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February 2013

Playing Pepper 2013: Colorado Rockies

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 2:45 PM
For the fifth straight year, Playing Pepper returns to C70 At The Bat.  If you aren't aware, this series helps get a feel for the other 29 teams in baseball by asking those that follow them the closest--their bloggers.  We've got spring training action going, so it's time to play a little pepper.

Colorado Rockies
64-98, fifth in the NL West

It was a tough year all around for Rockies fans last year.  Their star shortstop dealt with injuries all year long, as did good chunks of their pitching rotation and, mainly due to all of that, they were 10 games out before the end of May.  The optimism of spring didn't last long in the Mile High City.

It's a new year, though, and those that were hurt look to be better this year.  While the division is tougher with the World Champion Giants and the revamped Dodgers in it, the NL West always seems to be able to generate a surprise team.

To see if Colorado could be that team this year, I've recruited David Martin for this Playing Pepper entry.  David can be found writing at Rockies Review and Tweeting @RockiesReview.  Stay tuned and see what he thinks about the Colorado offseason and thoughts on a Rockies icon.
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Wacha, Wacha Man

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 6:59 AM
While the Cardinals may have scored double-digit runs for the third straight day, the offense was overshadowed by a presence on the mound, and it wasn't mean, lean Lance Lynn.

Michael Wacha is becoming the story of the spring, and with pitching like this, it's easy to see why.  He struck out five in three innings of work and looked pretty dominant doing so.  So much so that someone with a lot of credibility made an interesting claim.

"That guy can pitch in the big leagues right now," according to no less than Yadier Molina, who should have a pretty good grasp of what it takes to pitch in the major leagues.  When you've got Yadi on your side, it makes it pretty easy for the speculation to ramp up to another level.

Mike Matheny says Wacha reminds him of Trevor Rosenthal, in that he's making an impression in spring and could be in the big leagues at some point this season.  All of this gets you wondering if there are roster gymnastics that could get Wacha on the plane ride to St. Louis at the end of spring training.

As Tony La Russa was fond of saying, never fall in love too early or too late in the spring.  Wacha has been incredible, but he's only had two outings against partially major league lineups.  I don't discount anything that he's done, but there's still a long way to go.  We have to see him struggle and see if he can rebound, because in the less than a year since he's been drafted, he's not had to bounce back from adversity at all.

That said, even if he continues his amazing spring run, I can't see him making the roster.  I don't think he beats out Shelby Miller, Joe Kelly or Rosenthal for the fifth spot in the rotation and, while there's a lot of merit to the idea of carrying him in the bullpen for a year as a long man, similar to what they did with Adam Wainwright in 2006, where are you going to put him?

Assuming a seven-man bullpen, which I think is a safe assumption, five of those spots already go to the two lefties Randy Choate and Marc Rzepczynski and the late inning trio of Edward Mujica, Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte.  That leaves you two spots to play with.  You figure that, if he doesn't win a rotation slot, Kelly will get one of those.  Is Wacha going to bump Fernando Salas for the last one?  I'm not sure Salas's option status but it would seem unlikely to me.  So is there a road to get Wacha in one of those red convertibles circling Busch for the home opener?  Sure.  I just don't think it's a likely road, but the rest of the spring will tell.

Wacha's work overshadowed the fact that the Cards are thumping right now.  Matt Adams continues to make his case for a bench role, going two for four as Allen Craig continues to nurse that sore shoulder.  Carlos Beltran took it to his old team as well, drawing a walk and pounding a two-run double.  It was also a big day for Shane Robinson, who took over for Matt Holliday when the subs started coming in and went 2-2 with four runs, three RBI and a HR.  That's filling up the box score.  Jon Jay and his replacement, Justin Christian, both had two hits and Molina drove in three.  All in all, a lot of raking going on at Tradition Field yesterday and it had nothing to do with the grounds crew.

Lance Lynn got his first start of the season and, well, it could have gone a little better.  He went two innings, giving up four hits, two runs and a homer.  He did strike out three, though, which eased that sting a bit.  I got a chance to watch a couple of innings at lunch since the game was on MLB Network and I really didn't recognize Lynn when he took the mound.  Without the big beard and the extra weight, he looks like a completely different person.  We'll see if the results are the same as last year, though.

