The Cardinal Nation blog

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

Archive for 2011

What if Pujols follows Helton’s career trajectory?

Colorado’s Todd Helton eventually renegotiated his nine-year contract downward after his performance declined. Would Albert Pujols do the same?

Cardinals and Rockies pitching have similarities

The St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies both feature ground-ball staffs with strong starting pitching and hittable relief.

Finding The Cardinal Nation on Thursday

A busy Thursday is planned between radio appearances and weekly columns. Here is where to find Brian Walton’s contributions.

D-Money chasing Big Mac and The Machine

In terms of crucial RBI for the St. Louis Cardinals, Daniel Descalso’s 2011 start trails only Mark McGwire and Albert Pujols in the last 60 years.

Join the Cardinals in helping out Joplin

Fans can join the Springfield and St. Louis Cardinals in donating to help those in need.

Colby Rasmus’ transformation continues

The St. Louis Cardinals’ centerfielder has a higher average, is drawing more walks, striking out less and scoring more often, but his power is down.

Cardinals minor league video updates

Links to several videos of features about St. Louis Cardinals prospects.

“Whiny Birds” shirts take sides in Cards-Reds rivalry

A Cincinnati business is profiting from the bad feelings between the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds.

Molina’s fast start deserves attention

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is off the best start with the bat in his seven MLB seasons.

Pete Kozma’s excellent Cardinals debut

In a rare occurrence, a St. Louis Cardinal reached base twice in his first Major League game when light-hitting Pete Kozma did it Wednesday night.

Saying goodbye to another old ballpark

The seats from long-time home of the Arkansas Travelers, Ray Winder Field, were given away last weekend.

Media joins Cardinals-Reds rivalry

Cincinnati Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman’s remarks critical of the St. Louis Cardinals are receiving wide coverage.

Cardinals offense not helping overcome blown saves

The St. Louis Cardinals are blowing ninth-inning leads at a record pace, but aren’t receiving any help via offensive comebacks.

Bill White remembers what the Civil Rights Game is about

The former St. Louis Cardinals first baseman looks back at the difference between baseball’s integration and desegregation.

It is time to appreciate Fernando Salas

Fernando Salas is the only St. Louis Cardinals reliever not to blow a save or take a loss in 2011.

Garcia has fifth-lowest MLB ERA since joining Cards rotation

Over the last season plus six weeks, St. Louis Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia has been pitching in some select company.

Where will the Pujols-Hendry bromance lead?

Speculation that Albert Pujols may end up as a Chicago Cub starting in 2012 is growing and the two sides are contributing.

Catch Cardinals minor leaguers on YouTube

St. Louis Cardinals minor league teams are using YouTube to directly share information.

Cardinals pitchers log best three-game series since 1972

The St. Louis Cardinals had a trio of unusually well-pitched games this past weekend – their best in almost four decades.

blingboy wins Cardinals Social Media Night tickets

The author of the best guest article posted on The Cardinal Nation Blog receives a free pair of tickets to the Cardinals’ May 17 game and will attend a special pre-game event.

Pujols as part owner of the Cardinals: Not so fast!

Examining inhibitors that might keep Albert Pujols from being granted an ownership stake in the St. Louis Cardinals.

“Down on the Farm” at FOXSportsMidwest.com

Catch Brian Walton’s weekly column focused on St. Louis Cardinals minor leagues and minor leaguers each Thursday.

Deep Time Baseball Venues in St. Louis

Our Cardinals Social Media Night contest submissions continue with a look back at old-time ballparks in St. Louis.

Some seeking relief from AT&T U-Verse on missing Cardinals telecasts

It won’t bring back 20 missing St. Louis Cardinals broadcasts, but some unhappy customers are getting concessions from AT&T U-Verse.

The $64,000 (or perhaps $300 million) question

Is Albert Pujols’ impending free agency affecting his results on the field? The first of our reader contest submissions digs into the question.

Four different Cards relievers with saves in last four wins

Who will be the next closer of the day for the St. Louis Cardinals?

Cardinals approach team record for runs in an inning

The St. Louis Cardinals’ sixth-inning offensive explosion on Thursday night ranked among their biggest ever.

Pujols, Cardinals grounding into double plays at record pace

Albert Pujols and his St. Louis Cardinals are leading MLB in an unenviable stat, grounding into double plays.

Breaking down Kyle Lohse’s 2011 success

St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Kyle Lohse has returned to 2008 form this season. Ian Walton helps us understand how.

Boggs’ 3-for-3 in saves a good start, but not unusual

St. Louis Cardinals closer Mitchell Boggs is 3-for-3 in saves, but so were 45 other Cardinals since 1950.

