St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of February 22-28

photo: Jack Flaherty via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Spring Training Game Recaps

Sunday, February 28, 2021 – Cardinals 4, Nationals 4

In the first game of the spring, the St. Louis Cardinals met the Washington Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.  The game ended in a nine-inning tie with four runs each.

Jack Flaherty got the start and pitched to four hitters before the inning was ended.  Flaherty fanned the first batter he faced, Victor Robles, but then walked the second hitter, gave up a single to the third hitter, and walked the fourth batter.  Flaherty returned to start the second inning and allowed three straight singles and a walk before he was removed.  Flaherty ended his outing having relinquished three runs on four hits.  During his post-game Zoom interview, Flaherty declared he had been “horrible”.

Jack Flaherty

Flaherty was followed on the mound by Tommy Parsons, John Gant, Roel Ramirez, Alex Reyes, Genesis Cabrera, Connor Jones, and Giovanny Gallegos.  All were scheduled. Cabrera surrendered the only run of the seven relievers.

The Cardinals got on the board in the first inning. Tommy Edman led off with a single and later scored on a wild pitch.  The Redbirds put up a second run in the second on Harrison Bader’s RBI double that plated Tyler O’Neill, who had reached on a fielder’s choice.

The score remained 3-2 until the seventh inning, when Cabrera gave up the fourth Nationals score.  In the bottom of the ninth, with all of the starters out of the game, Austin Dean singled, and Max Moroff doubled to right to plate him.  Ivan Herrera’s grounder to shortwas muffed by the Nationals shortstop and Moroff came home to tie the game at 4-4.  The game ended with the third out by first baseman John Nogowski.

The Cardinals offense had eight hits and the lone RBI was the Bader double.

News and Notes from Spring Training

  • Pitchers Miles Mikolas, Jordan Hicks, Kwang-Hyun Kim, and Andrew Miller will be eased into camp. Each has thrown side sessions and Mikolas is scheduled to pitch in a “B” game on Monday, which is an off day.
  • Position players had a workout on Saturday prior to first spring game. With respect to outfielders, Mike Shildt stated that bat will dictate playing time but acknowledges the importance of defense as it is what has won games for them over the last two seasons.  Tyler O’Neill, Harrison Bader, and Dylan Carlson all have strong defensive chops (O’Neill won a Gold Glove in 2020 and Bader was a finalist in 2019).  Shildt would like to see hitters less “splitty” and more consistent against both RHP and LHPs.
  • Due to Covid-19 protocols, players will be separated for games. Starting lineup and scheduled position player replacements will be in dugout. Players are allowed to sign and toss balls to fans in stands.  Starting pitchers will be in dugout but will leave with that day’s starter.  Third tier backups will be allowed in later. Not all players in camp will be allowed in stadium.  Those players not in the game will have separate workouts with minor league coaches and can either leave when done or watch game on TV.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

There are no transactions to report.

Injury Report

  • RHP Dakota Hudson (Tommy John surgery) remains likely to miss the entire 2021 season, but reports are that Hudson holds out hope for a September return, even in a relief capacity. The right hander is scheduled to begin playing catch on March 15.

Andrew Miller

  • LHP Andrew Miller reported to camp late and the reason was revealed to be an earlier positive test for Covid-19. Miller tested positive for the virus 10 days prior to pitchers and catchers reporting.  The pitcher did not test positive on the initial intake testing when he arrived at camp.  Miller reported mild symptoms to include fatigue and loss of sense of smell.  Miller threw bullpen sessions early in camp rather than throw to live hitters and will take things at a slow pace.

Looking Ahead

Spring Training game action began on Sunday in a nine-inning game against the Nationals.  The game ended in a 4-4 tie.  The next game will be Tuesday, March 2 against the Marlins with Adam Wainwright the starter.  The remainder of the week will include a Wednesday game against the Mets in Jupiter, then a road game in West Palm Beach against the Astros on Thursday.  The team will remain in West Palm to play the Nationals on Friday and will have an off day on Saturday.  The Cardinals will return to Jupiter on Sunday to play the Astros.