One person I wanted to see yesterday and didn't (since he didn't play) was Oscar Taveras.  The young phenom got the day off but, as Bernie Miklasz writes, he could be an asset at the big league level.  Bernie's exactly right in that the team would give Taveras enough at bats to develop.  He points out that if you expect him to come up mid-season, how valuable can 100 AAA at-bats be?  It makes so much sense all the way around, but it's not looking like it's an option right now.  A strong spring could force the issue, though.  Because as great as Robinson has been so far this spring, I'd take Taveras over him in a heartbeat if that was the choice.

Cards get to come home and take on the Marlins again in Jupiter this afternoon.  Jake Westbrook makes his first start of the spring, to be followed up by Rosenthal.  Hopefully Rosenthal will settle down and have a better outing than he did against the Marlins in the spring opener.  That'll definitely be worth monitoring.

Two more days on the Cardinal Approval Ratings and the Colorado Rockies are the team in the barrel for today's Playing Pepper, so come back for that!

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Keeping You Informed: 2013 TV Schedule

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 3:40 PM
Both the Cardinals and Fox Sports Midwest have issued press releases today about the television schedule.  Personally, I think this is a leftover remnant of when not every game was on TV.  Now we know FSMW is going to show every game ESPN or Fox doesn't, so it's a little less of a big deal.  Still, in case you want to know when the Cards are scheduled for other channels, the release and the schedule is below.


CARDINALS ANNOUNCE 2013 BROADCAST SCHEDULE 
All Regular Season Games televised; FOX Sports Midwest scheduled for 150 games, balance on ESPN & FOX

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (February 27, 2013) - The St. Louis Cardinals today announced their television schedule for the 2013 season. In their 20th season with the team, FOX Sports Midwest is scheduled to carry 150 games in its third full season as the exclusive local TV home of the Cardinals.

Ten regular season games are currently scheduled to be carried as part of Major League Baseball's national television packages with FOX (aired locally on KTVI) and ESPN. The August 11 game vs. Chicago and the September 22 game at Milwaukee will be carried by FOX Sports Midwest or ESPN. The schedule is subject to change based on future Major League Baseball national television selections.

FOX Sports Midwest will also continue to produce the Cardinals Live pregame and postgame shows for every regular season telecast on the network.

A team record 14 Grapefruit League Spring Training games will also be televised, with an all-time high 10 on FOX Sports Midwest, with additional games on MLB Network and ESPN. In 2012, Cardinals telecasts on FOX Sports Midwest generated the 3rd highest local market television ratings in Major League Baseball, the 13th straight year in which the Cardinals ranked among the top three teams. FOX Sports Midwest-produced Cardinals telecasts are shown in nine states and available in millions of homes

In addition to televised game coverage, KMOX (AM 1120), the team's flagship radio station, will carry every regular season game, as well as 18 Spring Training games on the Cardinals Radio Network.

A complete 2013 Regular Season television broadcast schedule follows.

2013 TV Schedule.jpg

Playing Pepper 2013: Cleveland Indians

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 3:00 PM
For the fifth straight year, Playing Pepper returns to C70 At The Bat.  If you aren't aware, this series helps get a feel for the other 29 teams in baseball by asking those that follow them the closest--their bloggers.  We've got spring training action going, so it's time to play a little pepper.  

Cleveland Indians 
68-94, fourth in AL Central 

Well, that didn't quite turn out as expected.  Coming off a year where the Indians had been in contention much of the season before falling to a .500 record, there were hopes Cleveland could take another step in 2012.  They stayed in the pennant race and were in second place, 44-41 and just three games back of the White Sox, at the All-Star Break before collapsing down the stretch.

So, now what?  Is this the team that was better than Detroit in the standings for much of the year?  Or is it closer to the team that ran on fumes from August on?

To settle that question, I've got a slew of Cleveland fans with opinions.  First up is Nino Colla, the president of the BBA's Cleveland chapter, the author of The Tribe Daily, the man behind @TheTribeDaily and a longtime veteran of this series.

