Thursday, January 29, 2015

Phillies Sign Chad Billingsley To One-Year Deal

Philadelphia Official Site

Rays Have Private Workout For Yoan Moncada

The Rays most likely can't afford to sign Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada, but they took at him Wednesday during a private workout at the Trop anyway.

Tampa Bay Times

Q&A With Derek Gibson

Derek Gibson‘s journey to the St. Louis Cardinals organization was as bumpy as could be. As he mentions in the interview below, he had some crazy high’s and low’s in the span of a couple of weeks, but the end result was him playing for his hometown team.

Cardinals Farm

Angels Corner Infield

The Angels know Albert Pujols and David Freese will play the corners in 2015, marking the fourth time in the last six years they've shared the same infield (twice in St. Louis, twice in Anaheim).

Anaheim Official Site

Brandon Beachy Not Signing Any Time Soon

Ken Rosenthal Twitter

Taking A Dip Into Prospects' BABIP Numbers

Last time we got into more advanced stats here on MiLB.com, we discussed FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) and its implications for evaluating the 2014 seasons for top pitching prospects. Now we turn to a tool that helps us look at a stat that applies to both hitters and pitchers -- Batting Average on Balls in Play, or put much more simply BABIP.

MiLB Official Site

Dayan Viciedo Is Flawed, But Would Be Worth It For Phillies

The Phillies are in the market for low-risk, high-reward players and one outfielder designated for assignment Wednesday fits that description.

CSN Philly

Cardinals Winter League Notebook 1-29-15: Gustavo Martinez Pitches One & A Third Scoreless Innings & Holds One Inherited Runner On Base; Pedro Rodriguez Strikes Out One Over One Scoreless Inning; Ronny Cedeno Singles & Doubles

Cardinals Winter League

Cardinals Place Four On ESPN's Prospect List For 2015

On Thursday, Keith Law of ESPN.com unveiled his top 100 prospect list for 2015. The St. Louis Cardinals placed four prospects on Law’s list. This a day after he ranked the Cardinals as the 13th best farm system in Major League Baseball. Let’s run through the four prospects with Keith’s thoughts and I will then share some thoughts on my own.

Cardinals Farm

Penalties Could Keep Dodgers Out Of Yoan Moncada Bidding

The Dodgers' desire to sign Cuban free agent Yoan Moncada has been tempered by the weighty penalties that would be levied against the club if it does.

Los Angeles Official Site

Rob Kaminsky's Motto Leads To Mound Success

On a summer night in 2009, Rob Kaminsky jogged to the mound from the outfield. The then-position player was called upon to pitch again.

MiLB Official Site

Twins Not Interested In Rickie Weeks

Darren Wolfson Twitter

Despite Designation For Assignment, Dayan Viciedo Has A Trade Market

Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn shouldn’t have trouble developing a trade market for Dayan Viciedo — even if he limited himself to the American League West.

Fox Sports

Cardinals Farm System Ranked 13th

Our friend Keith Law (ESPN) is out with his MLB farm system rankings for 2015. It's an "insider" piece that requires a subscription for access, but I think it's OK for me to share a few things.

Bernie Bytes

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Blue Jays Have Been In Contact With Francisco Rodriguez, Rafael Soriano, & Others

Jon Morosi Twitter

Winnipeg Signs C.J. Ziegler For 2015 Season

Winnipeg Official Twitter

Giants Release Marco Scutaro

MLB Trade Rumors Twitter

Five-Six Teams Interested In Todd Coffey, May Sign Soon

Todd Coffey Twitter

Could Mariners Make A Move For Dayan Viciedo?

Seattle had conversations with the White Sox about the Cuban outfielder earlier this winter, but went a different direction in trading for Seth Smith and Justin Ruggiano. I could certainly see the Mariners taking a flyer on the 25-year-old now that he's been DFA'd, though it's still possible they'd have to make a minor trade offer to jump ahead of any other teams in the waiver order who might be interested in his right-handed power potential.

