The Cardinal Nation blog

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

Archive for 2014

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #2: Oscar Taveras’ Death Not About Baseball

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras died in October in his native Dominican Republic. His girlfriend also was killed in an automobile accident due to his drunken driving.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #3: Giants Squash Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals were again eliminated from MLB’s post-season by the eventual champion San Francisco Giants.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #4: Dodgers Dispatched in DS

The St. Louis Cardinals once again eliminated the Los Angeles Dodgers from MLB’s post-season as Matt Carpenter starred with the bat and Yasiel Puig wore the black hat.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #5: Quick Move to Add Heyward

The St. Louis Cardinals addressed their right field need by acquiring Jason Heyward from the Atlanta Braves.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #6: Peralta’s Positives

Through year one of Jhonny Peralta’s four-year contract, the risk taken by the St. Louis Cardinals in bringing in the controversial veteran shortstop paid off.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #7: The Lackey Trade

At the July 31 deadline, the St. Louis Cardinals added pitcher John Lackey and a minor leaguer for pitcher Joe Kelly and 1B/OF Allen Craig.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #8: Wong Perseveres

Rookie second baseman Kolten Wong persevered through demotion, injury and post-season benching to post a very strong rookie season for the St. Louis Cardinals.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #9: Another Cy Miss

Once again, St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright was a top candidate for the National League Cy Young Award, but again fell short in 2014.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #10: Right Field Rub

The St. Louis Cardinals received painfully little offense from the important right field position in 2014.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #11: Losing 2/5 of the Rotation

The St. Louis Cardinals had to make a series of adjustments to their rotation, including two trades, due to major injuries to Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia.

Christmas Day Cardinals Marathon on FOX Sports Midwest

On Christmas Day, FOX Sports Midwest will replay five of the most memorable regular-season Cardinals games of 2014.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #12: Losing the Most Valuable Asset

Somehow, the St. Louis Cardinals managed to remain in the playoff race for almost two months while Yadier Molina was injured.

Cardinals Confidential: Inside the Winter Meetings on FOX Sports Midwest

New special takes viewers behind the scenes at the Winter Meetings with St. Louis Cardinals executives.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #13: La Russa Enters Cooperstown

The long-time manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland A’s and Chicago White Sox, Tony La Russa, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July.

New World Series Odds Reflect Cubs Optimism While Cardinals Fall

The Chicago Cubs now have better odds than the St. Louis Cardinals to win the 2015 World Series.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #14: Centerfield Consistency

Prior to the season, if anyone had forecast consistency in centerfield for the 2014 St. Louis Cardinals, they probably would have been referring to Peter Bourjos, not Jon Jay.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #15: Four National League All-Stars

The 2014 St. Louis Cardinals had four National League All-Stars, plus their manager. The only two to appear in the game had a rough night.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #16: Carpenter’s Cardinals Commitment

St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter inked a six-year contract this past spring, but his results were down in 2014.

Scherzer-Cardinals Speculation is All In a Word

Changing one small word turned a “run of the mill” off-season speculation article into major rumor news. Too bad it is apparently erroneous.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #17: Rosenthal’s Rocky Road

St. Louis Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal usually got the job done in 2014, but it was often a wild ride.

2015 Scoring Job Opportunity at Busch Stadium

MLB.com needs stats stringers for next season at a number of locations, including St. Louis.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #18: Change in Scouting Director

The St. Louis Cardinals remained in-house to replace Dan Kantrovitz as director of scouting with Chris Correa.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #19: Cardinals Hall of Fame Introduced

The St. Louis Cardinals finally implemented a team Hall of Fame, with 26 individuals already inducted.

TCN Blog 2014 Top Story #20: Ballpark Village Opens

A major enhancement to the Busch Stadium experience finally came to life in April.

The Cardinal Nation Blog’s Top 20 Stories of 2014 Countdown

Annual series looking back at the top news items affecting the St. Louis Cardinals over the previous 12 months.

TCN’s Cardinals Top 40 Prospect Countdown Begins Monday, 12/1

The Cardinal Nation’s top prospect list for 2015 is being unveiled over the next 40 days.

Cardinals Hot Stove Show Returns to FOX Sports Midwest

FOX Sports Midwest’s weekly off-season St. Louis Cardinals programs begin on Wednesday, November 26.

How did the Cardinals Fare with Kantrovitz as Top Scout?

Responding to reader comments about the state of the St. Louis Cardinals system related to Dan Kantrovitz’ three drafts as scouting director.

Is Anna the Cardinals New Castro?

For each of the last two winters, the St. Louis Cardinals bestowed a 40-man roster spot on a free agent signee that led me to scratch my head as to why.

KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Hot Stove Heyward Talk

Brian Walton discusses the Jason Heyward trade and the St. Louis Cardinals offseason with Ken Miller of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

FOX Sports 1670 Radio: The Heyward-Miller Trade

Brian Walton’s discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals-Atlanta Braves trade with Bill Shanks of FOX Sports 1670 Radio in Macon, Georgia and Scout.com.