Mike Brandyberry of Did The Tribe Win Last Night? has also done some of the questions before in the past.  You'll find him on Twitter @didtribewin.

Finally, in my appeal to some general baseball bloggers, I was able to scoop up Jeff Furtah.  Jeff writes over at the fantasy baseball blog ClubhouseGM and Tweets under the same handle (@ClubhouseGM). He's also in my Twitter fantasy baseball league and likely will be crushing me all summer long.

Stick with us and we'll talk about that pitching ace that hasn't been and what to watch for when you tune in Indians games this year.
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A-Thumping We Will Go

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 7:01 AM
You know that on those spring road trips, a lot of the regulars pull rank and don't have to go.  It gives them rest and it avoids any stiff backs or any other bus-related injuries.  So yesterday's lineup had no Allen Craig, no Matt Holliday, no Carlos Beltran, no Yadier Molina.  It also had absolutely no problems.

Matt Adams, dealing with his own nagging injuries, pinch-hit a three-run home run as the only long ball from the Cards on the day, but they were still able to put up double digits in a 15-4 rout of the Red Sox.  Tony Cruz had a three-run double (off of old friend Clayton Mortensen), Ryan Jackson (who has fairly inexplicably in my book been playing first the last couple of days) drove in two with a single, and Oscar Taveras had three hits and scored two runs, plus showed his speed and played a solid center field all game long.  Of course, this would have been the one game not covered by any broadcasting outlet!

The mound work was good as well, but most of that was focused on the starter.  Jaime Garcia (on the road even, if that matters in spring training) was efficient, pitching two innings and not allowing a run.  Afterwards, he admitted he was "excited" about being able to come off the mound with good results and no pain.  For all the doubts most of us had--and somewhat still have--about Garcia not having surgery and being able to pitch effectively with just rehab, this helped take a bit of the edge off.  Nothing this spring has shown that the shoulder problems will flare up again, so we'll take that as good news.

Speaking of injuries that most of us wondered about this winter, Rafael Furcal thinks that he can play by this weekend.  Furcal says he feels comfortable, but I still don't think any of us, Furcal included, know what's going to happen the first time he spears one in the hole and has to make a strong throw to first.  Will he go out there at 70% speed?  Can a player really do that?  We'll watch and see, but if this was a Star Wars movie, I think this is about the time when someone would be saying they have a bad feeling about this.

Shelby Miller will also make his spring debut this weekend, following Adam Wainwright to the mound on Saturday.  Miller, whose shoulder tightness might have been the equivalent to a Florida rainstorm--it popped up quickly, came down hard, then passed before you knew it--looks to throw about 40 pitches.  Mike Matheny has said that Miller won't be penalized in the fifth starter race because he missed an outing.  (Probably helped that Trevor Rosenthal struggled in his and Joe Kelly hasn't gone yet.)  I still think Miller has the inside track for that last spot, but obviously nothing is guaranteed.

Classy moment by the Red Sox yesterday as they held a moment of silence for Stan Musial before the game.  The Red Sox know what it is like to lose icons--Johnny Pesky died just last summer--and their respect for Stan is appreciated.

Cardinals head down to Port St. Lucie today to take on the New York Mets in a game that should be televised on MLB Network.  Lance Lynn will take the mound for the Cardinals, showing off that trim physique of his--I saw a commenter somewhere call him Lance Lean--and hopefully corralling a Mets team that has dropped two of three so far this spring.

Before the game, please fill out your Cardinal Approval Ratings if you've not done so.  I've got about 45 responses and I'm looking for 60 or so before the week is done.  Also, I'm still looking for feedback on the new theme song for the podcast (it's introduced around 1:15-1:20 into the last show).  Finally, today's Playing Pepper will be with the Cleveland squad, so be sure to come back for that this afternoon!

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Playing Pepper 2013: Cincinnati Reds

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 2:30 PM
For the fifth straight year, Playing Pepper returns to C70 At The Bat.  If you aren't aware, this series helps get a feel for the other 29 teams in baseball by asking those that follow them the closest--their bloggers.  We've got spring training action going, so it's time to play a little pepper.

