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Monday, August 22, 2016

Gordo: Depleted Cardinals turning negatives into positives | Jeff Gordon | stltoday.com

The Cardinals keep on plugging away.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2016 at 11:24 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals’ Brandon Moss enjoying proving haters wrong - St Louis Cardinals- ESPN

“I had a bad year last year and I was coming off a hip surgery, and everybody wants to look at you like your career is done and you can’t do it anymore,” Moss said. “I wanted to tell them, ‘Hey man, pump the brakes a little bit. I’m fighting though a lot of things here.’

“You get tired of the constant questions about it. You’re going out there and fighting every single day to be the best for your team and your teammates that you can possibly be. Everyone in the room knows that you’re battling. Everybody knows that you don’t feel right. But every single day there’s a little something in the articles written about your failures. It eats at you a little bit.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2016 at 06:51 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon moss, cardinals

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Cardinals loosen reins on Grichuk | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

“He needs to be Randal,” hitting coach John Mabry said.

That’s something Moss has wanted to talk to Grichuk about.

An unapologetic slugger who was in Triple-A at 27 when he accepted his swing, Moss recently loaded up a bushel of statistics on his phone to show Grichuk. Moss researched information on BrooksBaseball.net (a database of granular pitching data), FanGraphs (a progressive statistical site), and Baseball-Reference.com (baseball heaven, online). The stats illustrated how other hitters have started their careers with bursts of homers and flurries of strikeouts and become a more selective but no less powerful hitter as they mature. The day he planned to present 25-year-old Grichuk the examples, Grichuk was demoted.

“I wanted to show him some things on similar players that have struggled in their careers or struggling in their first couple years and all of a sudden the power number starts to spike because the on-base started to spike,” Moss said. “The batting average slowly climbs, sometimes goes down, but that’s OK. I’m not trying to shape him, but I’m trying to give him a better idea because I feel like that’s where he was lost. He wants stardom. He needs the patience for it, but it will come.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 16, 2016 at 09:38 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, randal grichuk

Monday, August 15, 2016

Stephen Piscotty has improved arm strength | MLB.com

Great article.

And Piscotty? Well, we know exactly what he did, because MLB.com’s Cardinals beat reporter Jen Langosch pointed out way back in early April that improving arm strength was a focus of Piscotty’s last spring. As she wrote, Piscotty changed his throwing mechanics when new teammate Mike Leake “identified a flaw that was costing the outfielder some strength,” then worked with fellow outfielder Randal Grichuk on improving his arm action. Two days into the season, Piscotty showed off his new skills by hitting 94.8 mph while throwing out Andrew McCutchen at the plate.

Four months later, that increased velocity has more than held up. Consider these career numbers:

• Of the 58 times Piscotty has reached 75 mph on a throw, 51 of them have come in 2016.
• Of his 30 hardest tracked throws, 29 have come in 2016.
• Of Piscotty’s five career assists, four have come in 2016.
• Of the 93 qualified outfielders, he was tied for 69th in throwing velocity last year, and he’s 11th this year, just behind Kole Calhoun and Adam Eaton.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 15, 2016 at 06:58 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, steven piscotty

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Goold: How Moss learned to mash, without regrets | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

Doctor Strangebat: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb!

Each day’s BP became his chance to let loose, masquerading as a warmup to get loose. He had a swing built for a longest-drive contest. He knew where the pitch was going to be, how fast it was going to arrive, and he wanted to see how far he could send it, picking distant spots out at each ballpark. If there was water out yonder, all the better. He would let fly to see how far it flew. And then, during a BP session at Class AAA, hitting coach Jeff Branson had a suggestion.

“You need to start trying to do that in a game,” Branson told him.

“I don’t know if I can,” Moss recalled answering. “It’s fun to do it in BP. But it’s a totally different thing to do it in a game. He said, ‘With where you hit the ball in BP, you have the ability to miss balls and hit them over the fence. Honestly, I think that’s a better approach for you to have. You’re not really having success with what you’re doing now.’

“And,” Moss said. “He was right.”

This is how Brandon Moss learned to stop worrying and embrace hitting bombs.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 14, 2016 at 11:54 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon moss, cardinals

Friday, August 12, 2016

Holliday suffers broken thumb as mistake-prone Cards lose in 11 | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

The injuries keep pilling up in St. Louis.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 12, 2016 at 08:10 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, matt holliday

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Gordo: Mediocrity is enough for Cards to contend | Jeff Gordon | stltoday.com

The Cardinals may make the playoffs in what seems like a bridge year for them. It would be quite the accomplishment.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 09, 2016 at 08:42 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, playoffs

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Reyes pulled from Memphis start; available, if needed, for MLB debut | Derrick Goold: Bird Land | stltoday.com

The way the Cardinals have it planned, lefty Tyler Lyons will likely start Saturday’s game in Miami, but since little has gone as planned for the past week they wanted to make sure they had another, viable, even intriguing option.

