Grapefruit League recaps
The following are recaps for games played during the third week of Spring Training. The Cardinals went 1-4-1 on the week to fall to 8-13-3 on the spring.
Marco Gonzales started for the Cardinals in place of Jaime Garcia and took the loss. Gonzales pitched two innings, giving up two runs on two hits. Following Gonzales was Miguel Socolovich, Tyler Lyons, Juan Gonzalez, Jonathan Broxton, Jordan Walden, and Seung-hwan Oh.
Kolten Wong scored the only run before the ninth inning, coming home on a Jedd Gyorko double. A ninth inning two-run home run off the bat of Jeremy Hazebaker brought the score to within one, but the Cardinals could not keep the rally going.
Tuesday, March 22----Off day
Carlos Martinez tossed the opening five innings for the Redbirds, allowing no runs on only two hits and striking out five. Matt Bowman, Trevor Rosenthal, Kevin Siegrist, and Jonathan Broxton finished out the contest. Rosenthal blew the save, but got the win.
Runs were driven in by new Cardinals shortstop Ruben Tejada, David Washington, and Brandon Moss. A one-run double by Tejada and Washington and a two-run double by Moss provided the scoring. Kolten Wong was 3-for-3 and Yadier Molina was 2-for-3.
Adam Wainwright did not have his best stuff for this start. The Cardinals ace gave up four runs on seven hits and was tagged with the loss. Succeeding Wainwright on the mound were Seth Maness, Dean Kiekhefer, Sam Tuivailala, and Seung-Hwan Oh.
The two St. Louis runs came via a first inning double by Tommy Pham off Nats starter Max Scherzer, scoring Kolten Wong and Stephen Piscotty. The Redbirds were shut down for the rest of the day, getting only three additional hits after Scherzer left the game in the sixth inning. Paul DeJong had the only other extra base hit in the game.
Michael Wacha made the start and pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on eight hits. Tyler Lyons, Juan Gonzalez and Miguel Socolovich followed. Socolovich blew the save, and the game ended in a tie.
A ninth inning, three-run rally started with a solo home run by Randal Grichuk, which put the Cardinals in the lead. An RBI double by Jedd Gyorko and a run scoring walk to Greg Garcia provided the two additional runs. Fourth and fifth inning runs were driven in by Matt Adams and Matt Carpenter. Ruben Tejada went 2-for-3.
A second bad loss to the Nationals this week. This was Mike Leake’s worst start of the spring, and the ugly defense provided by the Cardinals did not help. Leake tossed five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, including a fourth inning solo home run. Leake was assisted by Matt Bowman, who gave up the remaining three runs. Tim Cooney, Kevin Siegrist, and Jonathan Broxton stopped the bleeding.
There was no offense to speak of, though the Cardinals managed seven hits, one a double by Kolten Wong, they could not bring any runs across the plate.
The defense was atrocious, as the Cardinals committed five errors. Collectively, this was the team’s worst effort of the spring.
Jaime Garcia made the start. In five innings pitched, Garcia gave up two runs on two hits, with four strikeouts. Sam Tuivailala relieved Garcia, gave up two additional runs, and took the loss. Relief was also provided by Seung-Hwan Oh and Trevor Rosenthal.
The Cardinals only runs came via a two-run home run off the bat of Tommy Pham. Pham also singled to go 2-for-4 on the day. Brayan Pena and Greg Garcia were both 2-for-3.
Oquendo takes medical leave of absence
Cardinals’ third base coach Jose Oquendo is taking a medical leave of absence for an indeterminate time, perhaps the entire 2016 season, due to off season knee surgery. Oquendo was to begin his 17th season as a coach for the Cardinals.
First base coach Chris Maloney will take over at third base, and asssistant hitting coach Bill Mueller will become the first base coach. Minor league hitting coordinator Derrick May has been promoted to take over the assistant hitting coach position.
Spring Training roster cuts
The Cardinals cut six players from the Spring Training roster on Sunday, March 27. The six are LHPs pitchers Tim Cooney and Dean Kiekehfer, RHPs Miguel Socolovich and Sam Tuivailala, first baseman David Washington, and catcher Michael Ohlman.
