Cardinals DFA Tejada

goodbye

The Cardinals have announced that they’ve designated infielder Ruben Tejada for assignment. Mark Saxon of ESPN.com was first to report on Twitter that the DFA was likely. Tejada’s roster spot will be taken by Matt Carpenter, who’s returning from the paternity list.

St. Louis faced a choice between cutting Tejada loose and optioning Greg Garcia. The latter may have made the decision for the team with a highly productive game tonight. He’s now blasted two home runs (among eight total hits) and drawn seven walks in just twenty-one plate appearances.

Garcia, of course, has never hit at anything close to that rate in the minors. But the 26-year-old is clamoring for a larger opportunity, and Tejada no longer really is needed for the reason he was acquired.

St. Louis inked Tejada to a $1.5MM deal after he was cut loose by the Mets, with the Cards still trying to figure out what to do with Jhonny Peralta on the DL. In the interim, Aledmys Diaz has taken over at short and Peralta is now nearing a return, reducing the need for middle infield help with Garcia, Jedd Gyorko, and Kolten Wong also all on hand.

The 26-year-old Tejada has certainly not helped his cause. In 40 plate appearances, he owns a .176/.225/.235 slash. That doesn’t inspire much confidence given that Tejada has hit at about 15% bjefelow the league average rate over his career. Plus, he’s known more as a competent than a high-quality gloveman. All that being said, capable middle infielders who are competent offensively aren’t easy to find, so it seems reasonable to expect plenty of interest from teams looking for depth up the middle.

MLBTraderumor-Jeff Todd

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MLB Hall of Fame Tour

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I am giddy with excitement that the MLB Hall of Fame tour is coming to St. Louis. Here is all the information you need.

The historic Baseball Hall of Fame Tour (We Are Baseball) will come to Ballpark Village in St. Louis beginning on August 26 as one of the first stops on its multi-year journey to dozens of cities across North America, bringing to fans a one-of-a-kind baseball experience through the illustrious history of the game with cutting-edge technology and digital media.  Baseball fans in St. Louis will be able to visit the one-of-a-kind mobile exhibit galleries from August 26—September 11.  The Baseball Hall of Fame Tour’s visit to St. Louis will coincide with the 2016 Cardinals Hall of Fame Induction Weekend presented by Edward Jones when the 2016 Induction Class of Chris Carpenter, Joe Torre, Terry Moore and Sam Breadon will be formally enshrined at a ceremony on Saturday, August 27.

Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. today became the first Commissioner to visit the Field of Dreams movies site, along with 2015 Hall of Fame inductee and MLB Network analyst John Smoltz, where the Tour’s 2016 travels were unveiled during a live town hall announcement event only 90 miles from the first stop – Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport, Iowa.

Pre-sale tickets are currently available for Cardinals season ticket holders to purchase through Monday, May 30 at 10:59 CT.  Through its official ticket provider, Tickets.com, the Tour’s general public tickets across all six locations will be available beginning Tuesday, May 31 at 10:00 a.m. CT on the Tour’s official website, BaseballHallTour.com.

We Are Baseball was developed with content provided by The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and through a partnership with IMAX Corporation, MLBAM, Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, CAA, and United Talent Agency, along with Arny Granat and Grand Slam Productions.

IMAX Movie

Central to the fan experience is a mobile IMAX theater showcasing an original IMAX film highlighting the past, present and future of baseball.  The film will feature never-before-seen new content as well as historical footage.

Technology

To celebrate the shared experiences and bonds fans have for the sport, one-of-a-kind historical artifacts were curated by baseball historians and will be exhibited in unprecedented ways through state-of-the-art technology.  This dynamic, customizable and sharable traveling exhibit will allow fans to “experience” the stories, traditions and stars covering baseball’s past and present like never before – from the game’s greatest luminaries, ranging from Honus Wagner to Willie Mays, Babe Ruth to Clayton Kershaw, and personalities and moments, like world renowned broadcaster Harry Caray or Bill Mazeroski’s legendary World Series-winning home run, to Fenway Park’s famed Green Monster.  Examples include:

·         History Selfie: Put yourself into some of baseball’s most iconic moments and share with your friends, family and followers via social media.

·         Hall of Fame Plaques in HD: Scroll through an interactive experience of the Hall of Fame plaques for every inductee.

·         Video Exhibit Cases: In a first-of-its-kind for baseball artifacts, utilize video screens to get the story behind a specific artifact before the artifact itself is revealed behind the screen.

·         Personal Plaques: Using touch screen technology and high resolution cameras, take your own photo to create a personal Hall of Fame replica plaque and craft your own Hall of Fame story.

