Stubby Clapp Minor League Manager of the Year

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Memphis Redbirds manager Stubby Clapp has been named the Baseball America Minor League Manager of the Year, joining a group of skippers to earn the award that includes Buck Showalter, Terry Francona, Grady Little, and Ryne Sandberg, among others, dating back to 1989.

Clapp, also the 2017 Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year, is the first St. Louis Cardinals minor league manager to receive the Baseball America honor.

In his first year at the helm of the Redbirds, which began exactly one year to the day of receiving the Baseball America award (Nov. 30), Clapp piloted the club to its third PCL championship (2000, 2009, 2017) and a remarkable 97 wins combining the regular season and the postseason. The Redbirds went 91-50 in the regular season, setting a franchise record for victories and becoming the first PCL team since Tucson in 2006 to win 90 games in the regular season.

The Redbirds’ success came while using 62 different players during the season, including 14 making their Triple-A debuts, with 22 different players also playing for St. Louis and nine making their Major League debuts.

Additional Season Highlights:
– Memphis’ 91 wins were the 10th-most in 119 seasons of professional baseball in Memphis, and the season’s .645 winning percentage was fourth-best
– Memphis was one of four teams in MiLB with 90+ wins (Trenton Thunder [AA], 92-48; West Michigan Whitecaps [A], 91-45; Chattanooga Lookouts [AA], 91-49; Memphis Redbirds [AAA], 91-50)
– Memphis went 41 games over .500 during the regular season, the most by a PCL club since Albuquerque was 56 games over at 94-38 in 1981
– The Redbirds won the PCL American Southern Division by 22.0 games, and since divisions were established in the PCL in 1963, only two other teams won their division by 20 or more games (1970 Spokane Indians, 26.0 games; 1981 Albuquerque Dukes, 25.0 games)
– Memphis ended the season with its best ERA in franchise history (3.77) (3.89, 1998 and 2003), matched its best fielding percentage (.984) (.984, 2014), and had its third-best batting average (.278) (.284, 1999; .279, 2004)
– The Redbirds won a franchise-record 11-straight games April 28-May 8 and then had streaks of seven-straight and nine-straight in July. The Redbirds also won 12-straight home games from July 3-27 and seven-straight road games from May 2-8
– The Redbirds won or split 27-straight series from April 18-21 at Colorado Springs through Aug. 15-18 versus Nashville (17-0-10)

Source: Memphis Redbirds

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Matt Holliday talks about Stanton

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Matt Holliday was on MLB Network Radio today and talked about the chances of Stanton coming to St. Louis. It’s been reported that playing in Los Angeles is at the top of the 2017 NL MVP’s list, but Holliday believes he should re-consider.

Matt Holliday said…“You got all offseason to live in Miami or LA, or wherever he wants to live, but for six months getting after it as a baseball player in St. Louis, there’s no better place. You get the chance to play for a winning franchise, in a city that loves baseball that would revere him for the next 10 years as their superstar to kind of build their team around. I just think that it’s a better opportunity than maybe people are thinking.”

Holliday points out St. Louis’ available payroll, a well-built farm system to stay competitive for years to come and the fact that Miami is rebuilding for the next few seasons. As the Miami Herald reports, the Marlins told Stanton that if he doesn’t accept a trade then he’ll be a superstar surrounded by a “stripped-down team. 

So if Holliday were to call Stanton and give him a St. Louis sales pitch, he’d say something like this:

“I know we probably aren’t the exact same people, but to be a ball player in St. Louis I think it’s a tremendous organization and fan base and I think it’s a good fit.”

If anyone knows about signing mega-deals with St. Louis, it’s Holliday. As a free agent before the the 2010 season, St. Louis signed him to the richest contract in club history – $120 million guaranteed over seven seasons. He was a four-time All-Star and a major part of the Cardinals 2011 World Series Championship team.

 

Source: MLB Network Radio

Lyons, Wacha and Grichuk are Arbitration Elgible

NLCS Dodgers Cardinals Baseball

The Cardinals have three players that are up for arbitration that includes Micheal Wacha, Randal Grichuk and Tyler Lyons. They have accrued three to six years of Major League service time and are therefore eligible for arbitration this offseason. The Cardinals are expected to tender contracts to each of them ahead Friday’s 7 pm CT deadline.

