Boggs to Memphis, Highly Praised Prospect Arrives

The day has arrived!

Everything changes now! … Well, at least that’s what we’ve been told to expect with the arrival of highly-praised prospect, Carlos Martinez!

What’s more important about the arrival of Martinez is the demotion of Mitchell Boggs to Memphis. Boggs really needs to work on some things and now is as good a time as ever for him to do some work!

Regarding Martinez, per Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch:

Martinez, a 21-year-old righty from the Dominican Republic, was unable to participate in major-league spring training because he could not acquire the necessary work visa to travel to Florida. The Cardinals and their young righty began working on getting the visa before Christmas, but he did not receive it until late into March.

The late start to his season diminished his exposure to the big-league coaches, but it does not slow his results.

In three starts at Class AA Springfield, Martinez had nine strikeouts and a 2.31 ERA in 11 2/3 innings. He had one walk and 11 hits allowed. Martinez sports a fastball that he can throw at 100 mph, and in his starts so far this season he has regularly pitched at 98 mph.

Rafael Furcal was moved to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Martnez.

Regarding Boggs, from MLB.com:

The right-hander returns to Memphis after spending all of last season in the big leagues. Boggs was 0-2 with two blown saves and a 12.66 ERA through 14 appearances this season.

Carlos is already with the team in Milwaukee. Check out the selfie!

Carlos Martinez

 

 

Bad Streaks End As Cards Win Despite Pen

Two big, fat, ugly streaks ended for the St. Louis Cardinals tonight!

Jake Westbrook’s attempt to win his 100th career victory came after two failed attempts. And David Freese’s ugly little streak where he couldn’t get hits or score runs was also foiled.

‘Bout. Time. Amirite?!

Let’s discuss the good coming from Thursday night’s game. I have some bad, ugly, awfulness to discuss and then I promise to make you laugh. OK? All right. Let’s go!

Awesomeness: How about that third inning for the Cardinals? Wow!

The top of the third started out with Pete Kozma flying out to Ryan Braun. Jake singles to center. Matt Carpenter singles to left. Carlos Beltran flies out. Matt Holliday gets hits by a pitch to load up the bases. Allen Craig singles to score Jake and Marp. Yadi singles to score MattyHo. Freesey singles to score Craig! Jon Jay singles. Pete Kozma singles to score Yadi and Freesey.

See what I mean? Awesome! Jake even helped himself!

Speaking of Jake and Awesomeness. Jake earned his second victory of the season and his 100th of his career on a six inning performance. He gave up six hits, one run, three walks and struck out four.

Now let’s get to the bad, ugly, awfulness. Yes. Quiet. We have to.

The bullpen blows, y’all. It was almost as if they didn’t want Jake to get that 100th victory.

Joe Kelly entered the game in the seventh and only pitched two-thirds of that inning. He gave up two hits and two earned runs. He did strike out Ryan Braun. And that is quite acceptable!

What isn’t acceptable. Mitchell Boggs. Whew. Goodness.  Continue reading

Maness Promoted, Scrabble Demoted

With so many problems facing the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen, the team finally decided to do something about it.

It may not be what the fans really want, but maybe it will make a difference in the long run. Let’s discuss what’s going to happen!

Seth Maness will be added to the roster prior to the start of the series tonight with the Cincinnati Reds. Marc “Scrabble” Rzepczynski is being sent to Memphis to make room for Maness.

According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com:

[Scrabble] allowed two earned runs and another two inherited runners to score in one-third of an inning on Sunday. The lefty has now allowed six of seven inherited runners to score in his eight relief innings this season. That’s in addition to the seven runs and 13 hits he’s allowed.

Acquired by the Cardinals in a midseason trade with the Blue Jays in 2011, Rzepczynski is making $1.1 million this season, a figure agreed upon by the pitcher and the club in his first offseason of arbitration eligibility.

Maness, who was the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2012, will have to be added to the 40-man roster, which currently has an opening. It is unknown who the Cardinals will remove from their 25-man roster to make space for Maness on it. Five of the team’s seven relievers currently have an ERA higher than 4.00.

After finishing 14-4 with a 2.97 ERA in 2012 (with high-A Palm Beach and double-A Springfield, Maness opened the 2013 season with Triple-A Memphis. He’s pitched 25 innings this month, allowing 12 earned runs on 34 hits. Maness has struck out 18 while walking three.

Maness was scheduled to start for Memphis on Monday, which means he’ll be immediately available to help in the Cardinals’ bullpen, which enters Monday with a 5.93 ERA.

Should be interesting to see how all of this plays out! Hopefully this will revitalize the pitcher’s in question and most importantly the bullpen. Because this bullpen needs serious help. Seriously.

 

Happy Birthday, Freesey!

 

Look who turns 30 today!

That’s right. Everyone’s favorite hometown hero, David Freese, hits the big 3-0 today!