·         Interactive Games: An interactive touch screen table will allow you to play fun games against your family, friends and other We Are Baseball visitors.

·         Mobile: Leveraging MLBAM’s mobile development and technology expertise, the Tour also will integrate iBeacon technology for location awareness into the experiences for fans with the free MLB.com Ballpark app.

Jaunt VR

The Tour partnered with pioneering virtual reality (VR) company Jaunt to give fans up close and personal experiences of being present next to the game’s brightest stars, on field, in the dugout and even in the clubhouse.  Shot over a series of weeks and available only as part of the Tour, Jaunt captured footage at Spring Training camps for the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics.  They were also on field for the Boston Red Sox Fenway Park and Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field home openers and documented the ring ceremony for the 2015 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals.

 

Fanatics

In partnership with the inaugural Hall of Fame Tour, Fanatics, the global leader in licensed sports apparel and official MLB digital commerce partner, will operate a pop-up retail store and provide a wide range of officially licensed gear and customized products for each city stop.  Local fans will have the ability to shop a wide selection of Hall of Fame Tour merchandise and Baseball Hall of Fame throwback designs, while also sifting through city-by-city Cooperstown memorabilia and collectibles.  Fans unable to visit in person will be able to showcase their passion and pride by shopping all Hall of Fame Tour merchandise online.

Along with St. Louis, We Are Baseball will travel to five other cities in its first four months of operation in 2016, providing fans in those communities nearly 1,000 open hours of access to the exhibits, artifacts and immersive experiences provided from the vast collections of The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.  A detailed schedule for 2016 is below:

Baseball Hall of Fame Tour – 2016 Schedule

Davenport, IA (Modern Woodmen Park)                              July 3-10

Milwaukee, WI (Miller Park)                                                       July 15-31

Kansas City, MO (Kauffman Stadium)                                     August 5-21

St. Louis, MO (Busch Stadium)                                                   August 26 – September 11

Minneapolis, MN (Mall of America)                                         September 16-29

Las Vegas, NV (Las Vegas Convention Center)                    October 7-23

A Tour schedule for 2017 will be released as it becomes available. Visit BaseballHallTour.com for complete details and the latest scheduling and ticket information.

 

Cardinals grab Jose Martinez from the Royals

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The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have acquired outfielder Jose Martinez from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for cash considerations.  Martinez , who was playing for Omaha (AAA) this season, has been assigned to the Memphis (AAA) roster.  To make room for Martinez on the team’s 40-man Major League roster, the Cardinals transferred right-handed pitcher Mitch Harris (right elbow) from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.

Jose Alberto Martinez, 27, was batting .298 with three home runs and 18 RBI with a .356 on-base pct. in 37 games with Omaha this season.  The right-handed hitting native of Le Guaira, Venezuela is the son of former Major League outfielder Carlos Martinez.

Martinez won the Pacific Coast League batting title last season (.384) while also posting a league-best .461 on-base pct.  His 2015 All-Star season also included a career-high 10 HR’s and 60 RBI. 

The 6-6, 210-pound Martinez has played 800 career games in the minors, batting .296 with 53 HR, 354 RBI and 63 stolen bases.   Martinez, who was originally signed as non-drafted minor league free-agent by the Chicago White Sox in February of 2006, also played in the Atlanta Braves organization before joining the Royals in 2105.

Source: St. Louis Cardinals

Come Get your Stan the Man BBQ Sauce

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As a huge fan of St.Louis Style Barbecue and different types of sauce, I am happy to report that Stan The Man Original BBQ Sauce is coming to Dierberg’s and Shop N Save stores in St. Louis, Missouri. The history of Musial’s BBQ Sauce all started with one of Stan’s friends  sending him a case of maple syrup each year for Christmas. Not knowing what to do with so much syrup, Stan’s wife Lil started incorporating it with spices into a barbecue sauce. The family loved it so much, they’ve been using it at family gatherings ever since.

Now, this secret family recipe is available to the public with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the St. Louis Area Foodbank.

Sales of the sauce kick off Tuesday.

The St. Louis Area Foodbank says as the school year wraps up, the food bank sees an increased need from children who receive free or reduced meals from school.

 

2016 MLB Draft Special

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In just a few weeks we will soon find out who will drafted for this yearly event. I have pt together some information that might be helpful for all you baseball fans.

Schedule (All Times ET)

June 9
Day 1
Round 1 through Lottery Round B
Live on MLB Network & MLB.com
Preview show begins at 6 p.m. ET
Round 1 begins at 7 p.m. ET
June 10
Day 2
Rounds 3-10
Live on MLB.com
Preview show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET
Round 3 begins at 1 p.m.
June 11
Day 3
Rounds 11-40
Live on MLB.com
Round 11 begins at noon ET

First-round and compensatory round Draft order for 2016
Draft order is based on the reverse order of 2015 regular-season standings, with 2014 records used to break ties.

