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

Talking Cardinals Prospects from Arizona Fall League

During Friday’s Arizona Fall League game, I went on Brian Stull’s St. Louis Baseball Weekly radio show. The subject was St. Louis Cardinals prospects competing in the AFL. Among those we discussed are Alex Reyes, Luke Weaver (pictured together), Patrick Wisdom and Aledmys Diaz.

The interview occurred before I learned the news of Reyes being taken out of the league.

You can listen to the radio segment here.

St. Louis Baseball Weekly airs Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on CBS Sports Radio 920am and also on Saturdays from 10-11 a.m. on KRAP 1350am in Washington, MO.

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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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32 Responses to “Talking Cardinals Prospects from Arizona Fall League”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    The Cards made a draft day health gamble on weaver. They smartly gave him an easy workload in summer 2014 and again this spring. It’s a refreshing change of approach from the bad old days of the 1970s to Luhnow, when many minor league pitchers were worked hard and could not hold up to reach the majors. Now minor leagues are recognized to be valuable and it serves the team to preserve them.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    The Cards made a draft day health gamble on weaver. They smartly gave him an easy workload in summer 2014 and again this spring. It’s a refreshing change of approach from the bad old days of the 1970s to Luhnow, when many minor league pitchers were worked hard and could not hold up to reach the majors. Now minor leagues are recognized to be valuable and it serves the team to preserve them.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Yes and no. The Cards did take it easy on him in 2014, but he injured himself this spring in workouts.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Baseball can be hard to predict. For instance, Marco Gonzales pitched well during high school, three years of college, and during 2014. A consistent performer, until health woes in 2015. Pitchinghinges on health. Good we took Wacha offline in 2014, Carlos Martinez this September, and now Reyes out of the AFL.

    • blingboy says:

      Events cause me to question the efficacy of treating young pitchers like china dolls.

      Lackey, the only starter to be going strong at the end was not treated so when he was a young pitcher in the Angels’ system. In 1999, the year he was drafted, he started 15 games logging 81 innings. Each of following two years he started 28 and went 180+. Wainwright endured a very similar workload his first few pro seasons in the Braves system and continued it right through AAA and into MLB.

      Meanwhile, the china dolls can’t seem to handle the grind. Now we have Reyes pulled from the AFL with soreness after having gone barely 100 innings each of the last two seasons. Martinez was a 100 inning pitcher in the minors and up until this year. What exactly is it that we are trying to develop?

      • Brian Walton says:

        Lackey missed the entire 2012 season, which is how the Cards got him so cheaply this season.

        I have not seen a report that Reyes is injured.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          Baseball is becoming more enlightened. If a guy gets beaned, hold him out until neurologists clear him to play again. Gets make so much money, they are valuable if healthy. The minor league pitcher is only valuable if he stays healthy enough to reach the majors.

          • blingboy says:

            On the other hand, it might be better to find out up front which arms can stand up to a starter’s workload and which are better advised to seek less rigorous employment. For a long time, starters were handed a full workload right off the bat, going back at least to Gibby’s days in the minors in the 50s. Sometimes it is best not to reinvent the wheel.

            • JumboShrimp says:

              The cards produce few starting pitchers from amateur ranks during 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and into the naughts. There were some who made it like Morris, Haren, Mathews, magrane, Clark, forsch, Denny. We traded away some pretty good starters like Carlton, Torres, Reuss, bibby.
              Good teams of recent years owe much to Lynn, Garcia, wacha, Martinez, miller, kelly. Burning out guys in the minors archives nothing. Burning them out in the majors is preferable, from the point of view of ownership.

        • blingboy says:

          I think we’d be happy with 10 ML seasons before a breakdown from anybody in the system.

          As to Reyes, yeah, maybe he just chipped a nail. Shut him down so he can shake it off by report day.

  3. blingboy says:

    Joe Strauss has spoken.

    “If Mozeliak is serious about getting “creative,” the time may be right for dropping leadoff hitter and third baseman Chris Carpenter into a production spot in the batting order, using a Piscotty-Adams platoon as an option at cleanup and giving Holliday a look at No. 5. Heyward projects as a No. 2 or No. 6 bat.”

    Several years ago, at a Winter Warm Up Q & A session, yours truly asked Mo a question to which he responded by saying that he does not make lineup decisions, that is the manager’s job and prerogative.

    I guess Joe didn’t get the memo.

  4. JumboShrimp says:

    A problem with a prospect like Diaz is I think he becomes a free agent in two more years. He needs at least one year at Memphis. If he reaches St Louis in 2017, then at the end of this year, he may earn his economic liberty and can play elsewhere.
    This could provide a reason to leave Diaz off the ML roster this winter. About the time he might be ready to contribute, he may leave or get a lot more pricey.

    • blingboy says:

      I do not think Aledmys is absolved from service time requirements. Once his contract expires, we will have to pay him according to the maximum salary reduction rules in the CBA.

  5. Bw52 says:

    Patrick Wisdom finally showing improvement in cutting out the huge strikeout numbers and getting better production is a plus.He did well in 2015 after his send down for extra coaching and he played fairly well until he ran out of gas the last few weeks.I guess he gets a full season of Memphis to improve in 2016.

  6. Bw52 says:

    RHP Alex Reyes popped with a 50 game POt suspension effective immediately.Will miss 40 games in 2016.Another dumb mistake. by a Cards top prospect.

  7. Bw52 says:

    Lance Lynn out for 2016-tommy john surgery.Well that certainly could change things this offseason.

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