Shortly after, his New York-Penn League club went on a final-month tear, winning 19 of 21 to pull to within one-game of a wild card playoff berth. However, the 44-32 short-season Class-A club could not make the final step, losing its final three games.
That ended the St. Louis Cardinals' relationship with the Muckdogs, as well. Shortly after the season ended, the organization made a decision to return its short-season Class-A league affiliate arrangement to State College, PA. The Muckdogs will be a Miami Marlins farm club in 2013-14.
It is also the time of year for staffing changes. Managers like Bilardello and their coaches await offers of assignments and contracts for the coming season.
At Cardinals instructional camp in Jupiter, Fla., I spoke with Bilardello about his club's finish, key players, the time in Batavia as well as the facilities and expectations in State College.
Link to earlier interviews in this series:
Cardinals minor league pitching coordinator Brent Strom
Cardinals minor league hitting coordinator Derrick May
What's coming next? Other exclusive interviews ahead in this series include Moises Rodriguez, Mike Shildt, Oliver Marmol, Charlie Tilson, James Ramsey, Carson Kelly, Steve Bean and Patrick Wisdom.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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