Ozzie to Present Clemente Award to Yadi

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The St. Louis Cardinals will recognize catcher Yadier Molina for his 2018 Roberto Clemente Award win during a pregame ceremony on Friday night. Major League Baseball bestows the Roberto Clemente Award annually to the player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
Molina was selected as the 2018 recipient for his charitable work through Foundation 4, an organization he and his wife Wanda established in 2010 to benefit youth impacted by poverty, abuse and cancer, as well as his ongoing humanitarian efforts to aid in the recovery from Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico in 2017.
Previous Cardinals to win the Roberto Clemente Award include Carlos Beltran (2013), Albert Pujols (2008), Ozzie Smith (1995) and Lou Brock (1975). Roberto Clemente’s son, Luis Clemente, and Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith will be on hand to present Molina with the prestigious award.
“Yadi had to miss the ceremony during the 2018 World Series because he was managing the Puerto Rico national team, so we wanted to make sure he knows we appreciate his ongoing contributions by presenting this award in person,” said Luis Clemente.
Fans will have the opportunity to learn more about the award during two Artifact Spotlight presentations at the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum on Friday afternoon at 3P PM and 3:30 PM. Additionally, the award will be available for photo opportunities on Saturday from 10 AM-12:30 PM in the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum before it is placed in its display case where it will remain through August. Visit cardinals.com/museum for museum hours and ticket information.
The Cardinals are also celebrating Molina’s achievement Friday with a Yadier Molina and Roberto Clemente Double Bobblehead, presented by Coca-Cola and Walmart, available to 30,000 fans ages 16 and older. Visit cardinals.com/promotions for more information.
For more information about Molina’s charitable foundation, Fundación 4, visit yadiermolina4.com

St .Louis Cardinals

Pena Traded to The Giants

St. Louis Cardinals v Minnesota Twins

The Giants announced Thursday that they’ve acquired catcher Francisco Pena from the Cardinals in exchange for cash. Pena, who was not on the St. Louis 40-man roster, will report to Triple-A Sacramento.
San Francisco recently brought veteran backstop Stephen Vogt from Sacramento up to the big leagues, so Pena will step into the spot that had previously been occupied by Vogt. In six games for Triple-A Memphis so far in 2019, Pena has batted .333/.429/.611 with a homer in 21 plate appearances, although that type of production shouldn’t be expected moving forward. Pena is a career .216/.249/.311 hitter at the MLB level and owns a .253/.298/.455 slash in just under 1400 PAs at the Triple-A level. Pena, 29, has caught 32 percent of would-be base thieves at the Triple-A level in his career and has generally received positive marks for pitch framing, though he did struggle in that regard both in the Majors and the minors with the Cards last season.
Stockpiling depth behind the plate has been a clear priority for new Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi in the first year of his tenure with his new organization. Under Zaidi, the Giants have signed or acquired Vogt, Pena, Erik Kratz, Tom Murphy and Rene Rivera, although the latter two are no longer in the organization. (Murphy was traded to the Mariners, while Rivera was released and signed with the Mets on a minor league deal.)

Source: Steve Adams

Cardinals Make Roster Moves

St Louis Cardinals v Minnesota Twins

I am so happy to announce that Tyler O’Neill, Matt Wieters , and Mike Mayers has been added to Opening Day Roster. I always had a strong feeling from the beginning of Spring Training he would make the team.

Here is more from Cardinals Beat Writer Jennifer Langosch…..

With a series of roster moves made Friday morning, the Cardinals inched closer to finalizing their Opening Day roster.
Among those earning spots on it were catcher Matt Wieters, who will back up Yadier Molina, and power-hitting outfielder Tyler O’Neill. Reliever Mike Mayers has also been named to his first Opening Day roster in a decision that nudged lefty Chasen Shreve off.
The Cards designated Shreve for assignment and plan to fill their seventh (and final) bullpen slot closer to Opening Day on Thursday. Right-hander John Brebbia and lefty Tyler Webb stand as the leading candidates to claim it.
The addition of Wieters also leaves Francisco Pena in limbo with only two days remaining before St. Louis departs Florida. He will remain a non-roster invitee in camp, but he can request his release to take a job elsewhere if he doesn’t want to report to Triple-A Memphis.