Seattle Official Site

Angels Sign David Freese To One-Year/$6.425M Deal

Alden Gonzalez Twitter

The Angels avoided arbitration with third baseman David Freese on Wednesday, agreeing on a $6.425 million salary that stood as the midpoint of the numbers previously exchanged by both sides.
Anaheim Official Site

Braves Sign Dian Toscano To Four-Year Deal

After aggressively scouring the international market over the past few months, the Braves opted to take a chance on Dian Toscano, a relatively obscure Cuban outfielder who might become a part of Atlanta's outfield mix after gaining some seasoning at the Minor League level.

Atlanta Official Site

Red Sox Have Tough Job To Do In Valuing Allen Craig

Can a baseball player just lose his ability overnight?

MassLive

Trevor Rosenthal Hoping To Be Better In 2015

Trevor Rosenthal is about to enter his second season as the Cardinals closer. He had 45 saves last season, second best in the National League. He also blew six saves and had some struggles down the stretch and in the playoffs. He says he expects to learn some things from the new relievers acquired in the off-season— Matt Belisle and Jordan Walden, just as he did from guys like Jason Motte, Pat Neshek, Edward Mujica and John Axford.

KMOV

Cardinals Announce Medical Team For 2015

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today their 2015 Medical Staff. The Cardinals and Mercy Hospital begin their third year as partners. The medical team will be under the direction of Head Team Physician Michael Milne, M.D. and Associate Head Team Physician Jason Hand, M.D.

St. Louis Official Site

Springfield: The Value Of Job Fairs

With the big Job Fair at Hammons Field coming up tomorrow (Thursday, Jan. 29) from 4-7pm, I thought I would take a moment to share my history with job fairs, hopefully exhibiting just how valuable of a resource they can be.

Cardinals Chirp

Cardinals Are Still The Team To Beat In NL Central

The Cubs grabbed the offseason headlines in the National League Central.

St. Louis Official Site

White Sox Sign Gordon Beckham To One-Year/$2M Deal, Designate Dayan Viciedo For An Assignment

Chicago-A Official Twitter

Lincoln Re-Signs Trevor Martin For 2015 Season

American Association Official Twitter

MLB Changes Tone On Cuban Policy

It seems yesterday’s report in Baseball America explaining that what’s preventing Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada from signing is Major League Baseball—and not the United States government—has caused quite a stir in the commissioner’s office and around the baseball community.

Baseball America

Cardinals Have Shown Interest In Yoan Moncada

The 19-year-old infielder has worked out privately for the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Padres, Giants, Rangers and Brewers, according to sources. The Rays, Cubs, Phillies and Cardinals have also shown interest.

MLB Official Site

WAR Index For Pitchers: 2014

There are three flavors of wins above replacement. Want a way to use them all together? Good news! The WAR Index is back!

Beyond The Boxscore

Cardinals Counting On Jason Heyward To Fill Outfield Hole

When the book closed on the 2014 season, the Cardinals' outfield plans appeared fairly finalized. Matt Holliday and Jon Jay would return in their starting roles, while Oscar Taveras and Randal Grichuk would provide coverage in right field. Unexpected tragedy, however, soon shattered the well-intentioned plans, leaving the Cardinals to quickly revise their offseason to-do list while also grieving over the loss of 21-year-old Taveras.

St. Louis Official Site

Cardinals Winter League Notebook 1-28-15: Anthony Garcia Singles, Doubles, & Drives In One Run; Ronny Cedeno Collects One Single, Two Doubles, & Scores Two Runs; Jose Martinez Awarded Gold Glove

Cardinals Winter League

Joe Blanton Will Hold Showcase On February 4, 2015 In Nashville

Tim Dierkes Twitter

Cardinals Ranked #13 In Keith Law's 2015 Farm Systems

To kick off my look this week at the best prospects in the minor leagues, I've ranked all 30 MLB farm systems from top to bottom, considering only the players who are currently in the systems and have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility. (I use the same criterion for the individual player rankings that will be posted over the next few days.)

ESPN

Trevor Rosenthal & A Look At Pitch Usage, Sequencing, & Location

In the first half of 2014, Rosenthal went first-pitch fastball 85.96% of the time. Will he make an adjustment in 2015 and beyond?