Cooney, Kiekhefer, Socolovich, Tuivailala, and Ohlman were optioned to Memphis. David Washington was sent to minor league camp.
The Spring Training roster is down to 34 players.
Former Cardinals player and broadcaster Joe Garagiola passes away
Joe Garagiola, former Cardinals catcher, long time broadcaster, and television personality, has passed away at the age of 90. Garagiola was a St. Louis native of The Hill neighborhood along with boyhood friend Yogi Berra, a Hall of Fame catcher for the Yankees.
Garagiola spent four full seasons and one partial season as a catcher for the Cardinals, from 1946-1951 before being traded by the Cardinals to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates traded Garagiola to the Cubs in 1953, and the catcher ended his career in 1954 with the New York Giants, after having been picked up on waivers.
Garagiola began his baseball broadcasting career in 1955, calling Cardinals game on KMOX. He began doing national broadcasts for NBC in 1961 and switched to broadcasting Yankees game from 1965 to 1967. Garagiola returned to NBC, starting with a pre-game show, called “The Baseball World of Joe Garagiola”. He then began doing play by play announcing in 1974, alternating duties with Curt Gowdy until 1976, when he assumed a full time role. In 1983 he changed to color commentary alongside Vin Scully. Garagiola and Scully broadcast the World Series games of 1984, 1986 and 1988, three NLCS series in 1983, 1985 and 1987, and three All Star Games in 1983, 1985 and 1987.
After leaving NBC, Garagiola spent one season (1990) calling games for the California Angels and from 1998 to 2012 he did part time color duties for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He retired from broadcasting in February 2013.
In addition to broadcasting baseball, Garagiola appeared on The Today Show from 1967 to 1973 and guest hosted The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
Garagiola’s son, Joe Garagiola, Jr. was the General Manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks and is currently the Senior Vice President for Baseball Operations for Major League Baseball.
Garagiola is survived by his wife, Audrie, and sons Joe Jr, and Steve, and daughter, Gina.
News and Notes from Spring Training
Reliever Mitch Harris will begin the season on the disabled list, dealing with nerve compression in his right shoulder. Harris will refrain from throwing for two weeks.
LHP Tim Cooney made an appearance in Saturday’s game after sitting out much of Spring Training with shoulder soreness. Cooney will begin the season in Memphis to be available as needed by the big league club.
Minor league hurler Luke Weaver suffered a fractured wrist on his glove hand in a collision in the outfield during a workout. Weaver is expected to miss about a month.
Yadier Molina is on track to start behind the plate on Opening Day. Molina underwent two surgeries on his left thumb during the winter, and his availability for Opening Day was in question. In an interview on the FSM broadcast on Saturday, GM John Mozeliak expressed pleasure with Molina’s progress in coming back from the surgery.
Reliever Seth Maness has expressed a desire for additional innings and has been given additional work in minor league games on the backfields in Jupiter.
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.
The Cardinals optioned Tim Cooney, Dean Kiekhefer, Miguel Socolovich, Sam Tuivialala and Michael Ohlman to Memphis Redbirds and reassigned first baseman/outfielder David Washington to minor league camp.
Kolten Wong suffered a left knee contusion during a diving play at second base in Saturday’s game. Wong was removed as a precaution and is listed as day to day.
Jordan Walden (right forearm) suffered a setback in his rehab and has been shelved for a couple of days. Walden complained of a “knot” around his right shoulder area and the setback has made his status for the opening day roster questionable. Walden is expected to pitch again on Monday, March 28.
Luke Weaver fractured his left wrist during a minor league workout and is expected to be sidelined for at least a month.
The final week of Grapefruit League play begins on Monday, March 28 with a game against the Mets in Jupiter. Carlos Martinez is scheduled to make the Monday start. The Redbirds play the Nationals on Tuesday, with Adam Wainwright getting the start, and the Marlins on Wednesday, the final game in Jupiter, with Michael Wacha starting. The Cardinals finish Grapefruit League play on Thursday, March 31, with a game against a split squad Yankees team in Tampa. The Cardinals starter for that game is yet to be announced.
From Tampa, the team travels to Pittsburgh to prepare for Sunday’s regular-season opener.
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