Pena’s agent will spend the next few days gathering intel on whether another club is interested in the 29-year-old catcher.
Pena arrived in camp earmarked to be Molina’s backup for a second straight season, but he found unexpected competition in Wieters, who signed a Minor League deal with the club on February 27. Wieters went 3-for-24 with one extra-base hit and nine strikeouts after getting a late start in Grapefruit League play. His inclusion on the roster gives the Cardinals an experienced second catcher and a switch-hitter off the bench.
“He came in, did a nice job,” manager Mike Shildt said. “[We’re] excited to have him, excited to have his experience, his presence and his ability. He’s taken good at-bats this spring. He looks healthy. He’s feeling good. He’s fit in seamlessly. He’s a real pro. He’s been a nice addition to the clubhouse.”
Wieters joins a bench that will also include O’Neill, who has blasted a team-high five home runs in a team-high 55 spring at-bats. Eight of his 10 total hits have gone for extra bases.

“Tyler had to come and earn it,” Shildt said. “Spring Training is about getting ready for the season. It’s also showing what you can do, and Tyler has more than demonstrated that he has the skill set to help us win games and earn a spot.”
O’Neill and Jose Martinez will serve as extra outfielders for the Cards. O’Neill brings the versatility to play all three outfield positions.
Three candidates — Jedd Gyorko, Yairo Muñoz and Drew Robinson — remain for the final two bench jobs. Gyorko’s health is still a question mark, as he hasn’t appeared in a Grapefruit League game since March 3 due to a right calf injury. He was scheduled to take a few at-bats in a Minor League setting on Friday and will continue to work on the back fields early next week. Gyorko has been cleared for moderate-intensity running.
By Wednesday, the Cardinals will have to decide if Gyorko is ready to begin the year on the active roster.
“We want him to be able to be ready to play a full game and do all the things that he would expect to do in a full season and not feel compromised at the moment and not be compromised moving forward,” Shildt said. “It’ll be a constant evaluation.”
If Gyorko were to start the season on the injured list, both Munoz and Robinson would open the year with the big league team.
The other roster unknown is in the bullpen. Mayers has been told that he will begin the year in St. Louis’ bullpen, along with Andrew Miller, Jordan Hicks, Dominic Leone, Alex Reyes and John Gant. If the Cardinals were to carry Brebbia, as well, that would leave Shildt only one lefty (Miller) in his bullpen.
Shreve had been projected to be another, but his so-so spring left him on the outside. He was scored upon in four of his eight outings and allowed two runs on two hits and two walks in his most recent appearance on Thursday.
The Cards can try to trade Shreve or place him on waivers within the next week. If he were to clear waivers, Shreve — who joined the club as a midseason acquisition last year — could be outrighted to Triple-A. The more likely scenario is that he’ll be claimed by another team.
“Chasen has done everything we’ve asked him to,” Shildt said. “He’s fit in wonderfully. It came down to, really, the fact that we’re carrying seven in our bullpen.”
Worth noting
• The Cardinals have four players who are confirmed to be starting on the 10-day injured list: right-hander Carlos Martinez, righty Luke Gregerson, left-hander Brett Cecil and outfielder Justin Williams.
• The club has not determined whether Matt Carpenter (back tightness) will appear in another Grapefruit League game. If he does, it won’t be until Sunday. Carpenter’s last appearance came on March 15.
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Goldschmidt Nearing Extension Deal

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Well at first I thought Goldschmidt would of been signed by the Cardinals after the 2019, it looks like I am wrong. This is a very smart move by the Cardinals organization. The six-time All-Star has generally been a model of consistency at the plate, and he has shown little sign of declining. Even if Goldschmidt’s performance starts slipping a bit, he should more than justify St. Louis’ investment.