Yesterday, he had the day off to mentally refresh due to some struggles at the plate. Today, he’s expected to be in the line-up against Pirates lefty Jeff Locke.

So he’s getting to play on his birthday. What better way is there to celebrate than with a Cardinals win?

Oh! That’s right…

His first home run of the 2013 season would be pretty great too!

Celebrate your 30th birthday the right way, David! Get a homer and lead your Cardinals to victory!

Adams to DL, Curtis Promoted

      St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique strain. The Cards purchased the contract of Memphis Redbirds (AAA) Infielder Jermaine Curtis to fill the slot open on the roster.

So who is Jermaine Curtis?

According to MLB.com’s Jennifer Langosch, “Curtis, 25, went 14-for-48 in 17 games with Memphis this season and drove in a team-best 17 runs. In 2012, Curtis led the Double-A Texas League in on-base percentage (.416) while hitting .313 for Springfield. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 First-Year Player’s Draft out of UCLA.”

Someone that can get on base and score runs? Oh! Something the Cardinals definitely need.

Welcome welcome, Mr. Curtis!

Now. About Matt Adams. Is it that bad?

According to Langosch, “A day after Adams was seen by the Cardinals’ team physicians, the organization moved him to the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 22. … Adams suffered the right oblique strain on Monday, while taking afternoon swings in the batting cage. He resumed limited activity later in the series but did not appear in any of the three games against Washington. After making his first Opening Day roster, Adams opened the season 13-for-24 with three homers and eight RBIs in eight games. The hot start had prompted manager Mike Matheny to try and find ways to get Adams into the lineup multiple times each week.”

Hopefully, rest will do Adams some good and he will return to the line-up better than ever.

 

Adams to DL, Curtis Promoted

      St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique strain. The Cards purchased the contract of Memphis Redbirds (AAA) Infielder Jermaine Curtis to fill the slot open on the roster.

So who is Jermaine Curtis?

According to MLB.com’s Jennifer Langosch, “Curtis, 25, went 14-for-48 in 17 games with Memphis this season and drove in a team-best 17 runs. In 2012, Curtis led the Double-A Texas League in on-base percentage (.416) while hitting .313 for Springfield. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 First-Year Player’s Draft out of UCLA.”

Someone that can get on base and score runs? Oh! Something the Cardinals definitely need.

Welcome welcome, Mr. Curtis!

Now. About Matt Adams. Is it that bad?

According to Langosch, “A day after Adams was seen by the Cardinals’ team physicians, the organization moved him to the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 22. … Adams suffered the right oblique strain on Monday, while taking afternoon swings in the batting cage. He resumed limited activity later in the series but did not appear in any of the three games against Washington. After making his first Opening Day roster, Adams opened the season 13-for-24 with three homers and eight RBIs in eight games. The hot start had prompted manager Mike Matheny to try and find ways to get Adams into the lineup multiple times each week.”

Hopefully, rest will do Adams some good and he will return to the line-up better than ever.

 

Cards Sweetly Sweep Those Gnatty Nats

If ever there were a time to get a sweep, this was the time to do it. The St. Louis Cardinals swept the Washington Nationals Wednesday afternoon with a 4-2 victory.

The Fox Sports Midwest crew pointed out another interesting tidbit about this sweep … it was the first time the Cardinals swept either the Expos or Nationals outside of St. Louis since September 1969.

Wow. Just. Wow!

So many great things about this game. Let’s discuss!

* Matt Holliday. Is he ever not clutch? Wow! Yes, that was sarcasm, kiddos! Yesterday he was 3 for 4 with a run and an RBI. In the eighth inning, Matty Ho singled on a grounder to short allowing Matt Carpenter to score. Matt Carp scored the fourth run of the day. A pretty pivotal insurance run for the Cards.

* Matt Carpenter. He was also 3 for 4. He scored two runs. In addition to the run he scored when Holliday drove him in, Marp led off the game with a double. With Holliday and Carlos Beltran also on base, Yadi singled a liner to Jayson Werth, scoring Carp and Holliday. One more run came in that inning as Daniel Descalso reached on a force to score Beltran.

Yay for productive first innings!

* Dirty Dan. He gets playing time sporadically these days. So why did he get the call Wednesday? According to a tweet from Post-Dispatch writer Derrick Goold:

* Jon Jay. Hey! Coming off the bench certainly seemed to work for you this time! He broke an 0 for 21 streak with a single to center field in the eighth inning. Hopefully this was just the kick start he needed.    

* Cardinals Pitching. The starting pitching remained great and the relief staff seemed a little more … settled. Jaime Garcia improved to 2-1 on season. He pitched 5.2 innings, giving up four hits and one earned run. He walked one and struck out three. Excellent for Jaime!

