The Cardinal Nation blog

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

Archive for 2009

Can Wellemeyer keep the streak going?

The St. Louis Cardinals rarely have held opponents to two or fewer runs in three consecutive games. One occurred this week. Can they reach four or even five?

Does the Cardinals’ signing of Joe Williams have a deeper meaning?

At least one well-placed writer sees continued conflict between the Cardinals major league staff and the organization’s player development function.

MLB celebrates keeping fans from seeing games

Major League Baseball Advanced Media received a patent for technology that protects their blackout rules.

The Cardinals organization roster matrix: VSL version

The St. Louis Cardinals system rosters are refreshed to reflect the start of the regular season of the Venezuelan Summer League.

Is not signing minor league vets really the Cards’ problem?

Complaints that the St. Louis Cardinals didn’t sign enough veterans to minor league contracts do not hold water.

The Milwaukee Cardinals?

The St. Louis Cardinals almost moved to Milwaukee in 1953. How might it have changed the face of the game?

Book review: “St. Louis Cardinals Past & Present”

A new photographic essay by Doug Feldmann covers the Cardinals’ rich history.

And Maiques makes four and 13 suspended Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals minor league pitcher Kenny Maiques was suspended 50 games, joining three other Cards farmhands who recently tested positive. The organization’s total is 13 over the last five years.

April highs and May Lohse

Kyle Lohse is being asked to open the homestand coming off a very rough period for the St. Louis Cardinals. The question is whether or not he is up to the task.

SI: DeWitt third-best MLB owner

The Cardinals enjoy one of the top three owners in Major League Baseball, according to Sports Illustrated

Wellemeyer underscores Cards starting pitching woes

The St. Louis Cardinals starting pitchers are struggling as a group.

The Cards’ 25th man, the DH and MLB indecision

A take off on a current issue as a way to reconcile a long-standing inconsistency across MLB.

La Russa’s coaching legacy: Part two

The Cardinals manager’s staffs have been very static in recent years. It is a two-edged sword.

Cardinals youth movement ahead of 2008 pace

The 2009 St. Louis Cardinals have used ten rookies, including five MLB first-timers already this season

Quad Cities alters tandem rotation

The Quad Cities River Bandits of the Midwest League have dropped from five tandem pairings to four

Where is La Russa’s legacy being passed? – Part one

Should the extent of a coach’s tree be a part of how he is assessed with the greats?

Was Boggs’ hook too quick?

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa pulled starter Mitchell Boggs after 4 1/3 innings of two-run ball on Wednesday.

Palm Beach tandem starters done

The A-Advanced Palm Beach Cardinals abandoned tandem starting pitching three weeks earlier in 2009.

Los cincos de los Cardenales de San Luis

On Cinco de Mayo, a quick run through some of the players who have worn the number “5” for the St. Louis Cardinals over the years.

Forbes: Busch tenth-best ballpark

Forbes ranked MLB stadiums on affordability, access, participation and concessions.

Cardinals Washington Whispers – 05/03/09

What was being discussed on Sunday before and after the Cardinals rainout in Washington

I like to watch

Checking in from Washington on Saturday

Cardinals Washington Whispers – 05/01/09

What is being discussed as the Cardinals prepared to take on the Nationals in game two of their weekend series.

Cardinals Washington Whispers: 04/30/09

What’s being discussed in Washington as the St. Louis Cardinals prepared to play the Nationals in a four-game series.

Cardinals short bench cut in half

Ryan leaves Thursday’s game with a tight hamstring after Greene sits out with a tight forearm. How might the St. Louis Cardinals compensate?

Who takes the Cards-Braves series?

How the Wednesday pitchers match up against the opposing lineups.

Why cutting Cardinals errors is important

Committing the most errors in MLB over a season doesn’t rule out making the playoffs, but it sure is rare.

Breaking the early Cardinals-Cubs “tie”

Head-to-head stats from the six Cardinals-Cubs games to date indicates a leader among “equals”.

A Decade of Cardinals Grannies

Putting Albert Pujols’ Saturday grand slam into historical context.

Forbes: Cardinals revenue, value up slightly in 2009

Forbes ranks the Cardinals as MLB’s eighth most valuable franchise.

Cost to attend a Cardinals game down in 2009

The St. Louis Cardinals rank tenth in the 2009 MLB Fan Cost Index with a 1.2 percent decline compared to 2008.

Can the Cardinals sweep the Mets?

How the Thursday afternoon pitchers match up against the opposing lineups.