This deal will l come in at “around $130MM,” per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter). That’s on top of Goldschmidt’s existing deal, it seems, which would indicate he’ll now be under contract through the 2024 season.
As Goold notes, if Goldschmidt passes his physical, this will become the largest deal in Cardinals history.

Here is the rest of the story……

The Cardinals are closing in on an extension with first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). It’s expected to cover “at least” five years and $110MM, though precise details on the structure and guarantee are not yet known. In particular, it’s not evident whether his existing contract ($14.5MM for the 2019 season) is included in the tally.
No matter the details on the price point, it seems the Cards are going to accomplish what they set out to do when they acquired Goldschmidt earlier this winter. The club made no secret of its desire to hammer out a long-term arrangement with its new first bagger. Indeed, achieving exclusive negotiating rights likely helped motivate the St. Louis organization to part with starter Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, minor league infielder Andy Young and a Competitive Balance Round B selection to land Goldy in the first place.
Getting the deal done now means that both the Cardinals and Goldschmidt (along with his representatives at Excel Sports Management) need not think about alternatives next winter. It surely would have been interesting to see how the star performed on the open market. It’s hardly an optimal time for a defensively limited slugger to reach the open market. The Chris Davis deal (seven years, $161MM) is scarcely three years old, but seems a relic in retrospect. We’ve seen a steady reduction in earning expectations for such players in recent years. Still, significant money has still been there for the very best players. J.D. Martinez took down $110MM over five years despite profiling as a DH. Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion each commanded $20MM annual salaries over three-year terms. And first bagger Eric Hosmer — a much younger but lighter-hitting first baseman — went for eight years and $144MM.
There’s an argument to be made that Goldschmidt could have earned more on the open market. He’d have faced little competition at the top of the first base market outside of the older Jose Abreu, though there are a few notable other players available next winter. But it’s frankly difficult to argue with the decision to sign onto this contract, particularly with another year of health and performance risk still separating Goldschmidt from free agency. The Cards obviously were quite fond of their new acquisition — and, perhaps, felt no small amount of pressure to get something done. It’s no small achievement in this climate for a first baseman to secure a $26MM AAV over a five-year term that begins in his age-32 season.
Goldschmidt, of course, is no ordinary first baseman. Comparing him to his peers at first base, in fact, isn’t quite the right scope. Over the past three years — that is, not including his personal-best 2015 campaign — Goldy has been among the dozen top position players by measure of fWAR. He’s in a dead heat with Freddie Freeman and Joey Votto in that regard. Now, he’ll join that pair of star performers in securing a large and lengthy contract extension.

 

Source: Jeff Todd

Run Joe Run…Cancer, My Dad and 70s Cardinals

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It has been about twenty months since being diagnosed with Stage Four Colon Cancer. I am now at the point in which most of the cancer is gone. I now live with cancer that will remain with me but controlled through chemo. I have found my peace of mind and comfort from memories of my dad and 1970s Cardinals baseball.

My dad Mac McBrayer loved sports, his roots started from playing stick ball with his brothers in the dusty fields of Texas. When World War II was over he left Texas to be with my mom Mitzie in St. Louis where they married and lived their lives. He was a true Cardinal Baseball Fan but would not give up his Dallas Cowboys for the Cardinals Football team. I always remember my dad telling me that the most exciting part of his life was when  his nephew Charlie James signed with the Cardinals.

My earliest memory of my Dad and the Cardinals was when he would work outside pulling weeds or cleaning up the yard, he would have KMOX on  listening to the Cardinals game. I would sit on the porch and play with my toys while I heard names like, Ted Simmons, Jose Cruz, Bob Gibson and Joe Torre. I was fascinated by the commentary of Jack Buck and Mike Shannon but when the games where televised I became all eyes and ears. The towering homeruns from Reggie  Smith , the stolen bases by Brock, the defensive skills of Kenny Reitz and The Mad Hungarian’s intensity was inspiring to me.

I don’t recall my first Cardinal Baseball game but I can still visualize me and my dad way up behind home plate taking in a Cardinals game. I can close my eyes and see him cracking open peanuts from the shell and drinking Cocoa-Cola. The peanut shells would be all over the concrete floor and he looked so happy being there with me. I remember dad showing me the right way in cracking open a peanut. I would get it right or make a big mess but my mind was on Keith Hernandez’s at bat.