Cincinnati Reds
97-65, first in the NL Central, lost in the NLDS

While the rivalry between the Cardinals and Reds didn't have any legendary fisticuffs this year, there were some similarities to the 2010 season.  The Cards got off to a hot start, then the Reds passed them.  The Cards got close, but eventually weren't able to seal the deal and put the Cincinnati club away.

With Houston moving away and the rest of the division not necessarily ready for prime time, the NL Central would again seem to come down to these two teams.  To find out about our closest competition, I tapped the shoulder of an old friend.  Shawn Weaver has been doing Playing Pepper since the very beginning, plus participating in our preseason NL Central show on Blog Talk Radio.  You'll find his writing at Cincinnati Reds Blog and him on Twitter @coweaver.

After the jump, let's find out about this past offseason and whether moving the closer to the rotation is really the smartest thing to do.
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First Win In The Books

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 6:59 AM
Oh, how we are going to miss Houston.

Not long-term, of course.  With Jeff Luhnow in charge down there it wouldn't be surprising to see Houston contending for divisional titles in a couple of years.  However, they aren't there yet and until they are, there are some wins just sitting there when the Astros are on your schedule.

The Cardinals found that out yesterday with a 10-2 rout of the Houston squad.  Lots of fun for the hitters in this one, as David Freese drove in a couple of runs and Matt Holliday, Allen Craig and Pete Kozma--hang on, Pete Kozma?--hit home runs.  You can tell it's spring when Kozma and Daniel Descalso have as many home runs as Holliday and Craig and more than Yadier Molina.  Not sure what the wind was doing yesterday, but it might be worth keeping an eye on Kozma.  I don't expect that we could see anything approaching last year, but I'd like to be surprised.

Adam Wainwright went 2.2 innings yesterday, allowing only four hits and striking out three.  There's been a lot of talk in the last couple of days in the Post-Dispatch about whether the Cardinals really want to sign Wainwright.  I don't pretend to know the motivations of the club but there would seem to be a desire to do so tempered with the knowledge that pitchers get hurt and players leave.  Still, it sounds like the hangup is over length of deal rather than financial issues, so perhaps a four-year deal with a fifth year option that would vest if Waino hit some fairly easy-to-reach-if-healthy innings target in the third or fourth year would work.  Hopefully they'll get to this quickly because if yesterday is any indication, the price isn't going to get cheaper during the season.

There's a really great story about Jason Motte over at the Cardinals' official site.  You know it's a rewarding offseason when a new contract is just the cherry on top.  It's neat to hear Motte talk about his newborn daughter and his excitement about being able to help out a worthy organization helping folks that have cancer.  We'll see how Motte does on the field in the next couple of years, but he seems to be doing pretty well off the diamond right now and that's worth a lot.

Jaime Garcia goes in today's tilt at the Red Sox's spring training site against Ryan Dempster.  If Garcia comes off the mound still healthy, we'll call it a win.  A great performance would just be icing on the cake.  Don't forget to vote in the Cardinal Approval Ratings and come back this afternoon as we play pepper with the Reds!

Playing Pepper 2013: Chicago White Sox

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 6:00 PM
For the fifth straight year, Playing Pepper returns to C70 At The Bat.  If you aren't aware, this series helps get a feel for the other 29 teams in baseball by asking those that follow them the closest--their bloggers.  We've got spring training action going, so it's time to play a little pepper.  

Chicago White Sox
85-77, second in the AL Central

The White Sox fans must have had some mixed emotions after last season was over.  On the positive side, a team that wasn't necessarily expected to be in the mix led the division for most of the summer.  As late as September 25, they were tied for the divisional lead.  Like Baltimore, this was a tale of a team catching a lot of people by surprise.

The problem was, like Baltimore, they ran out of gas too early.  Detroit continued to make up ground on them and, like the tortoise, slipped past them right at the finish line.  Which left those on the south side to wonder, what if?

It's unlikely that anyone will be selling Chicago short in 2013, but to find out just what this team is going to be like, I've got a couple of bloggers to fill you in.  James Fegan is the head man over at Southside Showdown, part of the FanSided network.  He's on Twitter @JRFegan.  His Aerys Sports counterpart is Cheryl Norman, who writes at South Side Hit Girl and Tweets @cherann23.