Hill the Homeless Hitman

Springfield Cardinals utilityman Steven Hill is leading the Double-A Texas League in batting average, slugging and OPS.

Cardinals minor matters – April 21

What others are saying about the St. Louis Cardinals and their NL Central rivals.

Cards early attendance down more than MLB average

Depending on how you look at it, St. Louis Cardinals average attendance is down either 9.4% or 5.1% year-to-year.

Unlikely leader Descalso trying to help Springfield

With the worst pitching in the Texas League, the Springfield Cardinals are trying to outscore their opposition. They’re being led by an unexpected source, second baseman Daniel Descalso.

Wellemeyer vs. Lilly – Start ‘em or sit ‘em?

How have the Cardinals and Cubs Sunday starting pitchers fared against the opposing lineups in the past?

One in a row for Springfield’s green staff

The entire Double-A bullpen for the Cardinals are new to the level this season and their early results reflect the difficulties in making the jump.

Lohse vs. Dempster – Start ‘em or sit ‘em?

How might the Cardinals and Cubs Saturday starting pitchers fare against the opposing lineups?

Is the Cardinals organizational direction about one guy?

It is agreed that the St. Louis Cardinals player development system needs to deliver results. Should one man take all the blame or receive all the credit?

Cardinals are atop the stat sheets

The St. Louis Cardinals are hitting and pitching well in the early going of the 2009 season.

Good Duncan, Bad Duncan, Good Ending

Cardinals outfielder Chris Duncan seemed to have been involved in every key play in Thursday’s series opening victory over the Cubs – both good and bad.

Fewer recent Cards top draft picks made the bigs

Looking at how many first-round and top 100 picks made by the St. Louis Cardinals in recent years became major leaguers.

Using Woody to estimate Carp’s return

Like Chris Carpenter today, former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Woody Williams was shelved by a ribcage injury back in 2002.

Breaking down the Cards bullpen

Early performance of the 2009 St. Louis Cardinals relievers compared to the 2008 version and the rest of the National League.

All about Albert

Stop for a few moments and appreciate the greatness of Albert Pujols.

Rotating the Cardinals outfielders

The St. Louis Cardinals are currently deploying four regular outfielders. Why is that surprising to some?

Glaus: Guilty once, so guilty twice?

St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Troy Glaus’ alleged steroids use in 2003 and 2004 is back in the news again.

Where does Motte’s baby step lead?

St. Louis Cardinals reliever Jason Motte delivered in a non-pressure situation on Saturday. What is next?

Perdomo’s moves from StL to SF to SD reinforce mistake

Reliever Luis Perdomo, the primary reminder of the Anthony Reyes era, has been claimed off waivers by San Diego

The Cardinals organization roster matrix: regular season

A complete listing of all 282 players currently known to be under contract in the St. Louis Cardinals organization from top to bottom by level and position.

Carp joins 56 Cards top pitching performances

Starting pitcher Chris Carpenter joined 55 other St. Louis Cardinals who have thrown a no-hitter or one-hitter in the last half century.

Cardinals minor league opening rotations

Starting pitchers for Memphis, Springfield, Palm Beach and Quad Cities to open the 2009 season.

Who will be the first player called from Memphis?

When the St. Louis Cardinals need reinforcements from Triple-A, who will receive the call?

Cardinals opening day disabled list history

An assessment of Cardinals players on the season-opening disabled list during the La Russa years in St. Louis.

Walton on KXnO FOX Sports Radio Wednesday

Catch Brian Walton on KXnO FOX Sports Radio in Des Moines on Wednesday, April 8 at 2:30 p.m. Central time.

Dealing with adversity – Motte’s time is now

St. Louis Cardinals reliever Jason Motte blew his first 2009 save opportunity on Opening Day. What happens next could be crucial.

Palm Beach Cardinals 2009 opening roster

The Palm Beach Cardinals of the A-Advanced Florida State League have announced their season-opening roster.

Projecting the Palm Beach Cardinals roster

Not yet having the roster for the St. Louis Cardinals A-Advanced club won’t stop us from speculating.

Trio officially added to Cards opening day roster

The St. Louis Cardinals have purchased the contracts of David Freese, Colby Rasmus and Joe Thurston.

Traveling man Cazaña returns to Mexico

Outfielder Amaury Cazaña is playing for his third Mexican League team in three years and 15th stop overall just since 2005.