As a pre-teen my dad eventually signed me up for youth baseball. I was interested in the catchers position since I was a Ted Simmons fan. It took me a while to develop the skills but I recall the coaches seeing potential in me. The weapon of choice was my Joe Torre bat. I recall my dad and one of the coaches working with my hitting skills. It paid off for me. It was a hot sunny day I remember my mom and dad watching the game but I would never look over to see them. I was up at bat waiting for a high fast ball for me to crank. The pitch was in my zone and I swung my Joe Torre bat like Thor’s hammer. The ball flew into the sunlight in which I couldn’t see where it was going or if it was caught, all I can hear is Run, Joe, Run!!!! Well I have no idea if it was a home run or if our team won or not what was important to me was that I touched home plate. I also got big hugs from mom and dad plus a look from mom, she had broke her glasses when she jumped up from her seat when I hit that ball. It was then I kept my George Hendrick baseball card on my night stand.

My memories are important to me. I believe it helps the healing process.

I can proudly say I have finally got to meet Ted Simmons, Lou Brock, Joe Torre, and Al Habrosky.

Run Joe Run

Cardinals Sign Flaherty

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The Cardinals announced Saturday that they’ve renewed the contracts of pitchers Jack Flaherty and Jordan Hicks for the 2019 season.

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty throws to a Kansas City Royals batter in the first inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
The team also said it has agreed to terms and signed one-year contracts for the 2019 season with 20 players.

Among the team’s 0 to 3 Major League service time players agreeing to terms were
Pitchers:

John Brebbia
Génesis Cabrera
Giovanny Gallegos
John Gant
Austin Gomber
Ryan Helsley
Dakota Hudson
Mike Mayers
Daniel Ponce de Leon
Alex Reyes
Tyler Webb

nfielders:
Yairo Muñoz
Drew Robinson
Edmundo Sosa
Ramŏn Urías
Outfielders:
Harrison Bader
Adolís García
Tyler O’Neill
Lane Thomas
Justin Williams

Source: KMOV-Staff

Cards Grab Matt Wieters

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The Cardinals have agreed to a minor-league deal with veteran catcher Matt Wieters, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter). Salary terms are not yet known.
While he held out in hopes of securing a MLB commitment, the 32-year-old Wieters will settle instead for a chance to serve as a backup to Yadier Molina. The competition is fairly limited. Francisco Pena seemingly held the edge at the outset of camp after re-joining the organization on a minors pact. Joe Hudson is the only other backstop in camp with MLB experience.
Wieters can still put the ball over the fence, and posted career-best plate discipline marks in 2018, but he has not been very productive with the bat of late. Since the start of the 2016 season, he’s producing at only a .235/.303/.376 rate through 1,200 trips to the plate. That’s a far cry from the .254/.317/.436 output that Wieters managed over the prior half-decade.
Wieters isn’t generally regarded as a high-quality overall defender at this stage of his career, and fares poorly in particular in pitch-framing metrics, but does still block, throw, and manage a staff well. It’s possible there’s still some hope that he’ll restore some of his lost luster with the bat, making this a nice low-risk move for the St. Louis organization.
For the Cards, the addition deepens the catching unit as Molina closes in on his 37th birthday and works to recover from an offseason knee procedure. The switch-hitting Wieters has historically performed better against right-handed pitching, as has Molina, but neither carries significant career platoon splits. If Wieters can beat out Pena for the job, he seems like a potentially solid mate for Molina.

