With the Opening Day fast approaching, it is time for us to take a look at all of the news and notes surrounding our St. Louis Cardinals.
As we move into the last week of the St. Louis Cardinals’ Spring Training, one can’t help but notice the success this team has had. After taking down the Washington Nationals earlier today, the team is now 17-7-3. Not only that, but the team has also won their last five games. Whether this will translate into the team having a successful 2017 campaign is unknown. However, one can look to last year’s 11-13 record as a failure and ultimately as a precursor to the mediocre team that took the field in 2016.
Back in February, Rick Hummel mentioned that the Cardinals historically have done well in spring, but when they don’t do well it tends to have an effect on the regular season like last year. So, maybe there is something to the Cardinals’ spring success this year.
Positi0n battles firming up
As we edge closer and closer to the regular season, the roster is starting to take shape. The position battles that we knew of (starting 3B and fourth OF) are also taking shape and becoming finalized. Brendan Schaeffer of KMOV and 590 The Fan reported yesterday that according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jose Martinez will be heading north with the major league club.
While some (including myself) don’t really believe that Jose Martinez is what we have seen in the spring, you can’t argue with the numbers. So far in spring, Martinez is posting an impressive slash line of .378/.491/.756 in 21 games. He also has eight extra base-hits (four homers, three doubles, and one triple) which leads the Cardinals. With Tommy Pham’s .209 average and .320 OBP, adding Martinez to the roster is a no-brainer.
Not only has Martinez been named the fourth outfielder, Jhonny Peralta has also been named the starting third baseman. This was all but a foregone conclusion, as Peralta’s body of work suggest he is best option to start the season at third base.
Molina sets contract ultimatum
The saga between the St. Louis Cardinals and Yadier Molina continued today, as Derrick Goold had a chance to speak with Yadier Molina regarding the contract situation. As I mentioned last week, this is an awkward situation for the team and one where there may not be a clear answer.
In Goold’s article, Molina is quoted as saying that he doesn’t want the contract negotiations to spill into the regular season, giving the Cardinals a one-week ultimatum to get a deal done with the potential future Hall of Fame catcher. Molina has a desire to stay with the team that drafted and developed him but knows he has options, saying “I would love to stay, but at the same time I’m not afraid to go to free agency. I’ve still got many years in the tank.”
These are some pretty potent words from Molina. He is not willing to fold at this point, he firmly believes that he hasn’t lost much of his game and that he will still command interest in free agency. One cannot blame Molina one bit, this is his last chance to make a substantial amount of money in his career and he knows that he needs to stick to his guns.
This will be an interesting situation to follow this coming week, as hopefully the two teams can come together for some kind of deal. Despite Molina’s age, he does seem to be in remarkable shape yet again and is ready to play for potentially his last contract of his career this season.
We are slightly over one week left until our St. Louis Cardinals start the regular season. The game will be televised at 7:00 PM CST on ESPN, but prior to that, Opening Day ceremonies at Busch Stadium will be televised on Fox Sports Midwest.
This is always the best time of the season, the optimism is high and each of the first few games will be appointment television for sure. Not only that, the storylines and topics for us to write on will be a plenty as we move forward into the regular season.
Be sure that you stay tuned and locked in to what we will be bringing during the St. Louis Cardinals’ regular season. If there is something you would like us to mention let us know and we will take a look at covering it. If you’d like to come write about one of our many topics, you are more than welcome to join our team.