The Cardinal Nation blog

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

Spying on Cardinals reader’s queries – February 18


Being a WordPress webmaster for the first time, I am learning new features all the time. Recently, I stumbled across a log of search arguments that random people used to arrive at this blog.

What I will do here is share some of those searches and respond directly to them in case they could not find the exact answer they wanted the first time. It’s not really spying though, since I cannot tell who originated the queries.

P.S. I enjoyed doing this so much that I may decide to make it a regular feature.

“joel pineiro wbc”

As many probably know by now, Cardinals starting pitcher Joel Pineiro (pictured) wanted to compete as a starter for his native Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. The Cardinals wanted him in camp instead. Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo had to make the decision in his other role as Team Puerto Rico’s manager.

Oquendo selected three others to start instead of Pineiro. The pitcher took the news badly.

This was a very difficult situation for Oquendo. He was in for trouble either way. If he chose Pineiro, his Cardinals bosses would clearly be unhappy. Instead, this way, he has just one player mad at him compared to those who may directly influence his next job.

Pineiro probably felt that he needed to speak up to ensure he did not take heat back home. Most Americans do not understand how important these international competitions are to Latin Americans. Yet, Pineiro should have left out the “disrespected” remarks, expressed his disappointment and left it at that. Tenuous number five starters should generally be seen and not heard.

Bottom line, I will be delighted when actual games (on the field) begin.


“cardinal nation”

Yep, this is the place! By the way, I am now the proud sponsor of the 2008 Cardinals team page on Baseball-Reference.com as well as multiple pages of several players past and present, including Kyle Lohse, Trever Miller, Brendan Ryan, Mitchell Boggs, Nick Stavinoha and Brian Barden. For nostalgia purposes, I also picked up sponsorship of Whitey Herzog and Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky. So there!


“cardinals adam reifer”

On Monday, I posted a free article on Scout.com noting just how significant the accomplishments of the 2008 Batavia Muckdogs were. Among them were the contributions of the club’s closer, Adam Reifer. The 22-year-old led the New York-Penn League in appearances and game finishes and was second in saves. He picked up our Scout.com Rookie Reliever of the Year award and the same for Batavia.

For the few readers in the Batavia area, the club’s annual Hot Stove League Dinner and Auction is this Friday night. The club has also just rolled out a new website that looks like a big improvement over the prior one. I am also pleased to mention that my above article on the 2008 club will be gracing the pages of the team’s 2009 Official Program.


“cardinals full spring training roster 2009”

Go to the article entitled “Cardinals non-roster invitees – an update”. There I have posted the 23 players in camp as non-roster invitees. In the comments that follow, I also listed the 34 players names currently on the 40-man roster. In total, 57 players are in camp. Those sources listing 58 have forgotten that Adam Kennedy was dropped prior to arrival.

If you want to see all the players in the entire system, check out my Cardinals roster matrix.


“whitlock race steroids”

There were several different queries made on this subject. Frankly, I probably fell into the trap by giving this non-topic as much of my time as I already have. Time to move on – at least until Jason Whitlock’s next absurd article gets me riled up again…


“ian ostlund chances”

The lefty is not on the 40-man roster and to make the team, he probably needs three of these four things to happen in March.

1. Pitch impressively

2. Trever Miller to get hurt

3. Charlie Manning to pitch poorly

4. Royce Ring to pitch poorly

However, even if Ian Ostlund misses the cut in spring training, if he goes to Memphis and does well, the 30-year-old should make his MLB debut sometime this summer.


“fox sports north twins tv schedule”

Hmmm. Well, I do have a small connection in that the Cardinals game against the Twinkies on Sunday, March 29 will be televised on Fox Sports North, along with Fox Sports Midwest.

My count of Cardinals spring games to be shown on any network, information not easily found anywhere else, is up to 11. Remember that the first two TV games will be on SportsNet New York (SNY) on February 27 and March 3 – just around the corner!

Speaking of television and Al Hrabosky, I have been asked by several readers about Fox Sports South’s Cardinals telecast schedule for 2009. It is still a couple of weeks away, I have been told, but I will share it as soon as it is released. If you are in the relevant subset of FS South’s viewing area, western portions of Kentucky and Tennessee and the northern portion of Mississippi, you already know how this example of MLB’s ridiculous territorial rules limits your viewing options.


“2009 spring training cardinals games on the radio”

At this link, the same one posted above, I also have included the confirmed spring radio schedule from KTRS 550. 20 games will be broadcast, primarily on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays as has been customary in recent springs.


“pujols comments on arod”

Here is the link, but to be honest, this subject makes me weary.

One thing Albert Pujols-related that I do want to rant about is the dumb things being said about Pujols’ contract. First of all, we have national concerns like the AP not even knowing how much time is on the player’s contract and making a big deal because he wants to be on a winning team. What a newsflash that is.

Then we have others ready to jump out of the window because Pujols can be a free agent in three seasons. Even others are playing Chicken Little, wanting to see Pujols traded as soon as possible. Take a pill, folks.


“chris carpenter spring training”

I agree that Chris Carpenter‘s health is the single most important story this spring for the Cardinals. However, I have decided at this point that good news is no news and unless there is bad news, I am going to wait and watch how the ace does on the mound.

If Carp looks good in March and seems ready to go in April, I like the 2009 Cardinals one heck of a lot better than I do without him. Until then however, for me, less is more.

What I will be watching is Carpenter’s pitching partner during March, Kyle McClellan. They are supposed to be on the same pitching schedule with the younger player the unofficial sixth starter. Carpenter’s injury status might not be the only opening for McClellan. Pineiro, take notice!

I hope the bullpen pitches so well that McClellan is not needed to return there and can concentrate on starting. If he can handle the role, it is a more valuable one for the team. Remember that both Pineiro and Todd Wellemeyer are now in their walk seasons. (No, I do not think they will pitch better in 2009 because of it!)


“cardinals arbitrations”

I posted a summary the other day of all the club’s five arbitration-eligible cases. Financially, the Cardinals and the players involved all came out just fine.


“cliff politte”

I have seen no official announcement, but my guess is that the soon-to-be 35-year-old Cliff Politte may have decided to hang up his spikes. The Cardinals 54th-round pick in 1995 (not a typo) had a fine career before arm injuries took their toll. The right-hander pitched in just seven games for Memphis last season.


“stavinoha catcher”

According to the most recent news out of Cardinals camp, despite what was reported initially, outfielder Nick Stavinoha’s move behind the plate is now being called a “tryout”. The soon-to-be 27-year-old is going to have to fight for playing time in Memphis no matter what position he plays defensively.


“adam kennedy release cardinals”

For me at least, I closed the book on this subject this morning with a free article at Scout.com. I will say that I think Kennedy made a big mistake, but he has to live with his decision.

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