The Cardinals desperate search for bullpen help has led them to top pitching prospect Carlos Martinez. He has been called up straight from AA and after not getting a single out in Thursday’s game struggling reliever Mitchell Boggs was optioned to AAA Memphis. Boggs becomes the second Cardinals pitcher this week to be sent to Memphis after Marc Rzepczynski was sent down earlier in the week.
Martinez, 21, has a 2.31 ERA in 3 games as a starter at AA Springfield. As I’m writing this the St. Louis Post Dispatch’s Derrick Goold has confirmed that closer Jason Motte will undergo Tommy John surgery on Monday and is officially done for the year and likely a portion of 2014. This was predictable in a way after hearing this narrative over and over again. A pitcher is “testing” his elbow or they’re still “evaluating” their options. Too many times has this led to surgery for me to believe anything the Cardinals ever say about injured players.
That’s a different story for a different time.
Anyway, this makes Martinez’s call up much more applicable because he is likely here to stay unless they have plans to trade for a reliever which is still a possibility. The Cardinals did this same thing last year, it’s almost an exact replica. They were desperate for bullpen help so they went to AA and called up Trevor Rosenthal, who then was a starter. Now they’ve done the same thing with Martinez.
When a player gets called up I always like to find them on Twitter and see what they’re saying. I had no idea what I was stumbling upon. Martinez is on Twitter and it’s really him, you can follow him @Tsunamy27. His profile is absolutely littered with some, um, interesting things.
First his bio is quite humorous and involves him giving a subtle brag and at the same time spelling “Cardinals” wrong. Here is what his bio reads, ahem, “CARLOS MARTINEZ: prospect #3. of St.Louis Cardenals” Look, I get that he’s from the Domincan, but when you see the correct spelling of the word “Cardinals” every day, spelling it wrong is unacceptable, Carlos. Unacceptable. Then, if that wasn’t enough, he has an abundant amount of “selfies” or pictures taken by himself. Carlos Beltran has made his selfies quite famous. Let’s take a look at some of Martinez’s “best” selfies…
This one was from today at Miller Park. It’s a pretty big deal for him so we’ll let this one slide. Moving on.
As if taking a selfie wasn’t bad enough, but in a skin-tight Superman shirt? C’mon dude!
This is yet another subtle brag. Shirtless mirror pics are about as bad as it gets, really. Put some clothes on!
Finally, Exhibit D:
Well the clothes are there at least. Collared shirt tucked into dad jeans. Kudos.
For the record, I’m not trying to make fun of him, just a bit of teasing. Hopefully he can help the bullpen.
He’s been described as a phenom. High-ranking officials in the Cardinals’ organization often refer to this man as the best-hitting prospect they’ve had since a guy named Albert Pujols. The Cardinals’ top prospect Oscar Taveras is often argued to be the best raw-hitter not in Major League Baseball. Since he’s joined the Cardinal organization in 2010, he has obliterated the pitching at every level and now he’s considered a crucial piece of the future for the Cardinals.
I don’t claim to be a scout or anything and I haven’t seen Taveras hit in person, but I’ve seen a lot of him on TV and online and he can hit the ball. And when he does hit the ball, he hits it very, very hard. His swing is very explosive. It kind of resembles Prince Fielder except for, you know, Taveras is a bit…smaller. He hits every ball with authority. The ball comes off his bat and you think it’s a lazy fly ball to left and it turns into a 400 foot home run.
Last year at AA Springfield, Taveras had a slash line of .321/.380/.572. This year at AAA he’s doing good, but not great. He isn’t exactly tearing up the pitching, but it’s still early and he’s faring very well at a new level, hitting .281.
Many project him to be the starting right-fielder for the Cardinals in 2014. It seems pretty obvious with Carlos Beltran’s contract expiring and his age increasing. But this year there was a wrinkle thrown into that plan. Matt Adams is killing the ball right now. He is currently on the 15-day disabled list, but before yesterday he was hitting .542 in 8 games. If he continues to hit like this, the Cardinals will have a tough decision to make. And Taveras is here to stay.They could always trade Adams while his value is high, but you’d hate to do that and he turns out to be a star. There is a possible solution, however.