Win Cardinals Social Media Night tickets

The author of the best article submitted to The Cardinal Nation Blog will receive a free pair of tickets to the Cardinals’ May 17 game and attend a special pre-game event.

La Russa works weather and rules to advantage

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa maneuvered through the rules and the weather to secure a pitching advantage against Dusty Baker and Cincinnati in Friday’s game one.

Lohse joins select Cardinals few with April gem

On Thursday, Kyle Lohse pitched one of the best April games in St. Louis Cardinals history.

Who will start for St. Louis on Sunday?

Jake Westbrook, struggling in 2011, may be asked to pitch on three days rest on Sunday night. He has had mixed results doing this in the past in a very limited sample.

Cardinals need 2001 results in 2011

The St. Louis Cardinals once made the playoffs with a 7-9 record over their first 16 games. This year, they are 8-8.

Eduardo Sanchez cannot top John Goody Urrea

An almost-forgotten name from the 1970’s had an unbelievable start closing games.

Blown Saves, Inc.: Franklin, Thornton and Marshall

St. Louis Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin joins select company in having blown four save opportunities in his team’s first 16 games.

Cardinals with no compensation picks in 2011 draft

A lack of top free agents lost means the St. Louis Cardinals have no extra selections in the 2011 draft.

Cardinals offensive explosion continues

The St. Louis Cardinals pounded the ball once again Friday night, led by Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman.

Tracking the St. Louis Cardinals hit parade

The St. Louis Cardinals offense is showing signs of life for the first time this season, with a quartet of 14-hit games.

Eduardo Sanchez’ Wednesday first

Eduardo Sanchez became the first St. Louis Cardinal ever to fan five in a relief debut of less than three innings.

Help the Cardinals help the needy in Japan

The St. Louis Cardinals and their fans are being active in support of Japanese earthquake and Tsunami victims.

Kyle McClellan at the bat

In an unexpected event, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Kyle McClellan excelled Monday night at the plate as well as on the mound.

David Freese increases his total of three-RBI games

Over his first 95 major league games, St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese already logged has five contests with three or more RBI.

Ex-Cardinals 2011 season-opening census

Where 76 former St. Louis Cardinals major and minor leaguers are now playing.

Season-opening strikeout outings like Jaime Garcia’s are rare

St. Louis Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia made his second consecutive nine-strikeout start on Saturday night. Here is how they stack up against others.

Albert Pujols’ 2011 by the numbers

The St. Louis Cardinals superstar first baseman and his team are struggling in the early going.

Cardinals hitters versus Giants starting pitchers

How St. Louis Cardinals batters have fared against the three San Francisco Giants starting pitchers they will face this weekend.

Cardinals organization roster matrix: 2011 regular season

The St. Louis Cardinals full system view reflects full-season club rosters for the 2011 regular season and Extended Spring Training invitees.

Biggest cost increase to attend a Cardinals game since 2008

The St. Louis Cardinals rank eighth in the 2011 MLB Fan Cost Index with a 3.1 percent increase compared to 2010.

Cardinals win-loss streaks signal season result

When Tony La Russa’s St. Louis Cardinals had more losing skids than winning streaks, they missed the post-season each time. 2010 continued that pattern.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 04/03

Highlights from Sunday’s final St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter, Florida.

Jaime Garcia’s Sunday gem in historical context

Looking at historical comparisons to St. Louis Cardinals’ left-hander Jamie Garcia’s complete-game four hit shutout with nine strikeouts on Sunday.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 04/02

Highlights from Saturday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter, Florida.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 04/01

Highlights from Friday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter, Florida.

Polls: How would you deal with Matt Holliday’s absence?

A series of questions to determine what you would do if you were the St. Louis Cardinals, having to decide how to deal with Matt Holliday’s unexpected time out of the lineup.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/31

Highlights from Thursday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter, Florida.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/30

Highlights from Wednesday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter and Port St. Lucie, Florida. Kyle Lohse had a day to forget.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/29

Highlights from Tuesday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter, Florida.

Nationals could pull Cardinals from Jupiter orbit

The Florida’s East Coast futures of the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals may be linked.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/27

Highlights from Sunday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter and Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Lance Berkman drops to the Mendoza Line

The St. Louis Cardinals’ new right fielder is hitting just .200 on the spring with no extra base hits since March 1.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/26

Highlights from Saturday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter, Florida.

