St. Louis Cardinals Major League Notebook – February 13-19

photo: Tim McCarver (St. Louis Cardinals)

St. Louis Cardinals news from last week include the passing of team Hall of Famer Tim McCarver, Scott Rolen’s Hall of Fame logo decision, a contract extension for John Mozeliak, two arbitration wins for the team and more. Our weekly history feature highlights the club’s five best right fielders ever.

Former player and broadcaster Tim McCarver passes

Tim McCarver

Cardinals fans were confronted with sad news on Thursday, February 16 – the announcement of the passing of former catcher and Bally Sports Midwest color analyst Tim McCarver at the age of 81.

McCarver began his major league career with St. Louis in 1959 at the age of 17.  His Cardinals career lasted 12 seasons, including serving as the primary catcher for Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson. McCarver won two World Series Championships in St. Louis, in 1964 and 1967.

The Memphis native was a two- time All-Star with the Cardinals and finished second in the MVP voting in 1967. He was traded to the Phillies in 1969.  The Phillies dealy him to the Montreal Expos in 1972, who then sent him back to the Cardinals at the end of the 1972 season. The Boston Red Sox bought his contract from the Cardinals in 1974, then released him in June 1975. McCarver ended his career with the Phillies in 1979, having been the personal catcher for another Hall of Fame pitcher, former Cardinal Steve Carlton.

Following his retirement from baseball, McCarver went into broadcasting. His national television career began in 1980 with several stints with NBC and ABC in various capacities. He called his first World Series in 1985 with ABC.

Starting in 1996, McCarver was paired with Joe Buck on Fox Sports’ MLB telecasts. He was awarded the Ford C. Frick broadcasting Hall of Fame award in 2012. He remained in his position with Buck and Fox Sports until 2013.

After leaving the national beat at Fox Sports, McCarver was hired as a part-time color analyst by Fox Sports Midwest (later Bally Sports Midwest) to cover St. Louis Cardinals games. He continued in this role through the 2019 season.

McCarver did not return for the Cardinals shortened 2020 season due to health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. He officially announced his retirement from broadcasting in April 2022.

Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr. made the following statement on the passing of McCarver:

“We were saddened to learn today of the passing of Tim McCarver. Tim was a very popular player with the Cardinals and a key member of our World Championship teams in 1964 and 1967. He remained a fixture in the game following his playing career, earning Hall of Fame recognition as a national broadcaster, and in later years as a Cardinals television analyst and Member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame. On behalf of the entire Cardinals organization, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the McCarver family.”

McCarver is survived by two daughters and two grandchildren.

Rolen selects Cardinals logo on Hall of Fame plaque

Scott Rolen (Getty Images)

The National Baseball Hall of Fame made the announcement this past week that the plaque of newly elected former St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen will have the Cardinal logo on his cap.

Rolen will become the 12th Hall of Famer sporting the Cardinals cap on his plaque.

Rolen was reported to have made the decision in consultation with the Hall of Fame. Rolen’s 17-year major league career included time with four teams. He was drafted by the Phillies and started his big-league career there. After seven seasons he was traded to the Cardinals with whom he played for six more seasons. With St. Louis, he was a four time All Star, was awarded three Gold Gloves and won a World Series in 2006.

The Cardinals traded Rolen to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2008. He finished his playing career with the Cincinnati Reds in 2012.

Rolen stated that the six seasons he spent with St. Louis were the most pivotal in his career, leading to his decision to choose the Cardinals cap on his plaque.

Rolen will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 23 in Cooperstown.

Mozeliak’s contract extended

John Mozeliak via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Cardinals have extended the contract of President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak through 2025. The 54-year-old has headed the team’s baseball operations for 15 seasons, during which the team has posted a winning record each year.

He became the team’s General Manager prior to the 2008 campaign and has served in his current role as President of Baseball Operations since June 2017. Mozeliak first joined the organization following the 1995 season in scouting and player development.

Cardinals Extend Contract of PBO John Mozeliak

Helsley and Cabrera lose arbitration cases

Two of the 10 Cardinals who due to having between three and six years of MLB service time are arbitration-eligible did not come to agreement with the team on their 2023 salaries.

Ryan Helsley

The two, relievers Ryan Helsley and Genesis Cabrera, had their cases heard by arbitrators this past week. Helsley had requested $3 million while the Cardinals filed at $2.15 million. Cabrera asked for $1.15 million but the Cardinals filed at $950,000.

Genesis Cabrera

In both cases, the arbitrator ruled in favor of the team, so both players will receive the lower amount in 2023. Helsley expressed public disappointment over points the team made during the hearing.

Spring training television and radio schedule announced

For 2023, 22 Cardinals spring training games will be televised, including 15 on Bally Sports Midwest.

KMOX Radio will broadcast 15 spring games, which will also be streamed via Broadcasts of all but four other games will originate with the opposing team and will also be available online.

The full docket can be seen here:

At Least 20 Cardinals Spring Game Telecasts Scheduled

News and Notes

  • Tickets for Cardinals 2023 Spring Training games are on sale. The opener is on February 25 at Roger Dean Stadium against the Washington Nationals. There are 15 games on the home schedule, concluding on March 25 against the Marlins

Fans can buy tickets online at

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade and acquisition rumors.