Springfield Cardinals 2009 opening roster

The Springfield Cardinals of the Double-A Texas League have announced their 24-man season-opening roster.

Cards minors spring game reports – April 3

St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training game action from Friday, April 3.

Memphis Redbirds 2009 opening roster

The Memphis Redbirds of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League have announced their season-opening roster.

Quad Cities River Bandits 2009 opening roster

The Quad Cities River Bandits of the Single-A Midwest League have announced their season-opening roster.

Cardinals youth movement continues through NRIs

Colby Rasmus and David Freese will be the most St. Louis Cardinals non-roster players to make their MLB debut to open a season since 1998 and tie for tops in the La Russa era.

Cards minors spring game reports – April 2

St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training game action from Thursday, April 2.

Scanning the Cardinals spring stat sheets

What might the St. Louis Cardinals spring training statistics tell us, if anything?

Cards minors spring game reports – April 1

St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training game action from Wednesday, April 1.

Cardinals minor matters – April 1

Reactions to what others are saying about the St. Louis Cardinals.

Cards minors spring game reports – March 31

St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training game action from Tuesday, March 31.

Cards release seven more minor leaguers

The St. Louis Cardinals made seven minor league player releases on Tuesday morning.

Cards minors spring game reports – March 30

St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training game action from Monday, March 30.

Cardinals in NL Tout Wars fantasy drafts

How St. Louis Cardinals players were treated in the Tout Wars industry drafts in New York over the weekend.

Cards minors spring game reports – March 29

St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training game action from Sunday, March 29.

Cards minors spring game reports – March 28

St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training game action from Saturday, March 28.

Cards minors spring game reports – March 27

St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training game action from Friday, March 27.

Cardinals minors working rosters – March 27

The St. Louis Cardinals’ 2009 full season minor league rosters are beginning to take shape.

Cards minors spring game reports – March 26

St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training game action from Thursday, March 26.

Cardinals cut nine minor leaguers

In their second round of cuts this spring, the St. Louis Cardinals have released nine minor league players.

Cards minors spring game reports – March 25

St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training game action from Wednesday, March 25.

Cards minors spring game reports – March 24

St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training game action from Tuesday, March 24.

Cards minors spring game reports – March 23

St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training game action from Monday, March 23.

Cards minors spring game reports – March 22

St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training game action from Sunday, March 22.

Cardinals minors spring training groups

Camp-opening group assignments for St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers in spring training.

Cardinals pitcher hitting ninth – a good thing?

Tony La Russa has made a change to the bottom of the St. Louis Cardinals lineup again, though it is not cut and dried.

Cardinals minor league franchise census since 1974

The eighth look at St. Louis Cardinals minor league franchises offers a summary of all locations by season over the last 35 years.

Cards minors spring game reports – March 20

St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training game action from Friday, March 20.

Cards minors spring game reports – March 19

St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training game action from Thursday, March 19.

Cardinals in the Gulf Coast, Arizona and Pioneer Rookie Leagues

The seventh in-depth look at St. Louis Cardinals minor league franchises continues with their complex rookie league club, currently the Gulf Coast League Cardinals.

Cardinals minor matters – March 19

Bits of news from around the baseball world on former St. Louis Cardinals players.

Cards minors spring game reports – March 18

St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training game action from Wednesday, March 18.

Cardinals’ financial onion peeled back

St. Louis Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. offers up more information on the team’s past and present financial picture.

Ballpark Village site to get softball field

The St. Louis Cardinals announced temporary plans for the old Busch Stadium site.

Franklin’s blown saves – joke or no joke?

2008 St. Louis Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin defends his record. He probably should have just kept quiet.

Ludwick backs off 50-homer talk and other Cardinals strugglers

Lifters Ryan Ludwick and Colby Rasmus are not the only St. Louis Cardinals players looking to improve.

Cardinals in Triple-A – 1977 to present

The sixth in-depth look at St. Louis Cardinals minor league franchises continues with their Triple-A entries, currently the Memphis Redbirds of the Pacific Coast League.

Khalil Greene’s springs point to regular season success

During spring training, new St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Khalil Greene has been either really good or really bad. It seems to transfer to his regular seasons, as well.

Duncan a student of swing doctor McGwire

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Chris Duncan is hitting the ball like in the old days. Several of his doctors should probably be credited, including one without a medical degree – Mark McGwire.

Rasmus still has time, but needs Skip’s help

Skip Schumaker’s tentative move to second base has everything to do with outfielder Colby Rasmus making the St. Louis Cardinals.