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

Cardinals and ex-Cardinals committing to 2013 WBC

Two St. Louis Cardinals players, Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina, plan to represent Puerto Rico in the 2013 World Baseball Classic to be held in March. Left-hander Jaime Garcia was announced as a member of Team Mexico.

Full rosters for the 16-team World Baseball Classic will be released in mid-January, with other Cardinals expected to participate.

Baseball Canada has announced the coaching staff that will lead its WBC entry.

Former Toronto Blue Jays catcher Ernie Whitt is returning as manager, reprising his role the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006 and again in 2009. Whitt will head a veteran staff that includes two coaches with Cardinals ties, Larry Walker (hitting/first base coach) and Stubby Clapp.

Others include Tim Leiper (third base coach), Denis Boucher (pitching coach), Paul Quantrill (bullpen/pitching coach), and Greg Hamilton (coach and Director of National Teams).

These coaches, with the exception of additions Clapp and Quantrill, also led Canada to victory at its World Baseball Classic Qualifier in Germany last September. The Canadians defeated the Czech Republic, Great Britain and the hosts.

Clapp, whose number is retired by the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds, made his Team Canada coaching debut at the 2011 IBAF World Cup in Panama, helping them bring home the bronze medal. After having been a hitting coach in the minors, Clapp spent the 2012 season as manager of the Tri-City ValleyCats, the New York-Penn league affiliate of the Houston Astros.

Among Walker’s many awards are his inductions into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. Cooperstown remains a distant future possibility. In 2011, the former outfielder’s first year of eligibility, he received 118 votes. That represented 20.3 percent of writers’ ballots cast, with 75 percent required for entry.

Those Canadians and Cardinals fans hoping to see Walker and Clapp in Florida in March may be disappointed. Canada has been placed in Pool D competing in Arizona. For that reason, Team Canada will be training in Cactus League territory this spring.

Only if they can advance to the second round past the USA, Mexico and Italy would the Canadians play in Florida. Host Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic will join Venezuela and Spain in Pool C.

One of the two WBC semi-finals, with the winners of Pools C and D meeting, will be held in Marlins Park in Miami from March 12-16. The finals are scheduled March 17-19 in San Francisco.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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38 Responses to “Cardinals and ex-Cardinals committing to 2013 WBC”

  1. Bw52 says:

    Don`t understand the Scutaro interst .Yeah he could play 2B for a year till Furcal leaves.Still Scutaro is 37.I read that SF,Cards and Yankees all want him.I don`t see Cards outbidding Yanks and SF says they want Scutaro back.Surely Cards can come up with other options.

  2. blingboy says:

    Nice job working in a Stubby Clapp mention, Brian.

  3. blingboy says:

    I’m seeing $160M mentioned to get Grienke. Absurd, but probably true.

    • crdswmn says:

      The teams in the mix to overpay Greinke are now down to the Dodgers and the Rangers. It’s their money but I am glad I am not a fan of either team.

      • blingboy says:

        Your mention of the Rangers reminded me of something I’d been thinking about.

        If I was Mo, I’d do whatever it takes to get SS prospect Luis Sardinas from Texas. He and Wang looked good for Surprise in the AFL.

        Salinas is 19 and played A- Sally League last year. He could probably skip a level like Kolten did and go for Springfield to start.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      Things aren’t that obvious here…………. what Texas wants is to keep Greinke away from Anaheim…… Hey, the Dodgers spend anything yet?????????????? Greinke is a medicated soul………. the article says he is very involved in this process……….”and is the decision maker “…….. that in and of itself is a significant tell on what he believes to be going on…………. you think he wants to pitch in the heat…in the band box ………….. he clearly has an agreement with the Angels which is a good spot for him……
      I figure he folds under the weight of that contract one way or another……. LA could move on Cliff Lee… Shields…. anyone really………….. but there is a collusion coverup going on here I suspicion ………. Fox money is in all party pockets…….. and Grenke isn’t worth 100 let alone 160……. its a show… they have to be thinking LA world series………that means Angels/Greinke…Lohse/LA……..Marrgie

      PS……..I’m going to bring all eyes here before I detonate ………..