Beware of the “Reverse Drew”

The last time the Braves and Cardinals swapped a major league outfielder, Atlanta made a huge mistake – one they are still living down 11 years later. Could the reverse happen now?

Three Cardinals Receive Mention in AFL Top Tools

St. Louis Cardinals prospects C.J. McElroy, Sam Tuivailala and Tyrell Jenkins are among 2014 Arizona Fall League players with a standout tool.

Why the Cardinals Need a “Lackey” Right Fielder

The St. Louis Cardinals need offensive help, but seem worried about potential additions blocking others.

Unofficial 2015 Cardinals Spring Training Schedule: 11/10 Update

23 of 27 expected St. Louis Cardinals spring training games have been tentatively scheduled, including 22 in the Grapefruit League.

Cardinals Lose an Ace in Adams

Veteran minor league pitching coach Arthur (Ace) Adams is leaving the St. Louis Cardinals for the Houston Astros.

NL SS Gold Glove Disconnect Suggests Peralta Slighted

SABR Defensive Index ranks Marlins shortstop 14th, yet Adeiny Hechavarria was in the top three of the final Gold Glove Award scoring. The metrics placed Cardinal Jhonny Peralta third.

Cardinals organization roster matrix: 2014-2015 off-season

The St. Louis Cardinals’ full system view by position and level reflects the 2014-2015 free agents with all organization players listed by level and position.

Cardinals 2015 World Series Odds Open at 2014 Worst Point

The first cut of an oddsmaker puts the St. Louis Cardinals 2015 World Series odds as long as at any point during 2014.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Remembering Oscar

Brian Walton’s and Pat Parris’ discussion about Oscar Taveras of the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Astros Lure Away Cardinals Scout Charlie Gonzalez

The Houston Astros will make St. Louis Cardinals area scout Charlie Gonzalez a special assistant.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Looking Ahead

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Partial Unofficial Look at 2015 Cardinals Spring Schedule

10 St. Louis Cardinals spring training games have been tentatively scheduled, including nine in the Grapefruit League.

Will the Cardinals Add Their Own Don Zimmer?

Will the St. Louis Cardinals look to add a more experienced bench coach to assist manager Mike Matheny?

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Pivotal NLCS Game 4

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

ESPN 99.1 Radio: Pivotal LCS Game Threes

Brian Walton’s discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Jeff Thurn of ESPN 99.1 Radio in Sioux Falls.

Does Knocking Down Taveras Help Anyone?

The St. Louis Cardinals are not happy with outfielder Oscar Taveras and now we know, too.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Setting Up the NLCS

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Oddsmakers Weigh in on NLCS, World Series

Courtesy of Bovada.lv, here are the most recent odds for the Major League Baseball post-season as they relate to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Wild Card Winner Batting .500 in Reaching Championship Series

The Wild Card Game winner has reached three of the six League Championship Series since Major League Baseball added the second wild card.

Cardinals on FOX Sports Midwest Ratings No. 1 in MLB

In 2014, St. Louis Cardinals broadcasts on FOX Sports Midwest scored the highest ratings in Major League Baseball.

Is Pat Neshek on Edward Mujica’s Trail?

The St. Louis Cardinals’ most dependable reliever during most of the season, Pat Neshek, is scuffling when the team needs him most. It is reminiscent of the Edward Mujica situation in 2013.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: NLDS is Finally Here

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Cardinals Fans Guide to MLB Postseason Streaming

Under certain conditions, all Major League Baseball post-season games can be watched for the first time via live streaming.

Cardinals Slide in Oddsmakers’ Post-Season View

The St. Louis Cardinals’ odds to win the National League and World Series grew from last week to this in one oddsmaker’s view.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Sorting Out the Possibilities

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Cardinals Minor League Attendance Healthy Overall in 2014

Five of six St. Louis Cardinals minor league affiliates experienced an increase in attendance this past summer.

Cardinals Hold Third Place in Oddsmakers’ NL View

The St. Louis Cardinals remain the heavy favorite to take the division, but are third in the NL in one oddsmaker’s view.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Not the Final Nine

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller and Jim Brinson of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Is the Power-Laden Bench a Thing of the Past?

Did the Major League Baseball benches of olden days have greater power-hitting threats than today?

WHO News Talk Radio: Post-Season Peeking

Brian Walton’s discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Chuck Reed and Jim Walden of WHO News Talk Radio 1040 in Des Moines.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Last Homestand

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller and Jim Brinson of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Memphis a Hit Everywhere Except the Gate

Memphis Redbirds attendance dropped 23 percent this season and is down 45 percent over the last decade.