The Spring Training game schedule can be found here.  The Cardinals will play only the four teams on the East Coast of Florida to minimize travel – the Marlins, Mets, Astros and Nationals. The Cardinals will play a 24-game schedule of six games each against the four.

The last spring training game will be on March 29 against the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium, game time 11:05 am CT.  The Cardinals regular season begins on April 1 in Cincinnati in the Reds home opener.  Game time is 3:10 pm CT.

For more information

Beyond the 12 covered by FOX Sports MIdwest, four additional games are being televised by Cardinals spring opponents, increasing the total available to watch to 16. Full details here.

Cardinals 2021 Spring Training Television and Radio Schedules

Blast from the Past

This week on Blast From the Past, we will highlight a series of notable events that occurred in Cardinals history from February 22 to February 28.  This chronicle will include the brief baseball career of a Hall of Fame football player, the birthdate of a beloved Cardinals coach, and what to many is the worst trade in Cardinals franchise history.

  • February 22, 1938—On this date, Texas-Christian All American football player Sammy (Slingin’ Sammy) Baugh signed a contract to play baseball with the Cardinals. Baugh, age 24, signed after college and was assigned to the minor league system.  Baugh played the 1938 season with both the Rochester Red Wings and the Columbus Redbirds, appearing in a grand total of 53 games.  He had 130 plate appearances and finished the season batting .200 with one home run.  Baugh was primarily the backup shortstop for Marty Marion.  Baugh left baseball after that one season and went to play professional football for the Washington Redskins, which was the right decision.  He played for the Redskins as a quarterback until 1952, winning two NFL championships and receiving many other accolades.  He was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1963.

    Stubby Clapp (2000)
  • February 24, 1973—Richard Keith “Stubby” Clapp is born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. While Clapp is well known in his native Canada for his performance in the 1999 Pan-American Games in Winnipeg, his major league baseball career consisted of one half season with the Cardinals in 2001 – though he played from 1996 to 2000 in the Cardinals minor league system.  In his best year in 1997 with Class A Prince William Cannons of the Carolina League, he hit .318/.435/.487.  Following 1997, he played with the Arkansas Travelers and the Memphis Redbirds until he made his major league debut on June 18, 2001 at the age of 28.  Clapp hit a meager .200/.231/.280 in 26 plate appearances.  Stubby returned to the minor leagues and became a free agent at the end of the 2002 season.  He finished his playing career in the Toronto system in 2004.  Stubby’s #10 jersey was the first number ever retired by the Memphis Redbirds, in 2007.  Stubby was hired as the Memphis manager in 2016 and made his way to the big leagues as a coach in 2019 after two consecutive Pacific Coast League championships.
  • Steve Carlton

    February 25, 1972—The Cardinals, in one of the worst mistakes ever made by a major league baseball franchise, traded LHP Steve (“Lefty”) Carlton to the Philadelphia Phillies for pitcher Rick Wise. The trade was over money.  Carlton had pitched to a 20-9 season for the Cardinals in 1971 and entered the offseason in a salary dispute with the Cardinals. This was the second such dispute with the team, as Carlton had asked for $50,000 in 1969 and the Cardinals only offered $31,000.  The Cardinals offered Carlton $55,000 for 1972 but he wanted $10,000 more.  Rather than pay the measly extra $10K, the Cardinals instead shipped him to the Phillies, who paid him the $65,000.  The Cardinals paid the $65,000 they wouldn’t give Carlton to Wise.  Not a wise move (pun intended).  Wise pitched two seasons for the Cardinals and was traded to Boston.  Carlton on the other hand went on to have a  15-year Hall of Fame career in Philadelphia which included winning four Cy Young Awards.  The worst trade ever.


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