St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of February 12-18

photo: Bud Norris (Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports Images)

Cardinals sign veteran righty Norris

Bud Norris (Rick Scuteri/USA TODAY Sports Images)

In a surprise move for many St. Louis Cardinals fans, the team this past week signed veteran pitcher Bud Norris to a one year, $3 million dollar contract.  Norris, 32, was once considered the nemesis of Cardinals hitters, seeming to always baffle them at the plate when they faced him as a member of the Houston Astros rotation.

The right hander has logged nine seasons as a major leaguer, across six teams prior to the Cardinals.  Norris spent five of his nine seasons with the Astros, the team that drafted him in 2006.  Four of those five seasons were prior to 2013, when the Astros moved out of the NL Central to the AL Central.

Norris was traded to Baltimore in-mid season 2013, where he remained until he was released by the Orioles in August 2015.   He went on to play with the Padres, Braves, Dodgers and Angels before being signed by St. Louis.  After starting with the Astros, Norris moved to the bullpen with other teams since being traded away by Houston.

The Cardinals have not put Norris into a specific role but plan to maintain the flexibility to use him either as a starter or reliever.

In other acquisition news, the Cardinals also signed former Cardinal closer Jason Motte to a minor league contract.  Motte joins another former closer, Edward Mujica, who was signed to a minor league contract on February 1.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

The Cardinals were one of 12 teams attending a showcase for veteran pitcher Tim Lincecum on February 15.  Lincecum, 32, a two-time Cy Young Award winner with the San Francisco Giants almost a decade ago, is attempting a comeback after missing the 2017 season.

Jason Motte (Getty Images)


2/14 The Cardinals signed free agent RHP Bud Norris.

2/14 The Cardinals designated RHP Rowan Wick for assignment.

2/16 Wick was claimed off waivers by the San Diego Padres.

2/16 The Cardinals signed RHP Jason Motte to a minor league contract with a non-roster invitation to major league spring training camp.

Injury Report

Matt Carpenter (USA TODAY Sports Images)

IF Matt Carpenter is reportedly dealing with a stiff back in spring training camp.  Carpenter’s workouts will be limited to first base for the time being.

RHP Alex Reyes (Tommy John surgery) has begun Spring Training with light workouts to build up endurance.  The workouts so far have not included throwing breaking balls during bullpen sessions.  The Cardinals have set a return date of May 1 for the top prospect in a role to be determined.

Looking Ahead

Spring Training has begun.  Players have reported and workouts are underway.  The first Spring Training game will be played on Friday, February 23 against the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, FL.  Spring Training information, including the schedule, can be found here.

The regular season begins on Thursday, March 29.  The Cardinals play the Mets in New York in a four game series to open the schedule.  A three game series against the Brewers in Milwaukee follows the Mets series.  The Cardinals home opener is on Thursday, April 6, against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Blast from the Past

The 1910 St Louis Cardinals are featured in this week’s Blast from the Past.  It was the 29th season of the franchise and the 19th in the National League.

The 1910 Cardinals ended the season with a record of 63-90, finishing seventh in the eight-team National League.  The player/manager was Roger Bresnahan and the owners were Frank and Stanley Robinson.

1910 St. Louis Cardinals

The Opening Day lineup was Miller Huggins (2B), Rube Ellis (LF), Rebel Oakes (CF), Ed Konetchy (1B), Steve Evans (RF), Roger Bresnahan (C), Rudy Hullswit (SS), Jap Barbeau (3B), and Vic Willis (SP).

The longest losing streak was 13 games, from July 28-Aug 11.  The longest winning streak was eight games, from May 12-19.  The highest winning margin was a 14-3 defeat of the Brooklyn Dodgers on August 30.  The worst loss was an 11-2 drubbing by the Phillies on July 20.  Splits were 35-41 at home, and 28-49 on the road.

The top starting pitcher was Slim Sallee, with a record of 7-8 and an ERA of 2.97.  The best offensive performance was from Ed Konetchy, who hit .302/.397/.425, with 3 HR, and 78 RBI.

The highest paid player on the 1910 roster was Miller Huggins, the second baseman, who was paid $3,200.  That amount is approximately $80,000 in today’s dollars.  Huggins also played the most games for the team, playing 151 games out of 153.

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