photo: Chris and Dave Duncan (Scott Rovak/USA TODAY Sports)
Spring Training Game Recaps
Monday, March 1 – Off day
In a situation not unusual for spring training, the Tuesday contest between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins ended in a seven inning scoreless tie. The teams agreed in advance to play only seven innings, though the inability of either team to score was part of the deal.
Adam Wainwright started and the 39 year old right hander pitched a masterful two innings. Wainwright gave up no runs, no hits and no walks and struck out one. Daniel Ponce de Leon followed with two scoreless innings. Matthew Liberatore, Jake Woodford, and Tyler Webb each tossed a scoreless inning.
St. Louis’ offense managed just four hits, singles by Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Tyler O’Neill and Max Moroff. As a team, the Cardinals drew four walks and struck out four times.
On the basepaths, Harrison Bader was caught attempting to steal second base.
The Cardinals offense that couldn’t be found on Tuesday was located on Wednesday. The opposing Mets also found some against St. Louis pitching, but not enough.
Three long balls figured into the slugfest for the Redbirds, though none of the three came from major league regulars. John Nogowski hit a three run shot in the second inning, with the other home runs having come in the eighth inning off the bats of Jose Rondon and Ali Sanchez. Both shots were of the two run variety.
Additional run producers were Nolan Arenado with a first inning RBI single, Andrew Knizner with an RBI double in the third inning and Justin Williams with a third inning single that drove in a run. Rondon contributed an RBI triple in the sixth prior to his eighth inning long ball and Evan Mendoza singled in a run in the sixth.
Kwang-Hyun Kim struggled in his first spring start, giving up three runs in the first inning before being pulled for reliever Angel Rondon. Kim returned to start the second inning, but pitched to only two batters, striking out one and walking the second. He was replaced by Tommy Parsons. Parsons surrendered a run in 1 2/3 innings before Seth Elledge who tossed a scoreless inning. Connor Jones followed with one inning in which he yielded a run. Roel Ramirez, Johan Quezada and Jesus Cruz each spun a scoreless inning. Junior Fernandez gave up three runs in the ninth.
Austin Dean made a fielding error and Knizner had a passed ball.
The Cardinals played an incredibly forgettable game against the Astros in Palm Beach on Thursday. Neither pitching nor offense offered much in this 14-0 pulverizing by Houston.
Carlos Martinez was singularly not good. The starter was charged with six runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings. Martinez was followed briefly by Austin Warner, who finished the first inning. Martinez then returned to start the second and pitched just as poorly the second time around, causing the inning to be ended with only one out.
Alex Reyes started the third and was very good, pitching two scoreless innings with no hits and three strikeouts. Genesis Cabrera gave up two runs in the fifth before Garrett Williams surrendered three runs in the sixth. Ryan Helsley tossed a scoreless seventh. Giovanny Gallegos gave up three runs in the eighth.
The Cardinals offense had just three hits. Molina had the only extra base hit, a double. Tyler Heineman and Lane Thomas singled.
Martinez committed an error on a pickoff attempt. Thomas and Connor Capel each had an outfield assist.
The Cardinals returned to West Palm Beach to play the Nationals on Friday, and though they also lost this game, the result was much less lopsided. The lead changed multiple times throughout but in the end, the Nationals came out on top.
John Gant got the start and struggled through 2 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on four hits. He struck out two and walked two. Angel Rondon followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Lefty Zack Thompson surrendered one run in two innings pitched before Tyler Webb also gave up a run in 2/3 of an inning. Seth Elledge finished Webb’s inning and Kodi Whitley followed with a clean eighth. Johan Quezada was charged with the loss in the ninth but the run scored on an error by catcher Ali Sanchez.
St. Louis’ offense scored six runs on 10 hits. Lane Thomas had the only extra base hit, an RBI double in the second inning that plated two. Thomas again drove in a run with a single in the sixth. Andrew Knizner plated a run on a single in the third inning. Two other runs came home on sac flies by Max Moroff and Tyler Heineman. Thomas, Knizner, and Austin Dean had two hits each.
Dean and Tommy Edman stole a base. Sanchez’ throwing error in the ninth brought in the winning run.
Saturday, March 6 – Off day
The Cardinals got revenge for the 14-0 Thursday whooping by the Astros in Palm Beach with an 8-5 win in Jupiter.
Adam Wainwright made his second spring start and pitched well. The right hander tossed three innings and gave up one run on one hit, while fanning five and walking none. Matthew Liberatore followed with 1 1/3 innings during which he surrendered one run on two hits. Tommy Parsons hurled 1 2/3 scoreless innings and Jake Woodford followed with two run-free innings. Seth Elledge struggled in the ninth and was charged with three runs before being replaced by Jesus Cruz, who entered with one out. Cruz secured the final two outs and earned the save.
The Cardinals scored eight runs on five hits, led by a three run home run by Tyler O’Neill in the seventh inning. O’Neill went 2-for-3 for the afternoon. Paul DeJong, Dylan Carlson, and Austin Dean drove in runs as well. Dean’s eighth inning double plated two. DeJong and Carlson singled in runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
News and Notes from Spring Training
- Mikolas’ scheduled side session for Sunday was pushed back until Wednesday. Mike Shildt could not commit to the right hander’s availability by opening day.
- Jordan Hicks has been throwing to live hitters and looks good. Was throwing 102 mph. Still no indication when he will get into spring games.