Come with us as we talk about a White Sox icon and one of the game's hot young pitchers.
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Keeping You Informed: Single Game Tickets Go On Sale

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 12:53 PM
I've been very lucky in that the last few times I've gone to Busch, I've had tickets provided for me. That said, this year I've been toying with seeing the Mariners in St. Louis in September, so I might have to join the lines on Friday and lock some tickets down!

2013 SINGLE-GAME TICKETS GO ON SALE THIS WEEK 
Prices for half of the games start at just $5

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (February 25, 2013) - The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that individual tickets for the 2013 season will go on sale this Friday, March 1st beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Fans who wish to purchase tickets to three (3) or more games will receive early access to take part in a special online-only "multi-game" on-sale beginning Wednesday, February 27th at 10:00 a.m.

While ticket demand is expected to be high coming off the team's second consecutive trip to the postseason, the Cardinals will continue to offer great values in 2013. Ticket prices for half of the games during the 2013 season start at just $5. 

"We have some tremendous values for our fans," said Bill DeWitt III, President of the Cardinals. "Our dynamic ticketing system enables us the flexibility to provide better deals on a daily basis for our value-oriented fans." 

The Cardinals dynamic pricing system allows the team to more accurately price tickets for individual games in order to provide fans more value. In 2012, over 75% of games featured tickets available for $10 or less.

Throughout the season, the team will continue to offer "Dynamic Deals of the Week" highlighting outstanding ticket savings for fans, as well as a host of other fan-friendly values, which can be found at cardinals.com/fanvalues.

The multi-game sale and Friday single-game on-sale are both available online at cardinals.com. In addition, tickets will be available for Friday's on-sale via phone at 314-345-9000 or in person at all Cardinals Clubhouse Stores and at the Busch Stadium Ticket Windows and kiosks. 

A full list of fan-friendly values for the 2013 Season follows. 

Fan-Friendly Values 2013 
Dynamic Pricing: Ticket prices fluctuate based on market value, meaning many games feature tickets as low as $5. 
Great Promotional Giveaways: Premium items such as a Stan Musial statue and harmonica, four (4) bobbleheads, six (6) replica jerseys and a 2006 Replica World Series Ring highlight a season of over 35 stadium giveaways and special promotions. 
Hunter Family Sundays: On most Sundays, fans who purchase RF/LF Pavilion and RF Terrace tickets will receive a free Hunter hot dog and Coca-Cola. Prairie Farms Ice Cream Sundays: Two hours prior to each Sunday game, enjoy games, prizes and FREE Prairie Farms ice cream and North Star frozen treats in the Ford Plaza. Six Flags Double Play Combo: Get a Cardinals game ticket and a Six Flags ticket for only $55. 
AAA Member Discounts: AAA members receive a $10 discount off select Monday-Thursday home game tickets. 
Fill Up at Phillips 66: Fill up with eight (8) gallons or more at a participating Phillips 66 to receive a special discount ticket offer for 2013 games. 
KMOX 1120 First Pitch Tickets: At 9:00 a.m. on the day of each home game, fans may purchase a voucher good for two tickets for just $5.60 per ticket. Fans redeem their vouchers for actual tickets 15 minutes prior to game time. Tickets may be anywhere in the Stadium from Field Box to Standing Room Only. 
Outside Food & Drinks at All Games: Fans may bring their own food and drinks into Busch Stadium for all 81 home games (some size and content restrictions apply). 
Ticket Packs: Several different 5-game and 10-game ticket packs, which feature discounted tickets to 2013's best promotional giveaways and highest demand games. 
Group Value Nights: Select games throughout the season where groups of 25 or more receive 50% off regular ticket prices. 
Cards Cash: Stored money built into the barcode of your ticket, good for use at any Busch Stadium concession stand, kiosk or Team Store. Fans can add $12 Cards Cast to a ticket for just $10.

For more details, visit cardinals.com/fanvalues.