Jon Jay is overrated. There, I said it.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Jon Jay is a good player. He’s played well since taking over in center in 2011. He is a good player, but he’s not great. His defense is superb, but he sometimes takes questionable routes to balls and his lack of speed often forces him to make frequent diving plays. Opponents don’t hesitate to take an extra base due to his arm strength, or lack there of. He hit very well in 2012, but is struggling thus far in 2013, hitting just .220. It’s still early and Jay has earned the right to try to turn it around.
I’m not saying they should trade Jay. I’m not even suggesting they bench him. What I’m saying is that if Craig and Adams keep hitting and Taveras continues to hit in AAA, I have a feeling Jon Jay could be the odd man out. A lineup featuring Craig, Adams, AND Taveras is pretty scary. Maybe Jay will turn it around, or maybe not. These things have a way of sorting themselves out.
If you’re a sports fan, every key at-bat or power play is an important moment. If it’s your favorite team then it could feel like it’s life or death. Sports are a huge part of American society. Sometimes it’s the top story and other times like on Monday it’s a complete after thought. Sometimes sports is a way to get your focus off something terrible, also like on Monday.
When two bombs were set off during the Boston Marathon, killing two and injuring hundreds more, every one put aside their petty differences and sports alliances and joined one big team: Team America that is.
The Padres and Dodgers were going into a game after a they had a brawl a few days before. Many people thought there would be some bad blood on Monday and that may have been so. Maybe the Dodgers planned revenge, maybe there would be another brawl. But after hearing of the tragedy in Beantown everyone realized how silly it would look. Sometime’s baseball just isn’t that important. It’s never a matter of life or death, unfortunately the Boston Marathon turned into just that.
The rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees is huge. It’s a very heated rivalry on and off the field. The players don’t like each other and the fans don’t either. The rivalry often leads to fights on the field and in the crowd. But not on Tuesday. Not after what the city of Boston had to go through on Monday. It all started with the Yankees official Twitter giving their prayers to the city and their plans to honor them. The Red Sox official Twitter responded by simply saying, “Thank you.” The electronic signs out front all read the same thing. They had a Red Sox and Yankees logo together and it read “United we stand.”
United. Not as a fan of a team, not as sports fans, but united as Americans. Yankees fans all brought signs showing their support. Not for the Yankees, but for Boston. ” Yankees fans love Boston,” one sign read. Another just simply said, “Pray for Boston.” After the third inning at Yankee stadium, a song played, but this song was special. They played the Bostonian’s favorite tune, “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, a song played often at Fenway Park.
Baseball offers a great escape from a painful reality. There is no terror in baseball. Although a fan may thin terror is in baseball when the home team struggles holding leads, but they’re hit with a tough reality check when events like Monday’s bombings indicated.
It’s been this way for a while now. Baseball has been used as a pleasant distraction since World War II. Just a couple of days after 9/11, the New York Yankees took the field to revive a nation’s favorite pastime and give American’s happiness. The President of the United States took the mound for the first pitch. He was greeted with a roaring standing ovation, not because they all agreed with his politics, but because he is the leader of this great nation.
Baseball isn’t that important in the realm of what’s happened recently, but it serves a far greater role than anyone can imagine. Time and time again people turn to the sport to get their mind off tragedy. After terrible events like this, unity goes up and so does American pride. Everyone is anxious to show off that pride. And what’s more American than Baseball?
I put a Mitchell Boggs poster on my door and now it won’t close!
Hey, you see what I did there? Well you see Boggs isn’t closing games and doors are suppose to…nevermind. That was a round about way of telling you that the role of closer has again surfaced as a problem for the Cardinals. With Jason Motte down temporarily and possibly for the year, Mitchell Boggs has assumed the role as closer. He isn’t doing so swell. As I’m typing he just closed out a 10-6 win over the Pirates and looked better, but that wasn’t a save opportunity.