1. Phillies (63-99, .389)
2. Reds (64-98, .395)
3. Braves (67-95, .414)
4. Rockies (68-94, .420)
5. Brewers (68-94, .420)
6. Athletics (68-94, .420)
7. Marlins (71-91, .438)
8. Padres (74-88, .457)
9. Tigers (74-87, .460)
10. White Sox (76-86, .469)
11. Mariners (76-86, .469)
12. Red Sox (78-84, .481)
13. D-backs (79-83, .488)
14. Rays (80-82, .494)
15. Orioles (81-81, .500)
16. Indians (81-80, .503)
17. Twins (83-79, .512)
18. Nationals (83-79, .512)
19. Giants (84-78, .519)
20. Angels (85-77, .525)
21. Astros (86-76, .531)
22. Yankees (87-75, .537)
23. Rangers (88-74, .543)
24. Mets (90-72, .556)
25. Dodgers (92-70, .568)
26. Blue Jays (93-69, .574)
27. Royals (95-67, .586)
28. Cubs (97-65, .599)
29. Pirates (98-64, .605)
30. Cardinals (100-62, .617)

Qualifying offers reshape 2016 Draft

Compensatory round

31. Ian Kennedy, Padres
32. Justin Upton, Padres
33. Jeff Samardzija, White Sox
34. Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners
35. Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles
36. Chris Davis, Orioles
37. Ian Desmond, Nationals
38. Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals
39. Yovani Gallardo, Rangers
40. Daniel Murphy, Mets
41. Zack Greinke, Dodgers
42. Howie Kendrick, Dodgers
43. Alex Gordon, Royals
44. Dexter Fowler, Cubs
45. Jason Heyward, Cardinals
46. John Lackey, Cardinals

My Top 3 Prospects

Jason Groome

A New Jersey native, Groome moved to Florida to attend the IMG Academy in Bradenton for his junior season. After a very strong summer on the showcase circuit, Groome is back in the Garden State and could be the highest-drafted player ever from that state. Two weeks into his senior season, and a week after a 19-strikeout no-hitter, he was ruled ineligible for 30 days because he’d violated a New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association transfer rule despite returning to his parents’ home and former school.

Groome has everything to be a top-of-the-rotation left-handed starting pitcher, from his 6-foot-6 frame to the potential to have three above-average to plus offerings. The fastball is already there, up to 96 mph and sitting 92-93 mph over the summer, and in the 90-94 mph range in the early stages of the spring. Groome features a nasty curve as well, with tight rotation and bite. He doesn’t throw his changeup often, but he’s shown some feel for it, with some sink. Groome is generally around the plate and has clean mechanics, with a pretty good overall feel for pitching.

The highest a player from New Jersey has gone in the June Draft is No. 3 (Jeff Kunkel, 1983; Willie Banks, 1987). Groome, a Vanderbilt commit, could break that record, though some some teams have concerns about his makeup.

Corey Ray

Ray ranked as the Draft’s top position prospect entering 2016 because he offers the best combination of hitting and athletic ability. He should become the highest pick in Louisville history, surpassing current teammate Kyle Funkhouser, who declined to sign with the Dodgers as the 35th overall choice in 2015.

A 33rd-round pick by the Mariners as an Illinois high schooler in 2013, Ray broke out as a sophomore last spring and continued to star during the summer, leading the U.S. collegiate national team in OPS (.971), extra-base hits (nine) and steals (11). He has a quick left-handed bat and makes consistent hard contact, giving him the potential to hit for both power and average. Ray uses the entire field well and has done a better job of managing the strike zone and making consistent contact this spring.

Ray has plus speed and knows how to use it well on the bases. Though he has spent most of his career at Louisville in right field, he runs well enough to play center field. Ray has the offensive production and arm to profile at all three outfield positions, and obviously he’d offer the most value if he can play in the middle.

A.J. Puk

The hope, especially for the Phillies with the No. 1 overall pick, was that Puk would use his frontline rotation stuff and separate himself from the rest of the class, making him the slam-dunk choice for being taken 1-1. Inconsistency, which has plagued him for much of his career at Florida, not to mention some time on the shelf with back spasms, made Puk more of a wild card than hoped.