Baseball, Blessed Baseball

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 7:01 AM
What a wonderful weekend.  Baseball has made its return, albeit in exhibition games where the scores don't mean much (though, as the Yankees found out, you can't call them meaningless games).  We get to hear and see the crack of the bat and fastballs blazing, though, so it's definitely better than the non-baseball state we've been in since late October.

It is a good thing for the Cards that the games don't count, though, as they've dropped their first two Grapefruit League games, losing to the Marlins 8-3 and the Red Sox 5-3.  While you don't necessarily write up each game like you do during the season, there were things that stood out in the early going.

First off, Trevor Rosenthal got the initial start of spring and admittedly went out trying to do to much.  The first start of spring and trying to make a good first impression on what should be a tight fifth starter's race combined to have him "putting a little extra" on when he really didn't need to.  It didn't fool the Marlins, who got four runs off of him in the two innings that he pitched.  No doubt that he'll settle in and have a better outing next time.  He really needs to, because if the competition for that last slot is as close as we think it is, he can't afford too many missteps.

On the flip side of that, Michael Wacha relieved him in Saturday's game and threw two scoreless innings, allowing only two balls in his 21 pitches.  I continue to hear more and more about Wacha, about his poise and how impressive he is on the mound.  I'm starting to wonder if he's not a dark horse, if not for the rotation then for a bullpen role.  I've already seen where starting him at Memphis is on the table, which is impressive in and of itself since he was drafted just last June and only got a handful of innings at Springfield at the end of the year.  If he's good enough for Memphis, he may be good enough for the big leagues.  I think Wacha and the reaction to what he does is worth some close examination this spring.

Matt Adams got to start on Saturday due to Allen Craig having a sore shoulder (which, hopefully, is just one of those spring injuries from doing work you've not been accustomed to over the winter) and got a big base hit, against a left-hander to boot.  As much as we've talked about Oscar Taveras and a four-man rotation in the outfield, you can accomplish much of the same by bringing Adams north and starting him at first on days when you want Craig to relieve Matt Holliday or Carlos Beltran.  I thought I'd read somewhere--maybe in Kevin's reporting from Winter Warmup--that Craig tends to prefer the outfield anyway, so that might not be a huge issue for him.  It also helps what is shaping up to be a very weak bench by having Adams or whomever is being relieved that day as a late-inning option.  (BTW, Brian Vaughan from StanGraphs and I talked about this on Conversations With C70 this weekend, in case you missed that a new one was up.  Still waiting to hear from people about that theme song!)

Rafael Furcal had a cortisone shot this weekend, hoping to help out the elbow that now also has a bone spur on it.  He got a chance to DH from the left side in Sunday's game, going 0-2, but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of optimism that he'll be in the field any time soon.  It's looking more and more like Ronny Cedano might be getting a lot of playing time this spring and beyond.  John Mozeliak terms Cedano as a player in which "you know what you've got."  Problem is, that's really not much.  You could put a UCB member out on the field and you'd know what you've got as well, but I don't recommend it.  (Sorry, Dennis.)

There were some positive things in the middle infield on Sunday.  Daniel Descalso homered and Matt Carpenter turned a smooth double play.  You can't take much from one game, of course, but it was nice to see.  If Carpenter can handle the infield work, we'll probably see a good number of games where he's in there for six or seven innings and Descalso handles the rest.  Though we'll likely see a lot of games with Descalso starting and Carpenter relieving others or being the one good bench option as well.  But if shortstop is going to be such a problem, it'd be nice not to have two holes around second base.

One thing we won't see is Beltran running around in center field this year.  The official line when he signed that he could get out there in center was debatable at the time (he went out to center nine times last year, though contrary to what Joe Strauss seems to imply, the fact that his first time was in the Johan Santana no-hitter was coincidence, not correlation).  It seems to have been one of those "sell the deal" myths that have sprung up at times, like when the front office suggested after the Colby Rasmus deal that Marc Rzepczynski could be a starter.  Now, we worry if he faces one right hander, much less a starting lineup full of them.  Anyway, that might open up another avenue for Taveras, who can play some center (though it's not his regular position), but more likely means that Adron Chambers and Shane Robinson are going to be competing to be Jon Jay's backup.