  4. Bw52 says:

    Word is that Cards signed LEFTY Randy Choate.

  5. crdswmn says:

    3 yrs 7.5M for Choate. I don’t get the years, but whatever, it’s not my money.

    • blingboy says:

      A loogy can hold up for a while. Hopefully he doesn’t go off a cliff all of a sudden like Miller did. Burnett got $9.5 for two years, that wouldn’t have been too bad either. We don’t really need an all around late inning guy though, so $2.5 per for the loogy is probably better.

      That still leaves Mo with his trade chips, both prospects and excess roster guys.

    • Nutlaw says:

      Uh yeah, keeping him as a loogy makes sense. Three years for a man of that age doesn’t.

      • crdswmn says:

        Well, but 3 years of Choate is not equal to say, 3 years of Chris Carpenter. Alot less innings on the arm.

        I’m not big on the years, but I’m not going to burst a blood vessel over it.

        • Kansasbirdman says:

          Other sites say that he has the most games pitched with the fewest innings pitched for any loogy. Great against lefties .201 BA but gets dinged easy against rightys.

          • Brian Walton says:

            Here is the link to my article from yesterday. I looked into Choate’s splits in more detail. A .279 career mark against RHH isn’t terrible, even if last year’s (.325) was worse.

            • blingboy says:

              I’m intrigued by the choice of a true loogy. Whether Matheny didn’t tend to use his lefties that way was because he didn’t think he had a true loogy, or because he just doesn’t do it that way remains to be seen. Mo must think its the former, and I guess he’d know.

              Use of a loogy for a hitter or two does require managerial skill and presumably experience as to managing the pen and the bench, double switches, etc. Guess we better buckle our seatbelts early on. At least it seems like Mike will have plenty of utility/multi position types, even without Skip. Perhaps now Mike will be able to find a way to use Scrabble to best advantage

      • blingboy says:

        You don’t see too many 3 year contracts with an AAV of $2.5M.

        I have to think Mo’s thinking was he could land his guy and move on, and if Bill eats $2.5 a couple years from now he’ll get over it.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          The three years is defined by market demand, not by the Cards. If Mo could control it, it would only be a one year deal. But because demand for effective lefty relievers must be high, the Cards had to go 3 years and shell out some dough.

          Thank goodness Choate is 37. Our bullpen needs more maturity.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      Its back loaded……….he just wanted the guaranteed money and yrears…….. if he is good its worth it. ……..if he is good and team is bad……..he is trade able……… if he is bad…….. he can sit by scrabble..

      “The Cardinals would like to get a major-league player in return for Schumaker, especially if it’s one who could satisfy their need for a righthanded bat on the bench. Recognizing that might not be possible in a deal for Schumaker, the Cardinals are open to getting a prospect in return.[ They have been selling Schumaker high because of his favorable contract} — especially when you consider the mushrooming free-agent market — and the demand for center fielder-types this winter.”

      Love this……. Mo is out there pounding Skips numbers…looking to profit against the leverage that was used to get them……. Just like a scene from “Oliver”……… Yeah..he was busy at these meetings….

      • blingboy says:

        I agree about both Choate and Skip. I only wish Mo would adopt a more sensible attitude about the middle infield.

        What would be so aweful about putting Adams at 1st, Craig in right and letting wobbly knee Carlos and his 13 large be our bat off the bench, from both sides no less. If any of the three goes down there is Taveras. Problem solved for free, now we can use the money and prospects to get a middle infield.

        Why am I not the GM?

  6. Bw52 says:

    Now Mo should see what he can get for Schumacker…………………..rumor says Dodgers interested.Fine trade him for a average prospect……………….somebody who doesn`t have to be protected in Rule V this year.Then drop Marte from the 40-man to clear another spot. Maybe Mo can find a RH bench bat at the meetings Conor Jackson,Jorge Cantu etc both are minor league FAs.Cleveland dropped Matt LaPorta 1B-OF from its 40 man roster………….hey help is where you find it.Check out all avenues………………

    • blingboy says:

      Skip might have a bit more value to the right club.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Donnie Baseball and Mark McGwire would be interested in adding a hard-nosed baller like Skip. A rumor of Dodger interest sounds credible.