Wacha moves into his second year of arbitration eligibility, while Grichuk and Lyons are eligible for the first time. Back in February, the Cardinals, unable to come to a salary agreement with Wacha, took his case to an arbitration hearing. It was the Cardinals’ first such hearing since 1999, and they came out as the winner.

Wacha, as a result, earned $2.775 million in 2017. He’ll see that salary rise following a season in which he posted a 4.13 ERA over 165 2/3 innings.

But while the Cardinals are ready to engage in negotiations with all three of these players, it isn’t assured that all three will be on their 2018 roster. Wacha is expected back in the rotation, and Lyons should fill an important spot in the bullpen. Grichuk’s future, though, is much less certain.

The Cardinals entered the offseason prepared to shave away some of their outfield surplus, and Grichuk remains a strong candidate to be dealt in the coming months. Grichuk knows that, too. Asked in the final days of the regular season whether he saw himself fitting into the Cardinals’ 2018 plans, Grichuk was candid with his answer.

“No. Not necessarily,” he said. “But who knows. Anything is possible. It’s going to be a fun offseason. It’s going to be an interesting offseason to see what direction the club goes with a lot of guys. I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

Even if the Cardinals don’t see a place for Grichuk next season, it benefits them to keep him on the roster for now. Instead of non-tendering Grichuk — a move that would make him a free agent and bring the Cardinals nothing in return — the Cardinals can retain his rights and continue to explore potential interest in the trade market.

Source: Jennifer Langosch

Cardinals to Make a Deal by Friday with Rays

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With all the talk and hype of Giancarlo Stanton and the Cardinals seems to be either here or there but one thing for sure it looks like the Cardinals may make a deal for Alex Colome before Friday. It is also being reported by Tampa Bay Times writer, Marc Topkin, who believes closer Alex Colome and starter Jake Odorizzi are going to be traded. A deal for the pitchers is likely to happen before this Friday, because that is the contract tender deadline, when teams have to commit to signing their arbitration-eligibles. Topkin reports, 12 players Rays players are projected to make more than $40 million, and he believes the Rays will try to move a couple of those players before making tougher decisions on letting them walk.

I wonder if Jake Odorizzi might be included in a trade to the Cardinals, lets take a look at Odorizzi……

Jake Odorizzi has been his tendency to generate high pitch counts without going deep into the game. Despite not being a high strikeout pitcher, Odorizzi has tended to throw a great deal of pitches early on, being unable to consistently make his way through six innings. In fact, in his first three full seasons in the majors, Odorizzi averaged over six innings just once, when he averaged 6.04 innings per start in 2015.

Despite those issues, Odorizzi has typically been effective. Those high pitch counts can lead to a good deal of trouble at times, but more often than not, he has been able to evade those rough outings.

So I guess we shall see what will happen

Source: Marc Topkin

2018 Winter Warm Up Tickets on Sale Friday

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Cardinals Care, the charitable foundation of the St. Louis Cardinals, has announced that admission tickets for the 22nd annual Winter Warm-Up will be available on Friday, November 24, at 10:00 a.m. CT.  The largest fundraising effort organized by Cardinals Care, Winter Warm-Up will take place Saturday, January 13, through Monday, January 15 (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.

Beginning Friday morning, fans can purchase admission tickets for the three-day Winter Warm-Up online at cardinals.com/WWU and at the Busch Stadium Box Office.  Those who order online by noon on January 4 will receive their tickets in the mail.  Fans who order after January 4 can pick up their admission tickets at the Busch Stadium Box Office during regular box office hours, weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., from Friday, January 5 through Thursday, January 11 (box office closed on weekends).  Winter Warm-Up Will Call opens on Friday, January 12, at the Hyatt Regency at noon until 7:00 p.m.

The prices for admission tickets, 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 years old are admitted free of charge.  Members of the military, police and fire departments with an active ID can receive one free adult admission ticket which must be obtained in person at the Busch Stadium Box Office, during regular box office hours, from November 27-January 11 or at the event.  Please note the Busch Stadium Box Office will be closed November 24, December 25-30, January 1 and on weekends.

