Cards Announce 2017 Promotional Schedule

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Cardinals Have eyes for Turner

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Well here is some good news. The Cardinals have at least some interest in free agent third baseman Justin Turner, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network (Twitter link). It is not apparent from the report whether the club has spoken to Turner’s representatives.

Given that array of players, Morosi suggests that the Cards would likely need to find a taker for Peralta to facilitate an addition of Turner. The 34-year-old Peralta is coming off of a rough 2016 season, though he’s owed just $10MM entering the final season of his front-loaded free agent contract.

Turner, who just turned 32, would represent a nice upgrade for the Cardinals, though of course that’s also true of many other teams. Since reviving his career with the Dodgers, Turner owns a .296/.364/.492 batting line and has rated as a top-quality defender at the hot corner.

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak could take the approach of signing Turner and then trading Peralta to one of the teams that had pursued Turner. But Peralta, who turns 35 in May, is coming off a disappointing 2016 in which he posted a .715 OPS in 82 games. His OPS, power numbers and games played have declined in each of the past three seasons.

Based on recent production, Turner would be an upgrade over Peralta, both offensively and defensively. Turner, who turned 32 last week, is coming off a career year in which he hit 27 home runs, collected 90 RBIs and amassed an .832 OPS in 151 games.

Jon Morosi

Molina joins Puerto Rico for WBC

World Baseball Classic - Pool C - Spain v Puerto Rico

Yadier Molina will represent Puerto Rico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, his agent, Melvin Roman, confirmed to MLB.com and MLB Network’s Jon Morosi on Monday. Molina has participated in each of the three previous WBC events.

Molina made his WBC debut in 2006 when he appeared in four games for Puerto Rico. He finished 3-for-5 that year. Molina shared time behind the plate with Ivan Rodriguez again three years later and finished the ’09 tournament with one hit in six at-bats. Molina then helped Puerto Rico advance to the WBC championship game in 2013 when he started seven games and went 7-for-27.

Players who participate in the WBC will leave their respective teams midway through Spring Training and remain away until their WBC team is eliminated or the championship game is played, whichever comes first.

Molina is the first player from the Cardinals’ 40-man roster known to have formally committed to playing in the upcoming WBC, which will be held from March 6-22. Cardinals closer Seung Hwan Oh garnered consideration by the Korea Baseball Organization but was not added to Korea’s roster because of his suspension by KBO, stemming from a casino gambling incident that happened before Oh signed with the Cardinals in January.

Source: Jennifer Langosch

Edgar Renteria on 2017 HOF Ballot

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On a team laden with veteran leaders, he was the unofficial captain. In a lineup loaded with superstars, he was the man they wanted at the plate in the biggest situations.

Edgar Renteria was rarely one of baseball’s most heralded players, but for the bulk of his 16 seasons in the big leagues, he was one of the game’s best. Five times an All-Star, twice a World Series champion, Renteria is now on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time. Renteria is best known for his six seasons in St. Louis, when he turned promise into stardom and was a core member of four postseason teams. But he pushed teams toward championships throughout his career. At 21, in his second big league season, he knocked the game-winning hit for the Marlins in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series. At 34, in his second-to-last year, he was World Series MVP for the champion Giants.

A lifetime .286 hitter, Renteria amassed 2,327 base hits and scored 1,200 runs. He won two Gold Glove Awards and three Silver Slugger Awards, and he was a three-time All-Star starter at shortstop. All while maintaining a combination of quiet grace on the field and a warm, funny presence in the clubhouse that made him a beloved clubhouse figure throughout his career.

“Edgar is one of my all-time favorite teammates,” said outfielder Aaron Rowand, who played with Renteria in San Francisco. “He’s one of the greatest dudes. Everybody should be lucky enough to have played with a guy like him.”

Signed at 15 out of Colombia by the Marlins, Renteria made his big league debut at 19 in 1996. He immediately showed he belonged, finishing second in National League Rookie of the Year Award balloting. He was an effective regular with the Marlins for three seasons, making his first All-Star team in 1998, then took off after a December 1998 trade to the Cardinals. He blossomed into a star in St. Louis, posting a .290/.347/.420 line as an all-around threat for manager Tony La Russa’s clubs.

Renteria was named unofficial captain, despite the presence of numerous more established veterans. And even in a lineup with Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds, Renteria was well-known in the clubhouse as the man that teammates would want up in a game-critical moment.

A free-agent departure to Boston didn’t suit him, but a return to the NL with Atlanta definitely did. He posted two strong seasons with the Braves before another trade sent him to Detroit. A free-agent deal with San Francisco saw him win his second ring (and be named MVP of the Fall Classic), and his career came to a close in Cincinnati in 2011. Throughout, Renteria was a strong hitter, an exceptional baserunner, a quality defender and a valued teammate.

