photo: 1944 St. Louis Cardinals
Spring Training Game Recaps
The St. Louis Cardinals were the visiting team in last Monday’s contest against the Marlins. The Marlins defeated the Redbirds, 7-2.
Starter Jack Flaherty tossed 5 1/3 innings while giving up four runs, three earned, on five hits. The right hander fanned five and walked three. Tyler Webb, Giovanny Gallegos and Austin Warner followed. Webb pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Gallegos allowed three runs on 2 hits in 2/3 innings. Warner got the last out of the eighth.
St. Louis’ offense took a 2-0 lead with runs in the second and fourth innings. Dylan Carlson hit a solo home run and also drove in the second run on a single in the fourth inning. Those were the only runs scored by the St. Louis offense. Carlson went 2-for-3 as did Paul Goldschmidt.
In the field, Matt Carpenter made a fielding error and Flaherty had a throwing miscue.
Tuesday’s game between the Cardinals and the Nationals in Jupiter ended in a tie. Adam Wainwright tossed a quality start, going six innings and giving up one run on two hits. The veteran righty fanned seven and walked one. Genesis Cabrera and Jesus Cruz combined for the seventh, with three runs charged to Cabrera. Two of the runs were unearned. Alex Reyes surrendered one run in the eighth and Ryan Helsley tossed a scoreless ninth.
The Nationals got on the board first but the Redbirds tied it up in the fourth on a sac fly by Yadier Molina. The Nats regained the lead with three in the seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh, Max Moroff singled in run to make it 4-2. The Nationals made it 5-2 in the eighth but the Cardinals surged in the bottom of the ninth for three runs to tie. Austin Dean blasted a two-run home run and Jose Rondon followed with a single to plate the tying run.
St. Louis’ defense made two errors, a fielding mistake by Edmundo Sosa and a pickoff error by catcher Dennis Ortega. Tyler O’Neill stole his second base of the spring.
The Cardinals blanked the Mets in Jupiter on Wednesday. St. Louis took a 1-0 lead on a second inning solo home run by John Nogowski. The Redbirds did not score again until the eighth, when Justin Williams plated two runs on a single to left field. Nogowski went 2-for-2 as the only Cardinal with multiple hits.
Carlos Martinez pitched six scoreless innings for his best outing of the spring. The right hander allowed four hits, struck out five and walked two. Jake Woodford followed with two scoreless frames and Jordan Hicks tossed a scoreless ninth.
Nolan Gorman made a throwing error, his second of the spring.
Following the 3-0 win on Wednesday, the Cardinals fell in a 3-0 loss to the Astros on Thursday in Palm Beach. Daniel Ponce de Leon took the mound and pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits, struck out three and walked six. Jesus Cruz and Evan Kruczynski combined to get the final two outs of the fifth. Giovanny Gallegos, Ryan Helsley, and Kodi Whitley each added a scoreless inning.
St. Louis’ offense managed a meager two hits, a double by Nolan Arenado and a single from Tommy Edman.
Friday, March 26 – Off day
The Cardinals played an evening game against their spring training facilities partners the Miami Marlins for the final time this spring. The two teams will meet in Miami in the first full week of the regular season.
St. Louis’ offense picked up considerably from the paltry showing the day before, but it was insufficient to overcome the greater output from their opponents. Tyler O’Neill drove in two of the four runs. The first run came in the first inning on a solo home run by Paul Goldschmidt, his second long ball of the spring. O’Neill plated a run on a single in the fourth inning. The other Paul, Paul DeJong, added an RBI single in the seventh and O’Neill singled in a run in the ninth.
The offense had a total of 15 hits. Yadier Molina went 3-for-5. Goldschmidt, O’Neill and Nolan Arenado had two hits each.
Jack Flaherty had a planned short outing, pitching only three innings, allowing only one run on three hits. He fanned four. Kwang-Hyun Kim made his first appearance since going down with a back ailment. The lefty added two innings in which he gave up two runs on three hits. Genesis Cabrera surrendered a run in the sixth inning. Alex Reyes tossed a scoreless seventh. Zack Thompson surrendered two runs in the eighth and Kodi Whitley pitched a scoreless ninth.
Tommy Edman made a fielding error, his first of the spring. O’Neill stole his third base and DeJong stole his first.
The Cardinals were trounced by the Nationals in Palm Beach in a game that got away in the late innings.
The Nationals took a 2-0 lead but the Cardinals tied it up with two runs in the third on a double play ball by John Nogowski and an RBI single by Yadier Molina. The Redbirds took a 3-2 lead in the fifth on Nogowski’s sac fly. The Nationals knotted it up 3-3 in the seventh.
The wheels came off the bus in the bottom half of the eighth as the Nationals put up eight runs. The game was started by Matthew Liberatore, who pitched 2 1/3 innings and yielded two runs on three hits. Jake Woodford followed with 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Jordan Hicks pitched a scoreless sixth. Tommy Parsons entered in the seventh and gave up the tying run, a solo shot.
Tyler Webb started the eventful eighth and gave up two singles, a double and walk that added two runs to the Nationals’ lead. Parsons then returned to replace Webb with one out. Five more runs would score before Parsons was replaced by Roel Ramirez. Ramirez allowed an additional run that was charged to Parsons before finishing the inning. Webb and Parsons surrendered nine runs between them over the two innings.
St. Louis’ offense scored three runs on six hits. Tommy Edman went 2-for-3. Austin Dean stole his second base of the spring.