Viva El Birdos

Nationals Sign Casey Janssen To One-Year/$5M Deal

Ken Rosenthal Twitter

Group Tickets For The 2015 Cardinals Season Go On Sale Today

Beginning today, organized groups of 25 fans or more may begin purchasing tickets to single games during the 2015 Cardinals season.

St. Louis Official Site

Don't Sleep On Andy Ibanez, The Next Cuban Bonus Pool Buster

Yoan Moncada is getting the majority of the attention—certainly in the public eye—when it comes to the Cuban market. Deservedly so. He’s a premium prospect that every team would love to add to their system.

Baseball America

Brewers Give Sense They Would Like To Trade For Jonathan Papelbon

Tom Haudricourt Twitter

Cubs Set Sights On Colombian Catcher Juan Camilo Zabala

The prospect Juan Camilo sincelejano Zabala, who lives in the neighborhood Camilo Torres, is a target of the baseball Chicago Cubs organization. Manuel Esquivia, "scout" of this franchise in Colombia, was in the stadium Twenty January a Cuban company to observe the training unit of this 15 year old, who is tutored by Dairo the "Balin" Salcedo.  (Transalted)

El Meridiano

Red Sox & Athletics May Be Interested In Byung-Ho Park

South Korean slugger Park Byung-ho, hoping to reach Major League Baseball (MLB) next year, has signed on with the same U.S. agency that represents his ex-teammate and current Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Kang Jung-ho, an informed industry source told Yonhap News Agency Wednesday.

Yonhap News Agency

Ivan Maldonado Signs With Quintana Roo For 2015 Season, Passing On Return With Coamo

The Maratonistas of Coamo have new professional player in the upcoming baseball tournament 2015 Upper Double A. They do not have the right Ivan Maldonado.  (Translated)

El Nuevo Dia

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Kolten Wong Happy To Leadoff

Almost from the moment the St. Louis Cardinals traded for Jason Heyward the question was raised, who will bat lead-off? Heyward filled the role for the Atlanta Braves last season and Matt Carpenter did so for the Cardinals. Both have expressed a willingness to bat anywhere Mike Matheny pencils them into the lineup, but Heyward has shared how he was groomed to bat in the middle of the lineup and Carpenter has also explained that he plans to be more aggressive this season regarding his power numbers.

STL Baseball Weekly

No Reason For Baseball To Shift Rules

Baseball is a tactical sport at heart. It is all about match-ups and adjustments, with both sides striving to gain or negate advantages.

Post-Dispatch

Puebla Signs Miguel Tejada For 2015 Season

After a career of 16 years in the majors, Miguel Tejada is not ready to say goodbye to baseball and his plan is to play in Mexico.  (Translated)

Lider

Joe Kelly = 2015 Cy Young

Joe Kelly will take home the next American League Cy Young Award. Just ask him.

STL Baseball Weekly

John Rodriguez On The Jim Edmonds Show 1-27-15

Inside STL

History Hurts James Shields' Chances At Landing A Big Contract

A general manager posed an interesting question to me on Tuesday:

Fox Sports

Five Suspended For Failed Drug Tests

Major League veteran Robert Carson, fellow Dodgers Minor Leaguer Theo Alexander and 2009 first-round pick Chad James were among five players suspended on Tuesday after testing positive for prohibited drugs.

MiLB Official Site

Yoan Moncada's Free Agency Imminent

Star Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada no longer needs a specific unblocking license to play baseball in the United States, paving the way for Major League Baseball teams to pursue him with a contract most expect to shatter bonus records, government and major league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Yahoo

Phillies Still Talking To Brewers, Blue Jays About Jonathan Papelbon

The Phillies are still talking to the Brewers and Blue Jays about a Jonathan Papelbon trade.

The Zo Zone

At 36, Kyle Lohse Feeling On Top Of His Game

Statistically, Kyle Lohse is in the prime of his career, with four of his best seasons in terms of ERA+ and fielding independent pitching in the past five years. And with the trade of Yovani Gallardo to Texas, Lohse is the presumptive pick to start for the Brewers on Opening Day.

Milwaukee Official Site

James Ramsey Soaking It In At Winter Development Program

James Ramsey was glad it rained on the day he was traded to the Indians last season. The inclement weather wiped away Double-A Springfield's game and gave the young outfielder the chance to board the team bus for one last ride with his teammates and coaches.