Source:Matthew Leach

2017 Winter Warm Up

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Cardinals Care, the charitable foundation of the St. Louis Cardinals, has announced that tickets for the 21st annual Winter Warm-Up will be available starting Friday, November 25, at 10:00 a.m. CT.  The largest fundraising effort organized by Cardinals Care, Winter Warm-Up will take place Saturday, January 14, through Monday, January 16 (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day), at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch.  Event times are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday.

WarmUpBeginning Friday morning, fans can purchase admission passes for the three-day Winter Warm-Up online at cardinals.com/winterwarmup, in the Official Cardinals Team Store at Busch Stadium and at Cardinals Clubhouse stores located around St. Louis.  Those who order online by January 2 will receive their passes in the mail.  Fans who order after January 2 can avoid the Will Call lines by picking up passes at the Busch Stadium ticket windows Tuesday, January 10, through Wednesday, January 11, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Will Call opens on Friday, January 13, at the Hyatt Regency at noon.

The prices for admission passes, which are valid for all three days of the Warm-Up, will remain the same as previous years; $40 for fans age 16 and over, $10 for children age 5 to 15.  Kids under 5 are admitted free of charge.  Members of the military, police and fire departments with an active ID can receive one free adult pass which must be obtained in person at the Official Cardinals Team Store at Busch Stadium (November 25-January 13) or at the event.

Winter Warm-Up provides fans with countless unique opportunities while raising money for Cardinals Care, the team’s charitable fund whose mission is caring for kids in the Cardinals community.  Fans can meet their favorite players at autograph sessions, play interactive games, share memories with Hall of Famers, take photos with Fredbird, find collectible memorabilia, bid on one-of-a-kind items at live and silent auctions, experience live presentations and ask tough questions of players, owners, scouts, broadcasters and officials at Q&A sessions.

“The Winter Warm-Up is our premier offseason event where fans can engage with our players and team personnel while helping kids in our community,” said Michael Hall, Executive Director of Cardinals Care and Vice President of Community Relations.  “It’s always exciting to witness the passion and enthusiasm our fans bring to the Winter Warm-Up every year.”

Many players’ autographs are free with the admission pass, while others require an autograph ticket available through a specific additional donation.  All autograph tickets will be sold online beginning Wednesday, January 4 at 10:00 a.m. CT through Monday, January 9.  Any remaining autograph tickets will be sold at the event.  Fans can visit cardinals.com/winterwarmup in mid-December for details, including player autograph dates, times and, if required, additional donation amounts.  Any remaining autograph tickets not sold online will be available at the Winter Warm-Up.

Source: St.Louis Cardinals

Cardinals made a minor league move with Tovar

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Today the Cardinals signed Wilfredo Tovar to what it may look like a minor league deal. Tovar tweeted a thank you to the organization for his latest opportunity. The 25-year-old Tovar came up through the Mets system and made a pair of brief MLB appearances in 2013-14, collecting three hits in a tiny sample of 22 plate appearances. Once rated as one of the Top 15 prospects in the Mets’ system by Baseball America (and thrice rated as that system’s best defensive infielder), Tovar spent the 2016 campaign with the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate, where he served as their primary shortstop. Defensive prowess aside, Tovar doesn’t bring much to the table offensively; he hit .249/.301/.327 with one homer in 494 plate appearances at Triple-A last year, although he did chip in 29 steals (in 38 attempts) when he managed to reach base.

Source: Steve Adams

Could Ozuna be an Option

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Mark Saxon of ESPN.com notes. He suggests that Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna is a “name to keep an eye on” for the Cardinals. Ozuna has rated well with the glove in the past, though his metrics dipped last year, but he also brings a power bat. (In 2016, Ozuna hit 23 home runs for the second time in his career while posting a personal-best .187 isolated slugging mark.) Of course, he’s also going to cost quite a bit in trade value since he’s only projected to earn $4.5MM in his first of three seasons of arbitration eligibility. That being said, the Cardinals look to be a strong possible match with the Marlins, at least on paper, given their relative abundance of MLB-level starting pitching — a major focus of Miami’s offseason.

Wacha Being Shopped Around

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It looks like we now see a glimpse on what the Cardinals might be using as trade chips. The front office and GM John Mozeliak have been somewhat quiet which leads to bloggers and the baseball pundits to guess whats going on. with the Cardinals and who are they looking at to trade for. Well here is the story the Cardinals have floated right-hander Michael Wacha’s name in trade talks, according to Rosenthal, who’s skeptical that the club would receive much in return for the 25-year-old because of his injury issues. Wacha threw 181 1/3 innings in 2015, but he missed significant time each of the two seasons in between because of shoulder troubles. He was terrific from 2013-15, recording a 3.21 ERA, 7.95 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 in 353 frames, though he posted a bloated ERA (5.09) in 138 innings this past season. While Wacha’s strikeout and walk rates of 7.43 and 2.93 per nine were close to previous norms (he also registered a career-high ground-ball rate of 46.6 percent), it’s possible the Cardinals will move him to the bullpen next season in his first of three arb-eligible campaigns. So I wonder who the Cardinals are looking at to consider Wacha to be traded

Wong inducted into Cape Cod Hall of Fame

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Wong, who played for the Orleans Cardinals and was the 2010 Cape League MVP, and Petkovsek, who hurled for St. Louis, Anaheim and Texas and was a two-year performer with the Chatham A’s, will be among the hall of fame headliners.