Source: Jeff Todd

Carlos Martinez Shoulder Woes Continue

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Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez is wearing a sling on his right arm in camp this morning, and manager Mike Shildt revealed to reporters that the right-hander received a platelet-rich plasma injection yesterday and is still two weeks from throwing (Twitter links via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Goold reported overnight that Martinez was headed for a second opinion on his right shoulder and now adds that if Martinez is ready for Opening Day — which is not a certainty — he’ll be in a relief role.
Shoulder troubles in 2018 also sent Martinez to a bullpen role late in the year, and he’ll apparently reprise that role for at least some of the 2019 season. Subtracting him from the early rotation mix would give the Cards a group of Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Adam Wainwright and one of Alex Reyes, John Gant, Dakota Hudson, Austin Gomber and Daniel Ponce de Leon — barring an addition from outside the organization, of course. Left-handers Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez are the top two unsigned starters on the market, while other depth options include Clay Buchholz and old friend Edwin Jackson.
Goold noted within his column that Reyes’ early work in spring is thrusting him into the conversation for an Opening Day rotation spot. But, it should be noted that the right-hander only threw a combined 27 innings between the Majors and Minors in 2017-18 combined as he rehabbed from Tommy John surgery and then underwent shoulder to repair a torn tendon in his lat last June. Reyes has never reached 120 innings in a professional season, and the Cards will surely want to monitor his workload in 2019. In other words, if he does open the year as a starter, it seems unlikely that he’d be expected to hold that role all season. Even if that is the organization’s hope, his injury history suggests that he can’t be penciled in for that type of workload.
Moving Martinez to the bullpen may not be ideal, but when he’s eventually healthy, he should make for a high-quality pairing with offseason signee Andrew Miller and flamethrowing sophomore Jordan Hicks. That trio would be joined by some combination of Luke Gregerson, Brett Cecil, Dominic Leone, Chasen Shreve and perhaps some of the aforementioned rotation candidates who don’t ultimately claim a starting role. For now, the more immediate focus is on the strength and overall health of Martinez’s shoulder, as there’s an increasing chance that the Cardinals’ 2018 Opening Day starter will now open the 2019 season on the injured list rather than anywhere on the active roster.

Source: Steve Adams

Martinez Receives Two Year Deal

AP ROCKIES CARDINALS BASEBALL S BBN USA MO

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have signed outfielder José Martínez to a two-year contract (2019-20). Financial terms of the new deal were not disclosed.
“José has been a key contributor to our team since his acquisition in 2016, and we’re pleased to announce this new two-year deal,” stated Cardinals’ President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak. “José has proven to be a key member of our roster and he is someone who brings high energy and passion for our team and its fans.”
Martínez, 30, led the Cardinals in batting (.305) and hits (163) in 2018, finishing 7th among National League batting leaders. The right-handed hitting outfielder finished 2nd among the team’s RBI leaders in 2018, with 42 of those RBI coming with two outs, ranking 3rd in the Senior Circuit to Trevor Story (57) and Christian Yelich (52).
Martínez, the son of the late former Major Leaguer Carlos Martínez, played in 887 games in the minors before making his Major League debut with the Cardinals in 2016. The Venezuela native owns a .408 career batting mark (20-for-49) as a pinch-hitter, ranking 2nd all-time in MLB history (min. 50 plate appearances) to Kevin Seitzer (.411).

Source: St. Louis Cardinals

Dodgers Don Newcombe Passed Away

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Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitching great Don Newcombe has died at the age of 92 after a lengthy illness, the team announced on Tuesday.
“Don Newcombe’s presence and life established him as a role model for major leaguers across the country,” Dodgers president Stan Kasten said in a statement. “He was a constant presence at Dodger Stadium and players always gravitated toward him for his endless advice and friendship. The Dodgers meant everything to him and we are all fortunate he was a part of our lives.”

Newcombe started his big league career as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949 and won Rookie of the Year. After a break to serve in the military during the 1952 and ’53 seasons, he returned and with the likes of Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese and Roy Campanella helped create a World Series champion.
In 1955, the Dodgers won it all, and Newcombe went 20-5 with a 3.20 ERA.

His best season on the mound came in 1956 when he led the league with 27 wins and won the Cy Young and MVP awards.
He never reached some lofty heights again. After and 0-6 start to the season in Los Angeles, he was traded to the Reds.
Newcombe finished his 10-year career as a four-time All-Star with a 149-90 record and 3.56 ERA.

Source: ESPN