Cardinals losing spring record not good for regular season

Only twice in 15 years did Tony La Russa’s St. Louis Cardinals leave Florida with a losing record. Neither regular season ended well.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/25

Highlights from Friday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter, Florida.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/24

Highlights from Thursday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter and Port St. Lucie, Florida.

ZiPS says Cardinals have easiest 2011 MLB schedule

Well-known projection system indicates the St. Louis Cardinals have the weakest slate of opponents in all of baseball. That may not be good news.

Forbes ranks St. Louis Cardinals #11 in team value

The St. Louis Cardinals are the 11th-most valuable team in Major League Baseball, according to Forbes Magazine.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/23

Highlights from Wednesday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter, Florida.

“The Predictalator” places Cardinals second

A mathematical modeling process pegs the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals as a second-place team.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/22

Highlights from Tuesday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter, Florida.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/21

Highlights from Monday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter, Florida.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/20

Highlights from Sunday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter, Florida.

Walton on RotoWire Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius/XM Monday

Brian Walton joins Jeff Erickson and Chris Liss on RotoWire’s Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius 211 / XM 147 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern on Monday.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/19

Highlights from Saturday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter, Florida.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/18

Highlights from Friday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter and Port St. Lucie, Florida.

John Hart and Harold Reynolds answer Cardinals questions

MLB Network analysts John Hart and Harold Reynolds answer St. Louis Cardinals questions in support of their 30 Clubs in 30 Days Cardinals segment.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/17

Highlights from Thursday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter, Florida.

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/16

Highlights from Wednesday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter, Florida.

Cardinals first-game minor league lineups

Four St. Louis Cardinals minor league clubs face off Wednesday in their first official spring action.

Nationals moving interest putting pressure on Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals may lose another nearby spring training opponent in the Washington Nationals.

Could Daniel Descalso win a job by survival?

Comparing pros and cons of Matt Carpenter, Ramon Vazquez and Daniel Descalso, competitors for one job with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Former Cardinals hitting coach Mitchell Page dies at 59

Ex-St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach passed away in his sleep, reports former student Eduardo Perez.

64 former Cardinals in big league spring camps

Our annual spring roster census identifies 64 ex-St. Louis Cardinals players competing for roster spots on other clubs.

Can Ramon Vazquez become Abraham Nunez?

I hear all the early St. Louis Cardinals camp excitement about third baseman Matt Carpenter, but my thoughts are elsewhere, back in 2005.

How many Cardinals minor league cuts may be coming?

Like every year, the St. Louis Cardinals have more minor league players under contract than roster spots to place them. We dig into the numbers.

Will La Russa use underdog status as a motivator?

The loss of Adam Wainwright has a significant impact on the gamblers’ view of the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals.

Learning from past Cardinals minor league spring transaction dates

The timing of past St. Louis Cardinals spring minor league roster moves follow a general pattern that may occur again in 2011.

The Cardinal Nation Blog featured on FOXSports.com again!

Pujols age story and association with Yardbarker leads to repeat national exposure for St. Louis Cardinals-oriented blog.

Learning from Cardinals 2010 spring transaction dates

The timing of past St. Louis Cardinals spring roster moves follow a general pattern that may occur again in 2011.

Cardinals concerned about Albert Pujols’ age?

A national writer is quoted as saying the t. Louis Cardinals have concerns about the accuracy of their superstar’s age.

MLB Gameday Audio integrated into Gameday

Sharing a discovery of a neat new feature MLB has introduced into their online offerings.

How to find Thursday’s Cardinals split squad games

The St. Louis Cardinals are playing two games at once on Thursday afternoon. One split-squad game is on radio. The other is on TV. Here’s how to find them.

Fan optimism slipping about Pujols’ Cardinals future

Results from a series of reader polls on the subject of St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols’ contract.

Master Cardinals spring radio and television schedule

29 of 33 St. Louis Cardinals spring games can be watched or listened to if one is willing to search a bit.

Cardinals declines from second place

Looking back at when the St. Louis Cardinals declined from second place one year to a poorer finish the next.

Cardinals seasons going from second place to first

Looking back at when the St. Louis Cardinals improved from second place one year to first place the next.

Losing 20-game winners have not been kind to the Cardinals

While the St. Louis Cardinals have twice experienced the loss of a 20-game winner for the entire next season, neither case turned out well.

Cardinals organization roster matrix: 2011 spring training

The St. Louis Cardinals full system roster view reflects rosters for 2011 spring training.

Gomes-Wainwright and anger displacement

Many in the Cardinal Nation are upset over Adam Wainwright’s injury. Should they be angry at the Reds’ Jonny Gomes, too?