St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of January 8-14

photo: Tyler Lyons (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Cardinals avoid arbitration with four

Marcell Ozuna (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images)

There will be no arbitration hearings for the St. Louis Cardinals in February, as the club reached agreements with all four arbitration eligible players.  Randal Grichuk reached an agreement with the Cardinals for a one year, $2.6 million dollar contract on Thursday. On Friday, it was announced that agreements were reached with the remaining players, Michael Wacha, Tyler Lyons, and Marcell Ozuna.

Ozuna, in his second year of arbitration, agreed to a $9 million dollar deal for 2018.  Wacha, also in his second year of arbitration, agreed to $5.3 million, up from $2.775 million in 2017.  Lyons, along with Grichuk, enters his first year of arbitration, and settled with the Cardinals for $1.2 million for 2018.

None of the four had yet exchanged figures, something that would have triggered the Cardinals “file and trial” strategy.  Wacha was in this position last season, and his case went to arbitration, a proceeding in which the Cardinals prevailed.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

Luke Gregerson (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch writes that the Cardinals appear to be satisfied with the bullpen as it currently is constructed, and will go with newly signed reliever Luke Gregerson in the closer role.  Goold also reports that the rumors concerning the Cardinals’ interest in Tampa Bay reliever Alex Colome were “overstated” and the Cardinals’ interest in Rays’ players was centered on starter Chris Archer.

However, Goold also reported this past week that former Rays’ third baseman Evan Longoria said his trade had gone to down to the Cardinals and Giants. He was sent to the latter club.


There are no transactions to report.

Injury Report

There is no injury news to report.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals annual Winter Warm-Up is taking place as of this writing in St. Louis at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.  The annual BBWAA dinner is also taking place at the Union Station Hotel in downtown St. Louis.  All of the Winter Warm-Up events, including the Cardinals Caravans, will conclude on Monday, January 15.  Details of the Warm-Up, including photos and interviews, can be found at TCN here and here.

Spring Training begins in February.  Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report on February 13, with first workout scheduled on February 14.  Position players are scheduled to report on February 18 with first workout on February 19.  The first Spring Training game will be played on February 23 against the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, FL.  Spring Training information, including the schedule, can be found here.

Blast from the Past

This week’s history segment features the St. Louis Cardinals from the year 1955.  The 1955 season was the franchise’s 74th season and the 64th in the National League.

The 1955 Cardinals ended the season with a record of 68-86, which placed them seventh in the eight-team National League.  The manager of the Cardinals was Eddie Stanky for the first 36 games, and Harry Walker for the remainder of the season.  Stanky was fired by owner Gussie Busch on May 27.   The Cardinals GM was Richard Meyer, who was fired at the end of the 1955 season.

The Opening Day lineup was Wally Moon (LF), Bill Virdon (CF), Stan Musial (1B), Rip Repulski (RF), Red Schoendienst (2B), Ken Boyer (3B), Bill Sarni (C), Alex Grammas (SS), and Brooks Lawrence (SP).

The longest losing streak was seven games, twice, from May 1-8, and again from Aug 27-Sept 2.  The longest winning streak was five games, from May 14-18.  The highest winning margin was a 14-1 defeat of the Cubs on April 17. The worst defeats were two 12-1 losses, the first to the Brooklyn Dodgers on June 17, and the second to the Milwaukee Braves on August 15.  Splits were 41-36 at home, and 27-50 on the road.

The top starting pitcher was Willard Schmidt, with a record of 7-6 and an ERA of 2.78.  The best offensive player was Musial, who batted .319/.408/.566, with 33 home runs, and 108 RBI.

The Cardinals sent four players to the All-Star Game in 1955.  Red Schoendienst was the only starter, playing second base.  Three reserve players were Musial, Luis Arroyo, and Harvey Haddix.  Musial hit a home run in the bottom of the 12th inning to give the NL the 6-5 victory over the AL.

Musial came in eighth in the MVP voting in 1955.  Musial also led the National League in games played (154), and Hit by Pitches (8).

Center fielder Bill Virdon won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1955.

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