- Flaherty’s pitching was a lot crisper in a B game against the Astros on Friday. The right hander threw three innings in that game, about 50 pitches.
2021 Hall of Fame Ballot Announced
The St. Louis Cardinals have revealed Steve Carlton, Keith Hernandez, Matt Morris, Edgar Renteria and Lee Smith as the five players nominated for possible induction into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame. Fans can view the Cardinals Hall of Fame ballot and cast their selections online at cardinals.com/HOF.
Partial Capacity Plans for Busch Stadium Approved
The Cardinals and the City of St. Louis disclosed an agreement has been reached to allow the team to play its initial home games of the 2021 regular season with up to 32% capacity (approximately 14,500).
Triple-A Season Delayed
Major League Baseball has made a decision to delay the scheduled April 6 start to the Triple-A season for at least a month. In the interim, MLB teams will revert to the alternate camp model first deployed in 2020. The Cardinals intend to select a location in the St. Louis area, as there are schedule conflicts with the prior location in Springfield, MO.
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.
There are no transactions to report.
- RHP Miles Mikolas was set to pitch in a “B game” on Monday but has encountered a setback in the form of a stiff shoulder. Mikolas was set to throw a side session on Sunday but that has been moved to Wednesday. Manager Mike Shildt has not committed to Mikolas’ availabililty when the season opens on April 1. Mikolas is recovering from surgery to repair a right flexor tendon.
- CF Harrison Bader has been kept out of spring games for the last few days due to “a little barking’ in his right forearm. The arm has been checked out with an MRI and everything looked okay. Bader is expected to be back in the lineup for Tuesday’s game.
The second full week of Spring Training games began on Sunday with a nine inning 8-5 Cardinals win over the Astros at Roger Dean Stadium. The Cardinals remain at Roger Dean on Monday to play the Marlins as the visiting team. Kwang-Hyun Kim will get the start.
The Cardinals travel to Port St. Lucie on Tueday to face the Mets. On Wednesday, the Cards return to West Palm to play the Nationals. After an off day on Thursday, the team returns to Jupiter to take on the Astros on Friday evening (FOX Sports Midwest), and the Marlins on Saturday night with the Cardinals as the visiting team.
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. Those teams are the Marlins, Mets, Astros and Nationals. The Cardinals will play a 24 game schedule of 6 games each against the four teams.
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.
Blast from the Past
This week in Blast From the Past, we begin a series that looks at various individuals involved with the Cardinals in some capacity and assess their credentials for admission into the Cardinals Hall of Fame as an ownership selection. Each week will feature one person for consideration.
We start by explaining the criteria for consideration for the Cardinals Hall of Fame. For players the criteria is very straightforward. A player must have played for the Cardinals for a minimum of three seasons and must be retired from major league baseball for at least three seasons. There are two categories of players for consideration, “Modern Era” players and “Veteran” players. To be classified as a “Veteran” player the player must be retired from baseball for 40 or more years.
The selection process for Modern Era players consists of a six week long voting by fans online in the spring of each year. One Veteran player is selected annually by a Red Ribbon Committee comprised of a number of baseball experts chosen by the Cardinals. The Committee also selects from 6 to 10 nominees in the Modern Era category for the fan vote. In prior years, two Modern players were selected, but for 2021, just one new inductee will be added.
The Cardinals may also choose non-players such as coaches, broadcasters, and front office staff. These selections are made by the DeWitts and are not necessarily annual.
This week’s installment looks at one such non-player for consideration. Though he played 11 years in the major leagues, this standout never played for the Cardinals. Our person up for consideration is none other than former St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan.
Duncan was a major league catcher with the Kansas City and Oakland Athletics for seven years, followed by two seasons each with the Cleveland Indians and the Baltimore Orioles. Duncan was not a standout offensively as a catcher, with a career slash line of .214/.279/.357 over 11 major league seasons. He was however considered one of the better defensive catchers of his era.
After Duncan retired as a player, he began coaching with the Indians as bullpen coach, and later as the team’s pitching coach. He moved on to the Mariners as their pitching coach in 1982. After one season Duncan was persuaded to join the Chicago White Sox as pitching coach for his old friend and teammate Tony La Russa. Duncan followed La Russa to the Oakland Athletics and finally to the Cardinals in 1996.
During his years with the Cardinals, the team won four NL Central titles and two World Series Championships. Duncan is credited with turning around the career of Woody Williams, who the Cardinals acquired in 2001. Before St. Louis, Williams had a combined record of 79-79 over 11 seasons with Toronto and San Diego. In his four seasons with the Cardinals, his record was 45-22. He is also credited with changing the career trajectory of Kyle Lohse, who came to the Cardinals in 2008 with a losing record in his six seasons with the Twins, but left the Cardinals after five seasons with a record of 55-35.
Duncan coached four Cy Young Award winners, including St. Louis’ Chris Carpenter, whose career was also turned around after a losing record in Toronto.
In looking at the pros and cons of considering Duncan for the Cardinals Hall of Fame, there don’t seem to be many cons. The fact that Duncan spent much of his career with other teams and perfected his craft before coming to St. Louis shouldn’t be held against his candidacy. It has often been said that if the Baseball Hall of Fame inducted coaches, Duncan should be the first one in. If the 75-year-old should be in Cooperstown, he should certainly be in the Cardinals Hall of Fame.
Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation
Now available, The Cardinal Nation 2021 Prospect Guide is back for a fourth year. It includes over 250 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos.
Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.
Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.
© 2021 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.