Enter Alex Reyes.

The Cardinals’ top prospect was pulled from his start Tuesday night for Class AAA Memphis after three innings and 57 pitches. The reason given for the quick removal from the game was “insurance,” according to an official. The Cardinals didn’t want Reyes to throw a standard start and not be available if needed for Saturday. The righthander with the 100-mph fastball is being considered for that start, and his major-league debut.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 27, 2016 at 09:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: alex reyes, cardinals

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Baseball can be a cruel game. Just ask Mike Mayers. | Sports on Earth

What happens when your dream comes true but turns into a nightmare?

Jim Furtado Posted: July 26, 2016 at 09:41 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, debuts, mike mayers

Monday, July 18, 2016

Former Cardinals Exec Sentenced to Prison for Hacking Astros

Wow.From prank to almost 4 years in prison.

Brian Posted: July 18, 2016 at 03:41 PM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Wainwright more than all right in blanking Marlins | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

Wainwright referred to himself as “the laughingstock of the baseball world” for his 7.16 ERA at the end of April and struggles into May. He’s carved that down to 4.15. As he stood on the mound for the ninth – 11 pitches from a shutout – he made sure he saw where his 2006 teammates were in the crowd. He’s no longer the rookie they watched close their championship. He’s more complete.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 17, 2016 at 08:59 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: adam wainwright, cardinals

Thursday, July 14, 2016

BenFred: Cards have no bigger woe than problems in the field | Ben Frederickson | stltoday.com

I wonder what metrics the Cardinals are using.

But it’s the defense that’s been consistently suspect.

“The one thing that, through all of this, I don’t think any of us anticipated was us struggling as much as we did early on defensively,” Mozeliak said Wednesday. “I do think that had a ripple effect on our rotation, thus putting more stress on (starters).”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 14, 2016 at 07:15 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, defense

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Young shortstops, like Diaz, are wave of future in the big leagues | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

The Cardinals seeing Diaz as their future at shortstop is quite a reversal from 12 months ago, when it was possible his time with the team had passed. The Cardinals needed a spot on the 40-man roster, and Diaz had idled at Class AA. The club designated him for assignment. Diaz had to pass through waivers, giving 29 teams a chance to claim him. (“Whoops,” said one NL executive earlier this season.) In the months that followed, Diaz went on a tear: He hit better than .300, reached base more than 40 percent of the time, slugged better than .500 and hinted at what was ahead.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2016 at 06:38 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: aledmys diaz, cardinals

Monday, July 11, 2016

Cards prospect Reyes sizzles in Futures Game | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

Since I’m sure they are watching his innings, how long can the Cardinals resist adding him to their bullpen? As Earl Weaver used to say, “The best place for a rookie pitcher is in long relief.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 11, 2016 at 08:57 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: alex reyes, cardinals

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Brayan Pena to serve U.S. Army

The phone call from the military recruiter that Cardinals catcher Brayan Pena had been waiting for came Tuesday, and if the U.S. Army calls again asking him to serve, he said he would probably leave baseball to do so.

Pena, 34, has been exploring the possibility of joining the U.S. Army Reserves, and he learned Tuesday that he will be able to participate in training and work as an ambassador, but his contract with the Cardinals forbids him from officially enlisting. But he feels called to serve in some way, he said, even if it’s before his contract expires.

“If they call me and say, ‘Hey, Pena, can you go?’ I will go,” Pena said. “It’s one of those things you have to follow your heart and you have to follow exactly how you feel and that’s how I feel. It’s one of those things I’ve been thinking about for a while now and let’s see what happens.”...

Speaking with a U.S. Army Recruiting Center in Orlando, Fla., Pena learned that his contract prohibited his full enlistment. He’ll spend two weeks training this offseason and then see what other functions he can serve. At the end of his current contract, he will explore full enlistment, he said.

“I know it’s not a game. I know that,” Pena said. “Sometimes you have to do what you think is the right thing. Because I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, ever since I became an American citizen. It’s time for me to give something back.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 06, 2016 at 11:22 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: brayan pena, cardinals, military service

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Matt Carpenter joining some of elites, when it comes to leadoff hitters.