Joe Kelly got another pitching appearance! He even got a little bit of a longer appearance this time too! Kelly pitched 1.1 innings. He gave up two hits and made things a little interesting and tense for a few moments. But he struck out two, including the last batter he faced. That K seemed to give Kelly a jolt of needed confidence. By the way, seriously enjoyed these tweets from  Goold regarding Pitching Coach Derek Lilliquist and Kelly.

It was Derek Lilliquist who called Joe Kelly a “Ferrari in the garage,” the explanation is here: bit.ly/11kXQK7 #stlcards #cardinals — Derrick Goold (@dgoold) April 24, 2013

#Cardinals RHP Joe “Ferrari” Kelly hits 98 mph with his fifth pitch of a key strikeout there in the sixth inning. No longer in the garage. — Derrick Goold (@dgoold) April 24, 2013

 

Next up, Trevor Rosenthal pitched the 8th inning. He gave up one hit. Guess what that one hit was, my friends? That would be a home run to Jayson Werth to make it 4-2. He walked Bryce Harper and then settled down and struck out the next two batters – Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond.

Edward Mujica came in to pitch the ninth and earned his fourth save of the season by getting hitters to either fly or ground out.

* Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals star pitcher didn’t look as amazing as we have been lead to believe. He pitched seven innings and while he did strike out seven, he also gave up five hits, a walk and three earned runs. It is the first of the season still. He will come around and pitch lights out, I’m sure. Hopefully not against the Cardinals though!

The Cardinals are now 13-8 with a half game lead over the Cincinnati Reds, who play the Nationals this weekend. The Cardinals start a series at Busch against the Pirates tomorrow night.

Miranda Remaklus is a contributor to Aaron Miles’ Fastball. She’s also lead writer for Aerys Offsides in the NFL section. Follow her on Twitter, @missmiranda.

Mujica, Beltran Lead Cards To Victory Over Phillies

It was by no means pretty but the St. Louis Cardinals won a close one Thursday evening over the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-3.

I’ve got a few people I want to talk with you about! Let’s!

* Adam Wainwright.  By no means was this a classic pitching performance by Wainwright. But. He did get a win. Now 3-1, Waino pitched seven innings. He gave up nine hits and three earned runs. He struck out four. He now has an ERA of 2.48.

* Edward Mujica and the ‘Pen. They tried to make things interesting for certain. But, they did their job, held it down and saved the game for the Cardinals. Trevor Rosenthal pitched 2/3rds of an inning. He gave up two hits. He got out of the situation.

Next up? Edward Mujica. He pitched one and a one-third innings. He gave up two hits and struck out two. Not a perfect, shut down performance. But. He was effective. And more than anything, that’s what the Cardinals are needing from the Bullpen right now. Effectiveness.

Mujica and Rosenthal did their jobs tonight. Good on ’em!  Continue reading

Westbrook Rocks As Cardinals Roll Past Reds

The St. Louis Cardinals took the series from the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday afternoon as Jake Westbrook pitched one gem of a game and the offense ignited in a 10-zip route.

Let’s discuss this game!

* Jake Westbrook. Once again, Jake made his haters shut up as he pitched a complete game shut out. That’s right. Jake Westbrook did that, you guys! He gave up five hits, walked four and struck out three.

In the sixth inning, he pitched himself out of a minor jam that started with him hitting Shin-Soo Choo. He proceeded to strike out Chris Heisey. He walked Joey Votto. Brandon Phillips flew out to center. And, with runners at second and third, Jake struck out Jay Bruce.

Jake walked off the field pumping his fist and beaming with confidence.

It was extremely nice to see for a guy that pretty much gets little respect from this fan base. Continue reading

Cards Fall Short In Arizona, Move On To SF

Pete Kozma

It wasn’t exactly the best way to start the season. Going 1-2 against the Arizona Diamondbacks? Yeah, bit disappointing for St. Louis Cardinals fans.

But, there were a few good things from the series with the Diamondbacks.

* Pete Kozma is legit. In three games he has a .308 average and a .357 OBP, with a homer and two RBI. Combine that with his shortstop skills and range … I don’t get the big deal during the offseason. Sure the last few weeks of the season and the post season were quite amazing for Pete. Sure it could have been a fluke. But, many of you arm chair general manager types weren’t even willing to give him a shot. … Probably still aren’t! Pay attention, because whether you like it or not, Pete’s going to continue to get this shot.

* How About Jaime? Considering I was pretty down on Jaime Garcia as I thought his shoulder issue … and other issues … might have been a bigger deal than the Cardinals organization was letting on, I’m pleased he had such a great start Tuesday. He pitched 5.2 innings, he struck out four and has a 1.59 ERA.

* Receiving Line Is Back? I noticed that after one of the Cardinals hits a home run, the team still lines up in the dugout ready to give high fives and other such congratulatories to the home run hitter and any men on base. I do love that this carried over to this season. It shows this team has really good chemistry and … They like each other. It’s kind of important!  Continue reading