- The Cardinals break camp on Monday after the game and head to Cincinnati. The roster has been set. It consists of pitchers Jack Flaherty, Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez, Daniel Ponce de Leon and John Gant as starters. Bullpen will be Jordan Hicks, Alex Reyes, Tyler Webb, Andrew Miller, Jake Woodford, Giovanny Gallegos, Genesis Cabrera, and Ryan Helsley. Position players will be C Yadier Molina, 1B Paul Goldschmidt, 2B Tommy Edman, SS Paul DeJong, 3B Nolan Arenado, LF Tyler O’Neill, CF Dylan Carlson and RF Justin Williams. Bench will be C Andrew Knizner, IF Matt Carpenter, IF Edmundo Sosa, IF John Nogowski and OF Austin Dean.
- Carpenter will be a bench player. O’Neill will be the starting LF and Carlson will be starting CF until Harrison Bader returns from injury. RF will be open but Williams may have the inside track to start.
- Pitchers Dakota Hudson, Miles Mikolas and Kwang-Hyun Kim, along with CF Harrison Bader will be placed on the 10-day injured list to start the season.
- The players to be assigned to Alternate Camp will go to Sauget, IL on the 3rd or 4th of April.
For further information:
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.
- 3/25 The Cardinals optioned RHP Johan Oveido to minor league camp.
- 3/25 The Cardinals re-assigned RHP Jesus Cruz, RHP Tommy Parsons, LHP Matthew Liberatore, LHP Zack Thompson, LHP Evan Kruczynski, 3B Nolan Gorman, and OF Matt Szczur to minor league camp.
- 3/28 The Cardinals optioned RHP Kodi Whitley and OF Lane Thomas to minor league camp.
- 3/28 The Cardinals reassigned C Tyler Heineman, C Dennis Ortega, IF Max Moroff, and IF Jose Rondon to minor league camp.
- RHP Miles Mikolas (shoulder) still has not faced live hitters since Feb. 25 but is making progress. He played extended catch on Friday. The right hander was recovering from surgery on his right flexor tendon and had issues with a sore shoulder while throwing. An MRI showed no structural issues, but Mikolas will not be ready for Opening Day and his return to the rotation for the regular season is yet to be determined.
- LHP Kwang-Hyun Kim (back tightness) returned to game action on Saturday against the Marlins. He pitched two innings in relief of Jack Flaherty. Kim will not travel to Cincinnati with the team next week. The timing of his first start of the regular season is yet to be determined.
- CF Harrison Bader (right forearm flexor tendon) has had a reoccurrence of his arm issues and will begin the season on the injured list. The injury is described as a right flexor strain but with no damage to the ligament. Bader has received a platelet rich plasma injection and will be shut down from baseball activities for two weeks and then be re-evaluated. Bader is expected to miss at least four to six weeks.
The final game of spring will be played on Monday against the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium. The game will begin at 11:05 CT with Adam Wainwright starting.
The Cardinals regular season begins on April 1 in Cincinnati in the Reds home opener. Game time is 3:10 pm CT. Jack Flaherty is scheduled to make the Opening Day start. The next day will be an off day and the three-game series will continue on Saturday, April 3. Adam Wainwright will make the Saturday start, followed by Carlos Martinez on Sunday.
The Cardinals rotation is set at Flaherty, Wainwright, Martinez, Daniel Ponce de Leon, and John Gant. This will be the rotation until regular starter Kwang-Hyun Kim is ready to make his first start. Starter Miles Mikolas will return to the rotation some time after Kim’s return.
Following the Reds series, the Cardinals will travel to Miami to play the Marlins in a three-game series.
The Cardinals regular season schedule can be found here.
Blast from the Past
This week’s fourth installment of the series on non-playing individuals to be considered for the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame, takes a look at an unusual candidate. This man was neither a player, a coach nor a member of the front office. He was a much beloved staff member, a clubhouse attendant for over 50 years.
There is not much biographical information available at the ready for Morris “Butch” Yatkeman, but it appears he was born on June 15, 1908, likely in St. Louis, where he at least grew up near Sportsman’s Park. He was hanging around the park entrance one afternoon in 1924, as a 16 year old, when he was asked to act as the Cardinals batboy. Soon after he became the regular batboy.
He made his first road trip with the team when they played the New York Yankees in the 1926 World Series. The batboy job evolved into equipment manager, then clubhouse attendant over the next 58 years.
Yatkeman’s job as clubhouse attendant meant he was in charge of player’s uniforms. He not only arranged for the uniforms and equipment to be transported from city to city, he also had each player’s uniform tailored to the exact standards each player required. Butch fitted players from Stan Musial to Ozzie Smith, each to that player’s liking. He was much beloved in the clubhouse.
(In this 1944 Cardinals team photo, Yatkeman is at the far left of the back row.)
Yatkeman retired after the Cardinals won the World Series in 1982. He told the New York Times in an interview that October that what makes a good clubhouse man is keeping your mouth shut. He no doubt had plenty of secrets to tell, but he never did. He said his two favorite players were Stan Musial and Roger Maris.
During the years Butch was in the clubhouse the Cardinals won 13 NL pennants and nine World Series, the last one in 1982. After Yatkeman retired, the Cardinals didn’t win another World Series unti 2006. Some called the 24-year drought “Yatkeman’s Curse” because of the organization’s failure to publicly recognize their long time clubhouse employee.
Butch never married and retired to live out his days in Hazelwood, MO. He passed away on January 20, 2000 at the age of 91.
What are the reasons to put Yatkeman in the Cardinals Hall of Fame? Aside from being a most beloved and long term employee, the other reasons should be obvious. The Cardinals haven’t had a streak of pennants and championships like they did while Butch was in the clubhouse. Is there a cause and effect? Who knows, but the facts are there. Seriously though, the Cardinals Hall of Fame should encompass all those who contributed, not just those who did so on the field or in the front office. Butch gave most of his life to the organization and deserves to be recognized.
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