I think Boggs deserves a chance to get his composure back and win the job as closer. If he can’t do so effectively, then it’s time to make a change. Trevor Rosenthal has to figure out how to be a good set-up guy again before he can be thrown into this conversation. By the way, just because a guy throws hard, doesn’t mean he’ll make a good closer. The Cardinals shouldn’t shy away from using Lance Lynn as the closer and moving Joe Kelly to the rotation. I think this is worth a shot.
I went and saw “42″ on Sunday and it was fantastic. I viewed with my friends who, most of them, aren’t big baseball fans and they all enjoyed it. I have no complaints with this movie other than it was two hours-plus long, but I didn’t mind it too much. The film does an outstanding job of showing all the hate and bigotry Jackie Robinson had to go through in order to break baseball’s color barrier. I’m not much of a film-buff so I won’t go too in-depth, but it was an outstanding movie. It was very uplifting to see white players stand up for their controversial teammate. Very well done. I guess since I’m talking about a movie I have to give it a rating: Five stars out of five.
The Pirates fan base is strange. The team is progressing every year. Their fans have waited twenty years to have a contending team and now they have one. They have a good team and a beautiful stadium, yet no fans. Truly, puzzling.
My thoughts along with the rest of the world’s are with the people of Boston affected by the terrible attack today. This senseless violence is truly heartbreaking. I join many others in saying that it was hard to focus on baseball today. God bless America.
The Cardinals are in Pittsburgh starting tonight. Both teams, along with every other MLB team will be wearing the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. On a side note I saw the movie 42 last night. I’ll have a little something about that later today. Anyway, back to ball; Mitchell Boggs continues to struggle as closer, to say the least. Lets just say he hasn’t really converted too many of his save opportunities and he has an ERA of over 11, so there’s that. Matt Adams continues to hit very well and Mike Matheny continues to get him in the lineup.
Projected Pitching Matchups:
Lynn vs. McDonald on Monday
Westbrook vs. Sanchez on Tuesday
Miller vs. Burnett on Wednesday
The Milwaukee Brewers are in town starting Friday for a three-game series against the Cardinals. The Cardinals will get to face their old teammate on Friday when Kyle Lohse starts for the Brewers. Also on Friday the home crowd will get a harmonica in honor of Stan Musial with his signature on the back. The number six will be cut into the centerfield grass. The Cardinals and Reds are tied for first place at 5-4. The Brewers are struggling mightily, in last place at 2-6.
Projected Pitching Matchups:
Friday: Lohse vs. Miller
Saturday: Gallardo vs. Wainwright
Sunday: Estrada vs. Garcia
The home opener for the Cardinals is more of a local holiday than just the first home game. The festivities begin at the crack of down and carry on into early on in the next morning. Cardinals nation awakes from its hibernation and makes the pilgrimage to Busch Stadium. The season doesn’t really begin for St. Louis until the first pitch is thrown later today.
Fans attending the game better get there early becuase the show starts well before the actual game. You have the player parade, the Clydesdales, and the hall of fame parade. Cardinals greats circle the stadium and then the greatest Cardinal of all-time rides out in his red sport coat, as enthusiastic as ever.
But not this year.
Stan Musial won’t be making his annual appearance. After the Cardinals’ greats are done there will be an odd sadness sweep over the stadium because “The Man” won’t be there. For Cardinals players and the opposition, the highlight of the home opener is seeing Musial. It will be hard to make up for what he brought to the day. You can’t replace the roar of the crowd when his name was announced. You can’t replace the rush of feelings that hit you as he rides out in his golf cart. You can’t replace the goosebumps that hit you like a freight train as everyone in the stadium goes insane.
The Cardinals will do a great job and probably have a touching tribute to Musial, but it’s just not the same.