Big and strong, Puk arguably has the best raw stuff of any arm in the class, with the chance to have three plus pitches. He’s capable of touching 96-97 mph with his fastball regulary. Ironically, he might have been at his best in the one inning he threw before his back acted up, showing a 96-99 mph fastball and a plus slider at 88-90 mph. He can maintain his velocity deep into starts and while his changeup is his third pitch, it should be Major League average in the future.

Puk’s biggest stumbling block has been his control and command, something that has kept him from dominating college competition consistently. Puk returned after skipping a start and if he finishes his Gators career off well, he still could be a top-of-the-Draft selection.

Source: MLB /Baseball America

 

 

 

New Changes are Coming in 2017

Thmanfred

Well here we go again with new changes to MLB? Why must Manfred change things again. The nature of baseball is meant to be slow. This is one of my favorite quotes from George Will, “Baseball is a habit. The slowly rising crescendo of each game, the rhythm of the long season–these are the essentials and they are remarkably unchanged over nearly a century and a half. Of how many American institutions can that be said?  I just feel that baseball has its faults and problems but that’s what we all love about it. The game is so unpredictable. Thanks to Jayson Stark here are the new changes thats coming in 2017…………….

According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, MLB’s competitive committee agreed to drastic changes to the strike zone and intentional walks at the quarterly owners’ meetings in New York this week. The changes could go into effect as soon as next season.

In a nutshell, the committee has agreed to raise the bottom of the strike zone slightly and eliminate the need for pitchers to actually throw pitches during an intentional walk.

Here’s more from Stark:

The committee agreed on a motion to effectively raise the lower part of the strike zone to the top of the hitter’s knees, sources said. The current rules stipulate that the zone begins at “the hollow beneath the kneecap,” but the change is a reaction to a trend by umpires to call strikes on an increasing number of pitches below the knees.

The change in the intentional-walk rule would end the traditional practice of requiring the pitcher to lob four balls outside the strike zone. Instead, a team could signify it wants to issue an intentional walk, and the hitter would be immediately sent to first base, sources said.

It’s important to note these rule changes are not final. This is only step one of the process. The rules committee has to approve the changes, and while the MLBPA approval is not necessary, it’s customary for MLB to present the changes for review. The same is true for the umpires’ union. The rule changes are designed to increase offense and further improve pace of play. Eliminating the need to throw pitches for an unintentional walk will cut down on “dead time,” though it also eliminates the opportunity for something weird to happen. A wild pitch, for example. Or Miguel Cabrera hitting an RBI single when the other team is trying to intentionally walk him.

Raising the strike zone will eliminate the low strikes — Jon Roegele of the Hardball Times has done some great research showing the strike zone has gradually been getting larger and larger in recent years — and also lead to more balls in play as pitchers have to elevate a bit to get called strikes. More balls in play means more baserunners and generally more excitement.

So far this season batters are striking out in 21.1 percent of their plate appearances — the highest strikeout rate in history — and walking 8.4 percent of the time. So nearly 30 percent of all plate appearances are ending in a strikeout or walk, and, frankly, strikeouts and walks are boring. People want action, meaning balls in play.

Source Mike Axisa

Alex Reyes ready for his Return

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According to a report from Mark Saxon of ESPN, St. Louis Cardinals’ minor league pitcher Alex Reyes will make his first start of the 2016 regular season for Triple-A Memphis on May 22.  Widely regarded as the top overall prospect within the Cardinals’ organization, Reyes is coming off a 50-game suspension after testing positive for marijuana.

Despite receiving one of the lengthier suspensions at the hands of marijuana in recent memory, the 21-year-old did take full responsibility for the positive test as well as issuing an apology for his actions.

GM John Mozeliak said top prospect Alex Reyes will make his first start at AAA May 22. Coming off a 50-game suspension for marijuana

Currently in the midst of the 50-game suspension, Reyes is a hard-throwing right-hander, who also became the third Arizona Fall League player to receive a suspension while joining the Texas Rangers’ Evan Van Hoosier and Detroit Tigers’ JaCoby Jones.  However, the up-and-coming hurler dominated both the Florida State and Texas Leagues during this past offseason prior to receiving the suspension in the fall.

Managing to consistently reach the mid-90s with his fastball, Reyes also saw his breaking pitches continue to confuse oppph osing batters.  Adding to the impressiveness of his young career, he once topped out at 102 mph while regularly reaching the triple-digit plateau as well.

On the other hand, although the Kansas City Royals previously emerged as the frontrunners to land Reyes and his services from atop the mound, the Cardinals wound up inking him to a $905,000 million contract back in December 2012.  While he has yet to make his big league debut since signing the aforementioned deal, Reyes cannot be too far off from joining the Cardinals’ roster as later this season remains a possibility.

source Joseph Nocco