St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of November 18-24

photo: Larry Walker and Scott Rolen (Ford-Mobley.com)

The St. Louis Cardinals prepared for the Rule 5 draft by making four roster moves. Four former Cardinals are on the 2020 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, including the subject of our history feature, Cardinals Hall of Famer Scott Rolen.


Cardinals add three to roster, remove one

The deadline for finalizing rosters ahead of the December Rule 5 draft came and went on Wednesday, November 20.  The Cardinals added three players to the 40 man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft – pitchers Jake Woodford and Alvaro Seijas, and third baseman Elehuris Montero.

Dominic Leone (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

To make room for the final spot on the roster, reliever Dominic Leone was designated for assignment.  During a seven-day window that began last Thursday, the Cardinals can either trade, release, or assign Leone to the minor leagues.  Release or assignment require waivers to be requested on Leone.  Leone has three years of service time, and per the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement he has the option of electing free agency in lieu of an assignment to the minor leagues.  The right hander was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in a January 2018 trade of Randal Grichuk to Toronto.  In 40 2/3 innings out of the St. Louis bullpen in 2019, Leone had an ERA of 5.53.  Leone struggled during much of the season, and was optioned to the minor leagues on two occasions. The 28-year old was left off the team’s playoff roster.

Right hander Woodford was the Cardinals No. 11 prospect according to The Cardinal Nation’s August rankings. Pitching a full season at Memphis in 2019, Woodford made 26 starts and logged an ERA of 4.15.  The 23-year old was the 39th overall pick in the 2015 draft.

Montero, 21, spent most of 2019 on the roster of the Double-A Springfield Cardinals, but played in only 59 games due to a broken hamate bone in his left hand.  In 2018, with the Class A Peoria Chiefs, he led the Midwest League in batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS and was the League MVP. He is TCN’s third-ranked prospect.

The 21-year old Seijas split time with Class A Peoria and Class A-Advanced Palm Beach in 2019, and finished the season with an ERA of 2.81. His ranking in the Cardinals system is no. 26.

For more information:

Cardinals Add Montero, Seijas and Woodford to 40-Man Roster, Remove Leone


Four ex-Cardinals on Hall of Fame ballot

The ballot for the 2020 class of the Baseball Hall of Fame was released this past Monday.  It includes four former Cardinals, including two who appear for the first time and one for the final time.  Shortstop Rafael Furcal and pitcher Brad Penny are first timers.  Appearing for the 10th and final year is outfielder Larry Walker.  The final Cardinals representative is third baseman Scott Rolen, back for a third time on the ballot.

Rolen received 17.2 percent of last year’s vote, up from 10.2 percent the previous year.  Rolen played for the Cardinals from 2002-2007 and was a contributor to the Cardinals 2006 World Championship season.  During his time in St. Louis, Rolen was named to four All-Star teams and won three Gold Glove Awards at third base.

Larry Walker (USA TODAY Sports Images)

St. Louis acquired Walker from the Colorado Rockies in a mid-season trade in 2004. With the team, he posted a slash line of .286/.387/.520 in 144 games over the 2004-2005 seasons.  Walker ended his 17-year MLB career with the Cardinals.

The Cardinals acquired Furcal from the Dodgers in 2011 in a mid-season deal.  The shortstop played in 50 regular season games in 2011 and won his first and only World Series Championship with St. Louis that October.  Furcal returned to the Cardinals for 2012 and was an All-Star.

Penny signed with the Cardinals as a free agent in the 2009-2010 offseason.  The right hander pitched in only nine games for the Cardinals in 2010, before suffering an oblique injury during a May at bat in which he hit his first career grand slam.  The injury ended his 2010 season and his time with St. Louis.

The voting by eligible members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will conclude on December 31, 2019.  The 2020 Hall of Fame class will be announced on January 21, 2020.  Players must receive at least 75 percent of the vote to be inducted into the Hall.

Full Hall of Fame ballot:

https://baseballhall.org/discover/2020-hall-of-fame-bbwaa-ballot


Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions 

  • 11/20 The Cardinals designated RHP Dominic Leone for assignment.
  • 11/20 The Cardinals selected the contract of 3B Elehuris Montero from the Springfield Cardinals.
  • 11/20 The Cardinals selected the contract of RHP Jake Woodford from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 11/20 The Cardinals selected the contract of RHP Alvaro Seijas from the Palm Beach Cardinals.

Injury Report

There are no new injuries to report.


Looking Ahead

Rosters have been finalized in preparation for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.  The Draft is scheduled for December 12, the final day of the Winter Meetings in San Diego.  The Cardinals added three players to the roster, RHP Jake Woodford, RHP Alvaro Seijas, and 3B Elehuris Montero.  The Cardinals designated RHP Dominic Leone for assignment to make room on the roster.  The roster is now full at 40 players.

It is possible further subtractions from the roster may occur prior to the Winter Meetings.  The non-tender deadline is December 2.  The Cardinals now have only one player, John Gant, who is arbitration eligible.  The likelihood of Gant being non-tendered is low but remains a possibility should the Cardinals feel a roster spot opening is necessary.  Other players on the 40 man roster could also be removed for this purpose.

The Winter Meetings are scheduled for December 9-12 in San Diego.


Blast from the Past

It is Baseball Hall of Fame season, the time of the year when the annual ballot is announced, and voting commences to choose the inductees for the 2020 class.  This week’s Blast from the Past takes a look at the career of former Cardinal third baseman Scott Rolen, who is making his third appearance on the ballot.

Scott Rolen (Getty Images)

Rolen was born on April 4, 1975 in Evansville, Indiana and was a three-sport athlete in high school.  Rolen excelled in baseball, basketball, and tennis, but committed to play basketball for the Georgia Bulldogs after high school.  Rolen was persuaded to abandon college basketball by a large bonus offer by the Philadelphia Phillies, the club that selected him in the second round of the 1993 draft.

Rolen made his major league debut with the Phillies on August 1, 1996.  He was named the National League Rookie of the Year the following season.  Despite six strong seasons with Philadelphia, including three Gold Glove Awards, Rolen did not get along with manager Larry Bowa and demanded a trade.  The Phillies obliged and sent Rolen to the Cardinals on July 29, 2002.  The Phillies received Doug Nickle, Placido Polanco, Mike Timlin, and Bud Smith in the trade.

The Cardinals signed Rolen to an eight-year, $90 million dollar contract later that year.  During Rolen’s time with St. Louis, he won three more Gold Gloves and was named to four All-Star teams.  His best season as a Cardinal was in 2004, where he posted a slash line of .314/.409/.598.

Rolen missed most of 2005 with a shoulder injury incurred in a collision with Dodgers first baseman Hee-Seop Choi on May 10.  Shoulder surgery ended his season. Rolen returned to the Cardinals in 2006 and contributed to that World Series Championship season.

His shoulder issues continued, however.  He went on the disabled list in August 2007 and had season ending surgery on September 11.  After a disagreement with manager Tony La Russa, he was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays for Troy Glaus on January 14, 2008.

Rolen continued to have injury issues during his time in Toronto.  On July 31, 2009 he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds.  Rolen played his final major league baseball season in Cincinnati in 2012.

Rolen continues to reside in Indiana, and on July 18, 2018 he was hired as Director of Player Development for Indiana University baseball.  He was inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame in August 2019.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Cardinals Increase 2019-2020 International Class to 32


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