The other inductees rounding out the class and their Cape teams are J. C. Holt of the Brewster Whitecaps, Warner Jones of the Wareham Gatemen, former Falmouth Commodore Jim McCollom and one-time Bourne Braves slugger Kyle Roller.

The event begins with a 10 a.m. brunch at the Chatham Bars Inn, followed by the induction ceremony at noon.

Former WBZ-TV sports anchor Scott Wahle will serve as emcee and the proceedings will include short video introductions on this year’s inductees with voice-over narration by the legendary sportscaster Dick Enberg.

Here is a capsule summary of the six inductees:

Holt attended LSU and was the Cape League MVP in 2003, where he led the league in batting that season with a .388 batting average. His average broke the old record of .384 set by former major leaguer Bobby Kielty in 1999. Holt had a 21-game hitting streak that season and helped to pace the Whitecaps to the Eastern Division title.

Petkovsek, while pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals, Anaheim Angels and Texas Rangers, had a 46-28 record with a 4.73 ERA and 358 strikeouts during a Major League career that lasted ten years. Pitching for Chatham during the 1985 and 86 seasons, he posted a 14-4 two-year record pitching over 149 innings. He led the league with a 2.90 ERA both seasons.

Jones was a standout infielder for the Gateman in 2003-04. The Vanderbilt grad performed in two all-star games and in 2004 led the league in doubles (16) and extra base hits (17). He still ranks third and fourth for most at-bats in a season during the modern era on the Cape, with 188 plate appearances in 2004 and 186 the previous season.

McCollom, a Clemson product, was a hard-hitting first baseman-outfielder in 1984, leading the Commodores with a .413 average with 15 home runs and 115 total bases. He finished second in the league that year in RBIs with 37. He was drafted in the ninth round by the California Angels, where he spent five years in their minor league system.

Roller spent two seasons in Bourne (2009-10), where he was Cape League MVP in 2009 and led his squad to the CCBL title. He won two-thirds of the Triple Crown that year, leading the league in home runs with 10 and RBIs (33), with a slugging percentage of .644 and he hit .342. He is currently playing first base for the Durham Bulls, the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Wong, named to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, is a native of Hilo, Hawaii. For the 2010 Cape League season, he finished third in the league in batting average at .341, was second in on base percentage (.426), fourth in slugging (.452) and tied for second in stolen bases (22). He was selected in the first round of the Major League draft by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011 and is currently on their roster.

Source: Mike Richard

Cardinals Sign Brett Cecil

 

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As the Cardinals look for a center fielder and to upgrade the infield today they quietly signed Brett Cecil $30.5MM over the four seasons and includes full no-trade protection, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (Twitter links).  The contract will be official when Cecil, an ACES client, passes a physical.

The  Cardinals have landed one of the top setup men on the market this winter.  In four years as a full-time reliever, Cecil posted a 2.90 ERA, 11.5 K/9 and 3.68 K/BB rate with the Blue Jays, with grounder rates of over 50% in three of those four years.  Over his career, Cecil has dominated left-handed hitters, limiting them to just a .226/.281/.344 slash line.

Cecil was the 38th overall selection by Toronto in the 2007 MLB Draft. – He was born on July 2nd, 1986 in Maryland. – In his final season at Maryland, Cecil had a 3.32 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 62.1 innings, while walking 19 as a closer. – Cecil has been strictly a starter since joining the Blue Jays system and has struck out 185 over 168.1 innings over the 2007 and 2008 seasons. His combination of a high strikeout rate, low walk rate and extremely impressive groundball rate makes for somewhat of a statistical anomaly. His ERA predictably increased in each of his three levels of ball in 2008, with a 1.74 mark in high Single-A, 2.55 in 77.2 innings in Double-A and 4.11 in 30.2 innings of Triple-A. – The Jays have slowly readjusted Cecil to extending his innings since he closed in college. – Cecil has an excellent slider that hits the mid to high 90’s with great movement. It somewhat acts like a cutter. He can run his fastball to the mid 90’s, but it more frequently is in the low 90’s. Cecil also has a curve and change offering, but like many prospects, he hasn’t found consistency and confidence in those pitches.

Source: MLB\Baseball Prospectus

 

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