Manager Joe Kruzel on his 2014 Peoria Chiefs

The new skipper of the St. Louis Cardinals Class-A Midwest League affiliate discusses his team.

Just like their major league parent, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Peoria Chiefs alternated wins and losses over their first six games of the 2014 season. Like pretty much any baseball team, they have also dodged questionable early April weather.

After a year managing the Johnson City Cardinals, Joe Kruzel is the Chiefs' new leader for 2014. The long-time University of Toledo manager knows this turf well, as he spent five years as the Cardinals Midwest League hitting coach from 2008-2012.

Kruzel's initial roster includes a few holdovers from last season, but his team is primarily staffed from the 2013 playoff finals club from the New York-Penn League. He also brought three players up two levels with him from the Appalachian League.

In the following interview, "Kru" discusses his rotation, bullpen, position player rotation and lineup makeup, among other topics.


Coming soon: I am not done with my interviewing here, but in the near future, look for Alex Reyes and Nick Petree for sure along with others to be determined.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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