There are no transactions to report.

Injury Report

There are no new injuries to report.

Looking Ahead

Spring Training has begun. Workouts are ongoing and games will begin soon.

The Grapefruit League will begin play on February 25 when the Cardinals play the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium starting at 12:05 pm CT.

Grapefruit League play will conclude on March 27 with a game against the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota.

The regular season begins on March 30 with the Cardinals taking on the Blue Jays at Busch Stadium.

The World Baseball Classic will begin on March 8. The Cardinals have 19 players set to play in the WBC from both the major league and minor league rosters.  That includes four players from the major league roster who will play for the USA team – Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Adam Wainwright, and Miles Mikolas.

Six other major league roster players will play for other nations. They are Tyler O’Neill (Canada), Tommy Edman (Korea), Lars Nootbaar (Japan), Giovanny Gallegos (Mexico), JoJo Romero (Mexico) and Andre Pallante (Italy).

Major league and minor league players will be absent from spring training for the period of time their team is in the tournament. The Championship game is scheduled to be played on March 21.

One-Third of Cardinals 40-Man Roster to World Baseball Classic

Blast from the Past

This week’s Blast from the Past is the seventh installment in a series looking back on the best Cardinals players in history by position. There isn’t enough time and space to go in depth on such a long list of great Cardinals, so this series focuses on five of the best players by position in the history of the franchise. The term “best” is subjective and can encompass an endless number of factors that one would choose to determine who is indeed the best.

This week we look at the five best right fielders in franchise history based on statistical factors. WAR is the primary factor in this determination. The following list is not a ranking but a chronological list.

Stan Musial played the outfield as well as first base during his stellar career as a Cardinal. Because Musial was showcased in the earlier list at first base, he will not be included in the outfield lists.

The following are the top five right fielders, minus Musial, in franchise history.

Pepper Martin (St. Louis Cardinals)

Pepper Martin – Martin was acquired by the Cardinals in 1925. He debuted with the Cardinals on April 16, 1928. Martin played his entire 13-year career with St. Louis.

Martin’s best season was 1933 when he slashed .316/.387/.456 and led the NL in runs and stolen bases. He was selected to the first of his four All-Star Games and finished fifth in the NL MVP voting.

Martin’s career WAR in St. Louis was 21.2, third in franchise history at his position. He was selected to the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2017.

Enos Slaughter

Enos Slaughter – Slaughter was signed by the Cardinals as a free agent in 1935 and debuted on April 18, 1938.  Slaughter played 13 of his 19 seasons with St. Louis.

Slaughter’s career slash line in St. Louis was .305/.384/.463 with 146 home runs and 1148 RBI. He led baseball in doubles in 1939. In 1942, Slaughter led baseball in triples and led the NL in in hits. He topped baseball in RBI in 1946.

Slaughter was a 10-time All-Star and finished second in the MVP voting in 1942.

Slaughter was traded to the Yankees in 1954. He finished his major league career with the Milwaukee Braves in 1959.

Slaughter’s career WAR in St. Louis was 49.2, second in franchise history for right fielders behind Musial. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985. His jersey was retired by the Cardinals in 1996 and he was part of the 2014 inaugural class of the Cardinals Hall of Fame.

George Hendrick

George Hendrick – Hendrick was acquired by the Cardinals in a 1978 trade from the San Diego Padres. He played seven seasons with St. Louis, from 1978-1984.

Hendrick’s slash line for his seven seasons as a Cardinal was .294/.345/.470 with 122 home runs and 582 RBI. He was a two time All-Star while in St. Louis and won two Silver Slugger Awards.

Hendrick’s career WAR with the Cardinals was 18.8, fifth in franchise history among right fielders. The Cardinals traded Hendrick to the Pirates in 1984. His playingl career ended in 1988. Hendrick was employed by the Cardinals as a minor league hitting instructor from 1993-95. He was promoted to the major league staff as hitting coach from 1996-97.

Brian Jordan

Brian Jordan – Jordan was the first round draft pick of the Cardinals in 1988. He debuted for St. Louis on April 8, 1992.

Jordan was with the Cardinals from 1992-98. In seven seasons, his slash line was .291/.339/.474 with 84 home runs and 367 RBI. Jordan finished eighth in the MVP voting in 1996.

Jordan’s career WAR with St. Louis was 19.3, fourth in franchise history for right fielders. He became a free agent in 1998 and signed with the Braves. Jordan was traded to the Dodgers in 2002 and then signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers in 2004. Jordan finished his career back with the Braves in 2006.

J.D Drew (Getty Images)

J.D. Drew – Drew was the first round draft pick of the Cardinals in 1998. He debuted on September 8, 1998.

Drew played six seasons for St. Louis. His slash line with the Cardinals was .282/.377/.498 with 96 home runs and 280 RBI.

Drew’s career WAR in St. Louis was 17.5, sixth in franchise history for a right fielder+. He was traded by the Cardinals in December 2003 to the Braves, along with Eli Marrero for Adam Wainwright, Jason Marquis, and Ray King.

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