He’ll never be forgotten. I feel so incredibly lucky that I got to see countless home openers featuring Musial. There will be a gaping hole in the ceremonies today. An overwhelming feeling of sadness will turn to smiles as the tribute shows “The Man” in his glory days, smiling and playing the harmonica. Applause will roar as highlights are showed of Musial cranking a home run with his low hands ready to strike the ball. The outsiders from Cincinatti will come to appreciate Stan (if they don’t already) when they learn that he won a couple MVP’s, but also a Presidential Medal of Freedom. They will understand his significance when they learn of him leaving baseball to serve his country.
It will be different no doubt, but it will still be a spectacle. 42,000 strong will still come to see the local nine play in front of the home crowd. No, Stan Musial won’t be there, but he’ll be there in spirit. Watching over the festivities. Smiling. Playing his beloved harmonica while watching over his beloved baseball town.
The Cardinals will play their home opener on Monday, which is the start of a three-game series against the Reds. The Reds have started off the season well at 4-2 and the Cardinals did well on a road trip, going 3-3. It’s too early in the season for standings, but it’s worth noting that the Reds lead the Cardinals by one game in the NL Central.
David Freese is expected to start on Monday as he returns from the disabled list. It will be interesting to see how Mike Matheny finds a way to get Matt Adams into the lineup who has started the season on a hot streak.
Jaime Garcia has a record of being a much better pitcher at home and he’ll start game one on Monday.
Projected Pitching Matchups:
Monday: Jaime Garcia vs. Matt Latos
Tuesday: Lance Lynn vs.Bronson Arroyo
Wednesday: Jake Westbrook vs. Homer Bailey
The day started with a World Series ceremony for the Giants. Against who else, but the team who they eliminated from the NLCS. It was almost as if they were taunting the Cardinals. The Giants also wore gold jerseys. The Cardinals then had to face Matt Cain.
After the third inning, we wondered if Matt Cain was on his way to another perfect game. He was absolutely cruising through the game. During the fourth inning, we were left to wonder if the Cardinals would ever stop hitting. They were dominated for three innings and then Cain absolutely unraveled. An outing that looked so promising ended with him giving up nine runs in the fourth inning and being yanked. Talk about a change of momentum.
The Cardinals won the game by a landslide 14-3 and spoiled the day for Giant’s fans looking to celebrated a 2012 championship with a win today. The Cardinals’ offense performed this beat down without the help of Matt Holliday, who, against his will, took a day of rest. Allen Craig got the start in left and Matt Adams earned his second start of the year at first base.
Matt Carpenter finally got to put his Spring Training work to use as he started at second base for the first time. He finished with a nice three-hit day. Matt Adams, along with pretty much every Cardinal, also had a big day, going three for four with two RBI.
The offense behind Adam Wainwright helped him earn his first win of the season. After working out of a jam in the first inning that started with a leadoff triple from Angel Pagan, Wainwright found his groove and went seven strong innings, only giving up two runs.
The Cardinals fly back to St. Louis tonight, where they’ll play their home opener tomorrow against the Reds at 3:15. As always it should be a spectacle.
Freese ready to go
Third basemen David Freese is believed ready to come off the DL after finishing up his short rehab stint with AAA Memphis. He played the entire game on Sunday and went three-for-five. He is expected to start tomorrow and Ryan Jackson will likely be sent down to make room for Freese.
The Cardinals head into San Francisco today for a three game series against the defending champion Giants. David Freese will still not be ready for the series, but should be back Monday for the home opener. On Saturday we’ll get our first look at Shelby Miller as he takes the role of fifth starter. Observers continue to be puzzled by the lack of mobility from Carlos Beltran. It could be because of his injured toe. Matt Adams played well Wednesday, maybe he’ll get a start at first base. The Cardinals are playing the Giants for the first time since they eliminated the Cardinals from the NLCS.
Projected Pitching Matchups:
Friday: Westbrook vs. Zito
Saturday: Miller vs. Vogelsong
Sunday: Wainwright vs. Cain