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 an admission ticket, while others require an autograph ticket available through a specific additional donation.  All autograph tickets will be sold online and at the Busch Stadium Box Office beginning Monday, December 11 at 12:00 p.m. CT through Thursday, January 11 at 12:00 p.m. CT.  Any remaining autograph tickets will be sold at the event.  Fans can visitcardinals.com/WWU in 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.

For complete event details, schedule and frequently asked questions, visit cardinals.com/WWU.  #CardsWarmUp

Happy Birthday J D Drew

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Today is J D Drew’s Birthday so lets wish him a wonderful day. He has turned to the tender age of 41.

After playing for St. Paul in the 1997 season, Drew was selected in the first round of the draft, fifth overall in 1998 by the St. Louis Cardinals. In June he signed a $7 million contract,[1] then hit .316 through 26 games with the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds. He was recalled by the Cardinals and made his debut on September 8, 1998 (the game in which teammate Mark McGwire broke Roger Maris’ single-season home run record). His first at bat, in the 6th inning, ended in a strikeout, and he finished the night 0-for-2. He ended up going 15-for-36 (.417) during 1998, with five home runs.

On August 9, on what would have been Drew’s first game in Philadelphia, he sat out, citing a bruised right hand. In an attempt to confuse the Philadelphia fans, he did not wear his own jersey that night, which instead was worn by bullpen catcher, Jeff Murphy. The attempt failed, however, and he was booed and heckled throughout batting practice. The only time he received cheers was when he booted three consecutive grounders in the outfield while his teammates were taking batting practice.[3] On August 10, 1999, in Drew’s first game at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, he was booed loudly, and even had batteries thrown at him by two fans. The Phillie Phanatic got into the act, dropping two large trash bags marked with dollar signs in the outfield between innings.[4] Drew struggled to stay healthy, landing on the disabled list every season he played in St. Louis.

In his book Three Nights in AugustBuzz Bissinger mentions former manager Tony La Russa‘s frustration with Drew’s lack of passion. La Russa tells Bissinger that it seems Drew has decided to “settle for 75%” of his talent, in large part because of his enormous contract

In the file I had no idea…….J D and brother Tim where both drafted together in the 1997 Draft. J D Drew was drafted by the Cardinals as there #2 pick and brother Tim was the drafted by the Cleveland Indians as there #28 pick.

 

Giancarlo Stanton Drama Continues

USP MLB: NEW YORK METS AT MIAMI MARLINS S BBN USA FLalcantra

Well another day goes by no word from Stanton but a slew of rumors pertaining to the game’s top slugger. Reports over the weekend indicated that the Cardinals have submitted a formal offer to the Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton, but that doesn’t mean that there’s any indication a trade involving Stanton is any closer. Here’s the latest on the 2017 home run king.

  • Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM tweets that the Marlins and Giants have discussed second baseman Joe Panik, right-handed pitching prospect Tyler Beede and outfield prospect Chris Shaw. The Giants have also discussed the possibility of taking Dee Gordon back in the deal, which would make some sense with Panik possibly being of interest to Miami. It’s worth noting that Mish doesn’t specifically state that the two sides have talked about a Panik/Beede/Shaw for Stanton and Gordon package. To the contrary, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that he hears that is not the framework of a deal being discussed (nor is it close, according to Schulman). It seems, then, that the two sides are likely discussing multiple scenarios and those names have been involved (likely with others) in various permutations. The Giants reportedly made some type of trade proposal on Friday.
  • Mish also tweets that the Cardinals are willing to part with hard-throwing right-handed pitching prospect Sandy Alcantara, who was included in the aforementioned formal offer to Miami. Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis of MLB.com rank Alcantara ninth among Cardinals farmhands, noting he sits at 96 mph with a fastball that scrapes triple digits and also has the potential for a pair of average or better secondary offerings. Baseball America rated Alcantara fourthamong Cardinals farmhands just two weeks ago (subscription required & recommended for their full scouting report).
  • Meanwhile, Schulman tweets that the Marlins haven’t reached the point where they’re asking interested teams for their best and final offers for Stanton, thus indicating that an actual trade involving Stanton is not especially close at this time.
  • In my opinion based on what the Marlins are looking for to make a trade, the Cardinals have the advantage with the pitching prospects and the money.

Source: MLBTradeRumors