Vote now for your 2015 Cardinals top prospects

Join in reader voting for top St. Louis Cardinals prospects on The Cardinal Nation message board.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Pulling Ahead

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller and Jim Brinson of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Cardinals First Base Options Could be Expanded

Why do the St. Louis Cardinals seem to have so many outfielders and so few first basemen?

Cardinals Back to Oddsmakers’ Division Favorite

The St. Louis Cardinals are once again one oddsmaker’s favorite to win their division.

Is Descalso the New “Secret Weapon”?

St. Louis Cardinals infielder Daniel Descalso has matched a career feat previously accomplished by Jose Oquendo, among others.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Solving the Cubs

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller and Jim Brinson of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Matheny on the Grind of One-Run Cardinals Games

St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny discusses learning and grinding through his club’s many one-run games this season.

Cardinals Increased Run Scoring Translates to Wins

What has changed to drive an 8-2 stretch by the St. Louis Cardinals is increased run scoring.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Extending the Streak

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller and Jim Brinson of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Where are the Cardinals’ Winning Streaks?

The St. Louis Cardinals haven’t won four games in a row in over two months, yet remain a Wild Card leader.

Tuesday Marks FOX Sports Midwest’s Annual “This One’s for You”

Annual special St. Louis Cardinals game broadcast connects local families with troops stationed overseas.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Making Hay at Home?

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller and Jim Brinson of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Cardinals Hall of Fame Induction on FOX Sports Midwest

Tape-delayed special of induction ceremony debuts Sunday, August 17 after the Cardinals-Padres game.

NL Central is MLB’s Tightest Four-Team Race Since 2006

Four teams in the National League Central Division are separated by just 5 ½ games, tightest since the 2006 NL West.

The Game that Never Happened in a Season that Never Concluded

The 20-year anniversary of the start of the 1994 Major League Baseball strike brings back unpleasant memories.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Baltimore Bound

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Will 2014 Cardinals’ Run Scoring Mirror 1973 Mets?

The St. Louis Cardinals are track to make the playoffs despite being near the bottom of run scoring, something that has not been accomplished in over 40 years.

Waino’s Big Year Slipping Away

Two recent data points indicate St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright’s Cy Young Award chances are declining.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: After the Trades

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Jim Brinson of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Cardinals Make Hall of Fame Induction a Pay Event

$18 tickets for the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame induction ceremony on August 16 are now on sale.

Cardinals Telecasts Top-Ranked in St. Louis, No. 2 in MLB

St. Louis Cardinals games on FOX Sports Midwest are the No. 1-rated programming in prime time with the second-highest ratings in Major League Baseball.

Cardinals Log a Losing Record in Series Openers

The 2014 St. Louis Cardinals need to find a way to be more competitive in the first game of series. Scoring more runs would be a nice start.

Steroids Should Have Been Put Aside on Cooperstown Sunday

As Tony La Russa entered the National Baseball Hall of Fame, some tried to drag him down on the steroids subject.

Help United Way While Helping Yourself to Cardinals Baseball

Hall of Fame induction, Chris Carpenter bobbleheads and special-price tickets make August 15-16 a great time to head to Busch Stadium for St. Louis Cardinals baseball.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: HoF, Lottery and Cubs

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller and Jim Brinson of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Will a Devalued Taveras Follow Rasmus’ Path Out of Town?

Is Oscar Taveras heading for a Colby Rasmus-like scenario in which he is devalued before being traded away?

Join TCN and TCN Blog in Supporting Alana Subleski

Among the items in a benefit auction is a three-month subscription to The Cardinal Nation.

Draw a Bulls Eye on Cardinals Hitters

Never before have as many St. Louis Cardinals batters been hit by opposing pitches than in 2014’s first half. The Cards also seem to retaliate less often than other clubs.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Coming Out of the Break

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Cardinals First-Half Hitting Does Not Stand Test of Time

The St. Louis Cardinals hitting in the first half of the 2014 was among the worst in the last century.

Talking with Washington University on the Cardinals

St. Louis’ Washington University has a student-operated blog focusing on the St. Louis Cardinals. I answered a series of questions about the team for them.

Cardinals First-Half Pitching Compares Well

By some measures, the St. Louis Cardinals pitching in the first half of the 2014 was among the best in the last century.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Heading into the Break

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller and Jim Brinson of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Lynn Joins Gibson, Dean in First-Half Win Success

Lance Lynn has won at least 10 games in his first three first halves in the St. Louis Cardinals rotation – a rare feat.

Will Joe Kelly Be the Cardinals Wild Card?

If the St. Louis Cardinals add another starting pitcher via trade, could that mean a different role for Joe Kelly?

On Cardinals Mulder, Garcia and Lynn

The cries of concern over the contract the St. Louis Cardinals gave injured left-hander Jaime Garcia are reminiscent of those expressed over Mark Mulder six years ago.

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Heading Back Home

Brian Walton’s weekly discussion about the St. Louis Cardinals with Ken Miller and Jim Brinson of KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.