Cleveland Official Site

David Carpenter Excited To Don Pinstripes

The biggest step forward of David Carpenter's career came with Brian McCann putting down the fingers behind home plate, and the right-hander can't wait to have that battery recharged in Yankees pinstripes this season.

New York-A Official Site

Cardinals Legends: 1982 Roundtable

Hear stories from some of the 1982 World Series champions on the next installment of the Cardinals Legends series on FOX Sports Midwest.

Fox Sports Midwest

WAR Shows Cardinals Have Best Outfield In NL Central, Fifth Best Overall

Adding Jason Heyward's 5.1 WAR as arguably the game's premier right fielder defensively elevates the Cards in the company of Matt Holliday, Jon Jay and electric Peter Bourjos. Jay is the chess piece here, capable of playing all three positions. Few center fielders are in Bourjos' class defensively.

Anaheim Official Site

Twins Not Interested In John Axford Or Alexi Ogando

LaVelle E. Neal Twitter

Angels Still Interested In James Shields

Jeff Fletcher Twitter

Gary LaRocque With Redbird Rants 1-27-15

St. Louis Cardinals farm director Gary LaRocque took some time recently to talk with Redbird Rants.

Redbird Rants

A Look At Three Pitchers Looking For A Bounce Back Season

A new season provides a fresh start for players who may have struggled the season before. While the previous season’s numbers will always be on the baseball card, the new season starts fresh with zeros across the board. I have identified five players who would probably tell you their 2014 season was not what they would have hoped. Now, I am not calling these players busts or saying they took a step back in 2014, I am merely saying they could bounce back in 2015.

Cardinals Farm

Rockies Unlikely To Trade Troy Tulowitzki Or Carlos Gonzalez Before Opening Day

Jon Morosi Twitter

Johan Santana May Throw For Scouts Later

Jon Morosi Twitter

Cardinals Prospects Make Strides With Offseason Work

Experience gleaned from September callup experiences led both Xavier Scruggs and Sam Tuivailala to extend their 2014 seasons with an eye on improving their respective chances for a return to the Majors this year.

St. Louis Official Site

Mark Reynolds Brings Cardinals' Bench A Surge Of Power & A Dash Of Humor

Mark Reynolds did not take long to show off a sense of humor with his new team. As the media kept piling into his introductory presser at the Cardinals Winter Warm-Up, Reynolds stood at the podium wondering about the fuss being made.

Fox Sports Midwest

Cardinals Winter League Notebook 1-27-15: Ronny Cedeno Singles Twice & Hits A Two-Run Homer; Eliezer Alfonso Celebrates With LIDOM Trophy; Hector Luna, Raul Valdes, & Evan MacLane Bound For Japan & China

Cardinals Winter League

MLB, Not OFAC, Is Why Yoan Moncada Can't Sign

Major League Baseball, not the United States government, is the reason that Yoan Moncada and several other Cuban players have yet to begin their careers.

Baseball America

Mike Matheny: Spring 2015

Spring training is right around the corner, and after seeing the guys and the excitement of our fans at the Winter Warm Up, baseball is in the air. There is a great deal of excitement around the game right now. We have a new Commissioner, Rob Manfred, improved technology for the replay system, and exciting players changing teams. The NL Central figures to be as strong as ever with many teams making changes, trying to improve their club. Ours is no different.

Mike Matheny

James Ramsey Invited To Indians' Big League Camp

The other internal players invited to Spring Training this year include catcher Jake Lowery, outfielder Tyler Naquin, outfielder James Ramsey, pitcher Will Roberts, infielder Ryan Rohlinger and outfielder Jordan Smith. Cleveland now has 20 non-roster invites scheduled to join the team's 40-man roster in Goodyear, Ariz., for camp this spring.

Cleveland Official Site

Ernie Banks & His Greatest Hits Against Cardinals

Whether facing a journeyman such as Barney Schultz or a fellow Hall of Famer like Steve Carlton, Cubs icon Ernie Banks produced some of his most spectacular performances against Cardinals pitching.

RetroSimba