With week one of Spring Training almost in the books for the St. Louis Cardinals, it’s time to update you with a little news and notes of what’s going on with our favorite team! Here we go!
John Mozeliak has a vision that Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., calls his to maintain. Mo will remain the club’s senior vice president and general manager through the 2016 season. This could make Mo one of the longest serving GM’s in Cardinal history. DeWitt calls Mo a “stabilizing force” in the organization. Be sure to check out this interesting piece about Mo and his contract extension.
The club also agreed to pick up the 2014 option on Manager Mike Matheny’s contract. Mike has a goal for this Spring Training. Get Better. One area Matheny plans to make an improvement? Situational hitting. Hello bunting! Matheny said players “can always get better.” Check out this story on Matheny’s mission to get better!
Former manager Tony LaRussa was at the Cards camp on Thursday when the announcement of Mo and Mike’s extension was made. He called it outstanding and well-deserved.
LaRussa was with Major League Baseball senior vice president Peter Woodfork and umpiring supervisor Ed Rapuano as they went to all camps to explain some of the rules changes for the upcoming season.
According to Rick Hummel of the P-D:
One rule that will be changed this year is that there will be no fake throws to third base available to pitchers who, on managers’ instructions, would use that deke and then try to pick a runner off first base.
That play now will be a balk and, ironically, was one of La Russa’s favorite moves.
La Russa said, “I’m a defensive guy and (the move) had a strong defensive influence.
“They would say, ‘Ah, it never works,’ but the fact is that the (manager) in the other dugout did not steal second base at times, worried about that play.
“Now, it’s a good move. There will be extra stolen bases because of this.”
In this round-table discussion, they discuss which is the hot story this spring training. Most agree. The pitching rotation, with Chris Carpenter likely not playing this season and Jaime Garcia being a huge question mark, is the big story. Adam Wainwright, Jake Westbrook and Lance Lynn are sure things … everything else is up for grabs.
Derrick Goold’s quote may leave you feeling anxious, but I find it interesting to note:
Forgive me for banging a drum that even that Cardinals are growing tired of hearing but … Jaime Garcia and his shoulder and, more importantly, his ability to provide a consistent presence in the rotation is a major storyline of spring. The Cardinals have one sure-fire 200-inning pitcher, one likely one, and then three uncertainties. A hallmark of a contender is getting that third starter who can be counted on for 180+ innings. But, hey, it’s February. Everybody is at zero.