa retired after the series. And star Albert Pujols signed a $240 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels in the offseason.

Classy!

Tuque Posted: January 17, 2012 at 10:22 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Monday, January 16, 2012

Retrosimba: An interview with former Cardinals pitcher Al Jackson

Q: You began the 1967 season in the Cardinals’ rotation and in April pitched a one-hit shutout, beating the Astros, 4-0, in Houston. Bob Aspromonte broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff single in the eighth. Do you recall what happened?

Al Jackson: Yes, I do _ big-time. It wasn’t so much the no-hitter. I just wanted to maintain the stuff that I had that night, the control that I had. I wasn’t throwing as good as I was earlier in the game but I also knew that when I got a little tired, I was a better pitcher because I could keep the ball down. Against Aspromonte, I got the groundball I wanted. The pitch may have been down the middle because it was hit in the hole between short and third. If I had thrown it a little further away, the ball may have gone to the shortstop. I wasn’t worried about losing the game. I just wanted to stay on top of mine.

I also had pitched a one-hitter with the Mets against Houston. Joe Amalfitano got the hit. Boxscore Later, I was asked to speak at a dinner in New York. I began by saying I disliked Italians. The room was full of Italians and they looked at me like I was crazy. Then I had to explain: the two guys who broke up my no-hitters are named Amalfitano and Aspromonte. It got a laugh.

Q: Musial was 4-for-5 in his career against you. He batted .800 against you. You were smart to put him on with the walk…

Al Jackson: I’m glad I had a place to put him. I was asked after the game, “Why would you walk him? He’s a left-handed hitter.”  I said, “Why? That’s Musial.” Just look at his record. He’s known for beating teams. And here I am in that small ballpark _ just 250 feet down both lines. I know he can hit for power down both lines. And I never thought about striking him out. That wasn’t on my mind at all.

Thanks to Heck.

Repoz Posted: January 16, 2012 at 06:32 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history, mets

Sunday, January 15, 2012

MLB.com: Wainwright expresses admiration for Tebow

ST. LOUIS—Hours before taking the field against the New England Patriots on Saturday night, Tim Tebow found himself the center of discussion in the Cardinals’ interview room. Yes, these days it seems as if there is no setting that the Broncos quarterback can’t effectively infiltrate.

Putting his Southeastern Conference allegiance aside, Adam Wainwright spent several minutes expressing his admiration for Tebow, particularly for the fearless the University of Florida product shows in expressing his religious faith in a public forum.

“I am obsessed with Tim Tebow,” Wainwright said. “I’m not afraid to say it. It’s almost embarrassing to us athletes that this much emphasis is put on Tim Tebow because that means we aren’t living our lives as we should. If we did that more often, the way he is living wouldn’t be as big a story. I’m so proud of him for living out his faith.”

Tripon Posted: January 15, 2012 at 02:07 PM | 193 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, rockies

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Neyer: Who Will the Cardinals Miss the Most?

Rally squirrel, obv.

Thursday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s website ran a poll:

Whose departure will have the biggest impact on the Cardinals?

The choices: Dave Duncan, Tony La Russa, Albert Pujols…

What I found most interesting about the poll wasn’t that Pujols finished last, but that Dave Duncan finished first, with 42 percent next to La Russa’s 30 and Albert’s 28… I’m intrigued by the notion that Cardinals fans might actually give more credit to Duncan than La Russa for the team’s recent successes. Partly because I’m not completely sure they’re wrong.

But hey, let’s make this about the Hall of Fame, since we could never get tired of that.

This isn’t an original thought, either for me or the rest of the Internet, but I believe Dave Duncan deserves, if not more credit than La Russa, at least some real Hall of Fame consideration…

In the five years before Duncan got hold of Dave Stewart, he went 30-35 with a 98 ERA+. In the next five years, he went 93-50 with a 118 ERA+.

I don’t know how much of that was Dave Duncan, how much was Tony La Russa, and how much was just Dave Stewart getting a chance to pitch. But if I were somehow involved with the Hall of Fame, I would like to know.

I would like to know that, and a lot more.

The District Attorney Posted: January 12, 2012 at 07:40 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, hall of fame

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Robothal: Cards’ Duncan taking leave from team

Dave Duncan, one of the game’s most respected pitching coaches, is taking a leave of absence from the St. Louis Cardinals, general manager John Mozeliak said Thursday night.

Duncan, 66, is leaving the team so he can be with his wife, Jeanine, who underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor on Aug. 21, the team announced in a news release…

The team said that Mozeliak will meet with new manager Mike Matheny in the near future “to determine the team’s course of action to fill Duncan’s position during his absence.”

Duncan missed more than a month after his wife’s surgery last season, but rejoined the team for the final day of the regular season and remained with the club through the Cardinals’ march to the World Series title.

Bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist served as pitching coach while Duncan was away from the club…

Duncan is under contract to the Cardinals through 2012 with a club option for the 2013 season.

The District Attorney Posted: January 05, 2012 at 10:40 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cybermetrics: Why Didn’t The Writers Vote Johnny Mize Into The Hall Of Fame?

Being that he saw his whole career…I once asked Madden the same exact thing.

He got in, via the Veterans Committee, in 1981. So it might seem a little late and silly to complain about it.

But he never he even got 50% of the vote from the writers (he topped out at 43.6% of the vote in 1971 and he got 41.3% in 1973, his last year of eligibility). If we went strictly by WAR, it seems like he should definitely be in. Even now, about 50 years from when he first became eligible, he is 55th in career WAR among position players with 70.2. He had 8 top 5 finishes and one first place. He was in the top 5 each year from 1937-40.

So he had very high career value and peak value. In Win Shares, he also had 8 top 5 finishes among position players, including 3 first places finishes. He was 104th through 2001 in career Win Shares (338) including pitchers. He also missed 3 seasons due to WW II. Bill James ranked him as the 6th best 1B man in the 2nd Historical Abstract.

...In his first year of eligibility, 1960, he got only 16.7% of the vote. Click here to see the voting that year at Baseball Reference. Twelve guys got more votes than he did that year and he had more WAR than all of them. He beat 8 of them buy 20 or more WAR. Edd Roush, Sam Rice and Eppa Rixy all got over 50% of the vote that year, a level Mize never achieved. None of them had even 52 WAR (Mize had 70.2). All but one of the 12 got in before Mize (except Lazzeri). Most were by the Veterans Committee. So they too, did not give Mize the credit he deserved.

I think the writers, and to a lesser extent the Veterans Committee, did a poor job in evaluating Mize. I hope the writers have been, and are getting, better. But when I see the voting for guys like Raines and Bagwell, not to mention Lou Whitaker being gone after just one year on the ballot, I am not sure.

Repoz Posted: December 28, 2011 at 08:53 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, hall of fame, history, sabermetrics, yankees

Monday, December 26, 2011

Jayson Stark (ESPN): Strange stuff … in the 2011 postseason

The postseason edition of trivia and oddbits that Jayson Stark excels at collecting and presenting…

Here’s one I didn’t know:

All four teams that advanced to the LCS—the Cardinals, Brewers, Rangers and Tigers—got outscored by the teams they played in the Division Series … and won.

Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: December 26, 2011 at 09:48 PM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, brewers, cardinals, history, phillies, rangers, rays, tigers, yankees

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