Adam Wainwright takes the mound today for his first spring start, facing the Astros in Jupiter.  You can listen to that game if you've got GameDay Audio, as Houston's radio network will be broadcasting it.  I hope it's a sharp Wainwright because if there's anything that can make a Monday bearable, it's listening to a lot of called strike threes!

Housekeeping links: With spring training here, you really need the UCB Annual to help your baseball fever.  Buy it today!......Also, this is the last week for the Cardinal Approval Ratings.  Still need more responses to have a solid feel for the fan base.  It'll take you maybe three minutes, so click here now.  My goal is at least another 20 this week....The White Sox Playing Pepper entry will go up this afternoon, so come by and check that out!

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Heroes
Carlos Beltran (6)
Yadier Molina (5)
Matt Holliday (4)
Jon Jay (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Pete Kozma (3)
Shelby Miller (3)
Adam Wainwright (3)
Allen Craig (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Tyler Lyons (2)
Edward Mujica (2)
Jake Westbrook (2)
David Freese (1)
Joe Kelly (1)
Seth Maness (1)
Trevor Rosenthal (1)
Michael Wacha (1)
Ty Wigginton (1)

2012 Top Hero: Matt Holliday (17)
2011 Top Hero: Lance Berkman (24)
2010 Top Heroes: Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols (24)
2009 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (28)
2008 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (25)

Goats
Jon Jay (6)
David Freese (5)
Mitchell Boggs (4)
Joe Kelly (4)
Pete Kozma (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Allen Craig (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Yadier Molina (3)
Matt Adams (2)
Carlos Beltran (2)
Matt Carpenter (2)
Matt Holliday (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Seth Maness (1)
Shane Robinson (1)
Fernando Salas (1)
Adam Wainwright (1)
Jake Westbrook (1)

2012 Top Goat: Rafael Furcal (11)
2011 Top Goat: Ryan Theriot (12)
2010 Top Goat: Brendan Ryan (14)
2009 Top Goats: Rick Ankiel and Todd Wellemeyer (13)
2008 Top Goat: Troy Glaus (13)

Cardinal Nation Approval Ratings (March 2013)
Yadier Molina 96.2% (up 8.8%)
Chris Carpenter 89.8% (down 0.3%)
Derrick Goold 89.1% (up 6.3%)
Matt Holliday 88.4% (up 0.9%)
Allen Craig 88.3%
Adam Wainwright 88.2% (down 3.7%)
Jose Oquendo 87.1% (up 2.4%)
Jason Motte 86.9%
John Mozeliak 86.5% (up 1.1%)
United Cardinal Bloggers 85.2% (up 6.3%)
Bill DeWitt 85.1% (up 5.3%)
Mike Shannon 85.1% (down 0.2%)
John Rooney 84.5% (up 3.0%)
Mike Matheny 84.4% (up 3.3%)
David Freese 82.9% (down 2.6%)
Jon Jay 81.8% (up 10.7%)
Lance Berkman 80.6% (down 8.0%)
Jenifer Langosch 79.5%
Lance Lynn 79.5%
Dan McLaughlin 76.0% (up 8.0%)
Jim Hayes 73.0% (up 1.1%)
Ricky Horton 65.5% (down 2.0%)
Jaime Garcia 64.1%
Albert Pujols 59.2% (up 4.3%)
Ballpark Village 58.3%
Joe Strauss 54.3% (down 13.4%)

2012
Tony La Russa 88.2% (up 17.4%)
Mark McGwire 82.6% (up 20.1%)
Skip Schumaker 73.3% (up 9.2%)
B.J. Rains 69.5% (down 0.9%)
Kyle Lohse 68.9% (up 13.8%)
Al Hrabosky 66.4% (up 3.2%)
Colby Rasmus 46.5% (down 35.3%)

2011
Dave Duncan 87.9% (up 0.9%)
Matthew Leach 85.5%
Pop Warner 76.7%
Ryan Franklin 72.8% (up 3.1%)
John Vuch 68.9%
Jeff Luhnow 66.4%
Dan Lozano 58.7%

2009
Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%


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