The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Archive for February, 2009

Three more Cardinals injuries ahead this spring?

Looking at a typical number of disabled St. Louis Cardinals players to start the season and wondering about any possible correlation with the team’s won-loss record.

La Russa’s lineups – a historical view

A 13-year analysis of St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa’s defensive deployment of his starters as well as his starting lineups.

Freese’s January Auto Accident Slows 3B Bid

David Freese, the early leader to take the interim third base job for the St. Louis Cardinals, is slowed by injuries resulting from a January car accident.

Quad Cities: Cardinals top minor league club has a long history

The St. Louis Cardinals Single-A entry, currently the Quad Cities River Bandits, is their top affiliate in terms of wins and playoff appearances. This is the third of six in-depth looks at the history of the Cardinals system’s minor league clubs.

St. Louis Cardinals streaks – a brief history

Looking back at winning and losing streaks registered by past St. Louis Cardinals baseball clubs

Cardinals not alone in cutting payroll

The St. Louis Cardinals’ projected player payroll is down $8.6 million from 2008, very close to the average for clubs in the top half of spending across MLB.

Cardinals wise to pass on Hudson

The St. Louis Cardinals reportedly inquired about signing new Dodgers second baseman Orlando Hudson. Good thing they didn’t follow through.

Cardinals spring radio and television update – 2/22/09

An update on audio and video-related St. Louis Cardinals broadcast news for spring training 2009.

Cardinals in the Appalachian League – 1975 to present

The second of six in-depth looks at St. Louis Cardinals minor league franchises continues with their Appalachian League entry, the Johnson City Cardinals.

Cardinals in the New York-Penn League – 1981 to present

The first of six in-depth looks at St. Louis Cardinals minor league franchises begins with the New York-Penn League

A quarter century of Cardinals minor league results

A new series highlighting St. Louis Cardinals minor league results system-wide from 1984 through 2008.

Quiz: Cardinals 2008 lineups and starts by position

A dozen questions to test your knowledge of how St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa deployed his line-up in 2008.

Spying on Cardinals reader’s queries – February 18

Looking at what readers are currently asking about the St. Louis Cardinals through a search of their web queries.

La Russa’s lineup combinations increasing

The St. Louis Cardinals manager’s use of different daily lineups is trending upward and 2009 is shaping up to offer more of the same.

Ludwick agrees: Cardinals arbitration scorecard complete

With the Monday signing of outfielder Ryan Ludwick, all five St. Louis Cardinals arbitration-eligible players have come to terms on 2009 contracts.

The Cardinals’ hole at second base

Aaron Miles and Adam Kennedy are no longer St. Louis Cardinals second basemen. The answer to which one may be more greatly missed could be surprising.

Cardinals non-roster invitees – an update

Revisiting current and past St. Louis Cardinals non-roster invitees to their major league spring training camps.

Selig’s plans often lead nowhere

Some fans are worried that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig will try to re-write the record books due to the steroids scandals. Realistically, they have little reason for concern.

Steroid epidemic’s roots in race, says columnist

Writing for, columnist Jason Whitlock believes he has linked the origin of the steroids era to race. I can neither express how strongly I disagree with him nor understand why he went there, anyway.

Pujols’ non-comments on A-Rod include Cardinals relief

Albert Pujols wisely dodged making direct comments on the Alex Rodriguez steroids scandal, yet his relief about his own team seems very limited in focus.

Cardinals emergency pitchers – 1996-2008

Since Tony La Russa has managed the St. Louis Cardinals, he has called upon non-pitchers to take the mound eight different times. The most recent three were by Aaron Miles. Who will get the mop-up job in 2009?

Ankiel settles for $2.825 million prior to hearing

For what may be his final season in St. Louis, outfielder Rick Ankiel and the club have come to terms on his 2009 contract.

Who gets Cardinals number seven?

With second baseman Adam Kennedy on the waiver wire, what will the St. Louis Cardinals do with the uniform number 7?

Cardinals minor matters – February 11

St. Louis Cardinals news include three former hurlers finding new homes, three additional spring training invites and more.

Cardinals spring training second base failures

Trying 30-something year old second basemen off the scrap heap in spring training in recent years hasn’t proven to answer St. Louis Cardinals’ needs.

Breaking down Cardinals September call-ups

Are the St. Louis Cardinals bringing up more players from the minor leagues in September? Are more of them prospects, as compared to veterans? What about the ones passed over?

Cardinals first-year players and rookies – 2009 forecast

Considering which St. Louis Cardinals minor league players may debut in 2009 and the subset that may stay up long enough to exhaust their rookie qualification.

Cardinals minor matters – February 8

St. Louis Cardinals-related news includes the Caribbean Series, “A-Fraud”, Joe Torre, MLB Network, TLR on scouts vs. stats, Todd Worrell, Scott Gorgen and more!

A-Rod: So Sad

The only positive outcome from the steroids allegations against Alex Rodriguez was apparently the test itself.

Cardinals arbitration history – 1974-2008

With Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick heading for arbitration hearings, how have the St. Louis Cardinals fared in these salary disputes over the years?

Cardinals first-year players and rookies – 1996-2008

Breaking down which St. Louis Cardinals players debuted during the Tony La Russa years and which exhausted their rookie status in the process.

Cardinals minor matters – February 5

Amaury Marti struggling in Mexico, Larry Bigbie’s 15 minutes of fame, Skip Schumaker at second base and Tyler Johnson heads west.

Cardinals “walk year” results: fact or urban legend?

Do St. Louis Cardinals players deliver better results in their final pre-free agency season?

Cardinals minor matters – February 4

Dates for Ankiel and Ludwick arbitration hearings, Choi contract clarification, club out of money and more St. Louis Cardinals news.

Tough Decisions: The Cardinals 2009 Rule 5 Draft – Part 2

At what point does something that is generally considered to be a “good problem”, minor league depth, become a “real” problem? I think the St. Louis Cardinals will soon find out.

Tough Decisions: The Cardinals 2009 Rule 5 Draft – Part 1

Looking back at past St. Louis Cardinals Rule 5 Drafts and ahead toward a much more difficult 2009.

Cardinals television update – 02/03/09

Another update on television-related St. Louis Cardinals news for spring training and the regular season.

How about some relief around here?

Digging into the numbers to try to understand how the 2008 St. Louis Cardinals bullpen went south.

Going beyond three years just feels wrong

The St. Louis Cardinals may have some good reasons to be nervous about going beyond three years on player contracts.