Matt Carpenter, a 13th-round pick in 2009, has re-imagined the leadoff spot for a modern game and is on his way to claiming two of the best seasons ever by a leadoff hitter. Carpenter has made a strong All-Star push with a remarkable month. Since the birth of his daughter, Carpenter has hit .385 with a .491 on-base percentage and a 1.231 OPS. He has reached base almost as many times (57) as he has outs (59) in that span. With another two hits Tuesday night in Kansas City, Carpenter has raised his season average to .300, his on-base percentage to .420, and his slugging percentage to .592. He’s a 3-4-5 hitter (.300/.400/.500), and he’s doing it from the leadoff spot. Let’s put the argument of where he should aside, and look only at what he’s done from the top spot in the order. It’s Hendersonian.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Commish’s Classics: They Weren’t Just The Mets; They Were Pond Scum

‘Commish’ Hummel looks back on the 1980s STL-NYM rivalry, points and laughs at young Chris Dial’s tears of rage and anguish. Worthy topics!


Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Cardinals Kolten Wong sent to Triple-A Memphis | cardinals.com

Jhonny Peralta is set to make his season debut for the Cardinals, and his arrival means a demotion for a St. Louis regular.

The Cards plan to reinstate Peralta from the disabled list in time for Tuesday’s game in Cincinnati. On Monday, they cleared the roster space to do so, optioning Kolten Wong, the team’s primary second baseman for almost three seasons, to Triple-A Memphis.

There simply isn’t going to be much playing time going forward for Wong, who is hitting .222/.306/.286 in 144 plate appearances, with the return of Peralta bumping reigning National League Player of the Week Matt Carpenter to second base.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 07, 2016 at 06:55 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, kolten wong

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Mozeliak Says Diaz Will Stay at Shortstop, Peralta Feels He Can Play 3rd Base - 101Sports.com

On if Kolten Wong could be sent to Memphis to work out his hitting slump:
“I don’t want to talk about a given person especially when you’re talking about a downward assignment, but overall this game is about performance. Ultimately, we’ve got to try to put together our best 13 from an offensive standpoint to give us a chance to win.”
“As this picture becomes more clear and we have a better understanding about when some of these injured players are coming back and what to expect…Everything has to be on the table when considering how to improve.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2016 at 07:28 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, jhonny peralta

Monday, May 30, 2016

Cardinals notes: Punishment for hacking ‘unlikely’ before this June’s draft | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

The sentencing hearing for former Cardinals executive Chris Correa has been delayed several times, and as a result the commissioner’s office has not resolved its investigation into Correa’s admission that he illegally entered the Houston Astros’ database. The Cardinals have been braced for punishment of some kind, but the timing has been unclear. Two sources with knowledge of the commissioner’s thinking said it would be “unlikely” that any punishment could be exacted before this coming draft. There isn’t time, said one, and the plan has been to wait until after the sentencing.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 30, 2016 at 11:41 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Miklasz: Cards Blow a Chance to Beat Cubs: Another Reason to Despise the Sac Bunt

Old-school Bernie sounds more like Brian Kenny here…

But there’s a bigger picture here.

You have only 27 outs in a nine-inning game.

Every out is precious.

So don’t squander them on unnecessary sac bunts.

And never do it when you have a runner on second base with no outs — and three chances to get him home.

Matheny absolutely adores the sac bunt and I don’t know why.

The Cardinals have been among the most aggressive sac-bunter teams in the majors since Matheny took over as manager in 2012. In his first four seasons, the Cardinals ranked among the top seven teams for most sac-bunt attempts three times. And in the other year, 2015, they ranked 14th among the 30 teams.  This season only four teams have tried more sac bunts than Matheny’s Cardinals.

And for all of Matheny’s serial sac bunting — or as I call it, “Death By Bunting” — here’s where the Cardinals have ranked among the 30 teams in sac-bunt success rate each season:

2012 — tied for 17th.

2013 — 25th

2014 — 11th.

2015 — 20th

2016 — 22nd

Matheny remains undeterred. Despite reams of easily accessible data and that give current managers more information than ever to make educated and beneficial strategy decisions, Matheny manages like it’s 1957 or something.

All of the studies have produced or reaffirmed the same conclusion: sac bunts just aren’t a smart percentage play — and that’s especially true when you have runners on first and second and in possession of all three of your outs.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wacha routed again and can’t figure it out | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

From reading some of my Twitter follows I conclude his issues must be due to pitching the most innings in a year following Tommy John surgery.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 25, 2016 at 06:59 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, michael wacha

Sunday, May 15, 2016

St. Louis Cardinals standing behind Aledmys Diaz, misplays and all - St Louis Cardinals- ESPN

His defensive play can improve. Still, his play has clearly been a plus for the Cards.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 15, 2016 at 05:47 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: aledmys diaz, cardinals

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