      • Kansasbirdman says:

        Rumors (or wishful thinking) elsewhere about Dee Gordon interest from the Cards. What to do with Furcal. Plus that would make three Cards SS’s that came from LA.

        • blingboy says:

          I think of Dee Gordon as a SS who can niether field nor hit. In fact, I didn’t know UZR/150 could go that low. We’d be better off with Kozma if Furcal can’t go or moves to 2B. We’d probably be better of with Kozma if Furcal can go, at least defensively.

          I’ve been getting a sinking feeling about our middle infield next year. Utility guys, range impaired has beens, AAAA guys. That is what it is going to be. Again.

          I’m telling you, we should do some business with a shortstop factory like the Rangers system. Swap some prospects. I like their guy who played SS next to Wang in the Arizona Fall League. Should get him and push him hard. We’re up to our a$$ in pitching prospects.

          • Bw52 says:

            Cards might be loaded with pitching prospect…………….yet how many times has the injury bug hit multiple pitchers.Cards starting rotation consists of Carpenter 37 coming off major surgery.3 starts doesn`t make a return.
            Wainwright a year removed from missing a season.Could possibly be a Free Agent after 2013.
            Garcia-currently battling injuries.unreliable even when healthy.
            Lynn-young inconsistent and still learning.
            Westbrook-veteran who has some health issues the last 2 seasons with Cards .
            Kelly-good young arm
            Shelby Miller-still hasn`t gone a full year without needing fine tuning by coaches.
            Rosenthal-live arm.Still untested in staring role in majors.
            John Gast-LHP-bullpen or starter.Needs another year AAA seasing
            Carlos Martinez-AAA bound young arm.

            So in spite of the so-called abundance of arms a major injury or two can change everything.While hoping Cards can grab a reliable INF -OF RH bat with some pop i would rather Cards used a Adron Chambers,Shane Robinson,Eduardo Sanchez,Schumaker for trades.

            • Brian Walton says:

              I agree with what they say, “you can never have too much pitching.”

              However, the guys you mention as trade bait are quite a step down from the team’s top starters. If the acquisition aim is high, the price will be greater.

              • Bw52 says:

                I was thinking about cheaper guys with a bit of MLB experience who are FAs looking for wor

                Brandon Snyder 1B-OF 27 3 HRs 65 ABs with Texas last year.Non-Tendered .RH batter
                Josh Bell 3B-1B 26 yrs old Bats Both.Was highly touted prospect.Some power .like the switch-hitter versatility.minor league FA
                Luke Hughes 29 2B-3B RH batter.MLB time with Twins.Some pop.minor league FA
                Andy LaRoche 3B-2B RH batter.Time with Dodgers and Pirates.Once a touted prospect.Younger brother of Adam LaRoche.Andy is a minor league FA
                Jai Miller OF 27 RH batter.Some time with Marlins,Orioles.Some pop.

                Then there is a couple of guys who are former Cards looking for work.
                Andrew Brown 1B-OF 28 yrs old. 5 Hrs for Rockies in 112 ABs.Was non-tendered.
                Joe Mather OF 30 RH bat..minor league FA
                Why not minor league contracts with a invite to Spring training and a chance for a bench role in STLouis.

                • crdswmn says:

                  That’s some barrel bottom scraping there.

                  I stole this off VEB. Trade for Justin Maxwell (Astros), hit 18 HRs last year, .275 BA against LHP, can play all OF positions but mostly CF, cheap (league minimum).

  7. blingboy says:

    I read where Lemmerman has played for Israel in the WBC. No way I would have thought Israel had a team. Shows what I know. Need to get a cigar chomper over there to have a look.

  8. Brian Walton says:

    Clapp has been named hitting coach for A-Advanced Dunedin (Jays) in 2013.

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