Matt Carpenter (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports Images)

A recap of St. Louis Cardinals-related news from the period of February 27-March 5, 2017.

Last week’s St. Louis Cardinals news includes a 6-1-1 mark in spring training games, injury updates, World Baseball Classic plans, Hall of Fame voting and more.

Spring Training game recaps

 

Monday, February 27 - Cardinals 7 at Red Sox 2 (split squad)

The St. Louis Cardinals soundly defeated the Boston Red Sox in a split squad twin bill in Fort Meyers.  Two home runs by potential fourth outfielder Jose Martinez provided four of the seven runs.  Martinez manned first base in this game.  A two run RBI single by Anthony Garcia and an RBI single by Carson Kelly rounded out the run production.

Starter Michael Wacha pitched two innings and allowed one run on four hits.  Wacha was followed by Jordan Schafer, Daniel Poncedeleon, Arturo Reyes, and Miguel Socolovich.  Socolovich allowed the only other Red Sox run.

 

Monday, February 27 - Cardinals 5, Nationals 4 (split squad)

Back at home in Jupiter, the Cardinals took on the Nationals in the second split squad game.  This one was closer.  Starter Lance Lynn pitched two innings, allowing one run on four hits.  Trevor Rosenthal, Jack Flaherty, Ryan Sheriff, Trey Nielsen, and Sam Tuivailala finished the mound duties. Flaherty surrendered two runs on four hits and Nielsen yielded one run.

Outfielder Nick Martini, playing in right as the replacement for starter Tommy Pham, drove in three of the Cardinals’ five runs on an eighth inning double.  Luke Voit provided another eighth inning tally with a solo home run.  The first run of the game scored in the fourth on a sac fly by Jhonny Peralta.

 

Tuesday, February 28 - Cardinals 0 at Braves 2

The Cardinals were shut out by the Braves in Kissimmee.  The offense scattered seven hits but couldn’t get a run across the plate.  Magneuris Sierra led the way with three hits in four at bats.  Patrick Wisdom had the only extra base hit, a double.  There were outs made on the base paths, as Kolten Wong was caught stealing and picked off second base, and Sierra was picked off first.

Mike Leake pitched three perfect innings, fanning three.  Robby Rowland, Rowan Wick, Josh Lucas, and Junior Fernandez worked in relief.  Rowland gave up the two Braves runs on three hits.

 

Wednesday, March 1 - Cardinals 6, Mets 1

A four RBI day by Randal Grichuk led the Cardinals to a victory over the Mets.  Grichuk blasted a three-run home run in the third inning, after doubling in a run in the second.  Two additional runs scored on a fielding error in the third that sent Dexter Fowler and Aledmys Diaz across the plate on a ball in play off the bat of Yadier Molina.

Starter Carlos Martinez pitched three solid innings, allowing only one hit and no runs.  Brett Cecil, Jonathan Broxton, Jake Woodford, John Gant, Luke Weaver, and Austin Gomber followed.  Gomber allowed the only Mets run on a solo home run in the ninth.

 

Thursday, March 2 - Cardinals 9, Braves 4

Adam Wainwright made his first start of the spring and gave up three runs in the first inning on two home runs, but finished strong with a clean second inning.  Matt Bowman followed, then came in succession Sandy Alcantara, Mike Mayers, Jordan Schafer, Zach Phillips, and Sam Tuivailala. Phillips allowed the only other Braves run.

The long ball served the Cardinals well, as Matt Adams hit a solo home run in the second inning.  Paul DeJong blasted a three-run shot in the sixth, and Anthony Garcia hit a solo blast in the eighth.  Dexter Fowler plated a run on a sac fly, Jedd Gyorko drove in Yadier Molina on a double, and Carson Kelly’s RBI single scored two.

 

Friday, March 3 - Cardinals 2 at Nationals 1 (10 innings)

The Redbirds defeated a split squad Nationals club at their new facility in West Palm Beach. It was a low scoring extra inning contest in which runs were driven in by Tommy Pham on a ground out in the third inning, and the winning run crossed the plate in the 10th on a single by Alberto Rosario.

Michael Wacha made his second start, pitching three scoreless innings and allowing three hits while fanning two and walking one.  Trey Nielsen, Trevor Rosenthal, Jack Flaherty, Daniel Poncedeleon, Ryan Sherriff, and Miguel Socolovich worked in relief.  Rosenthal was charged with a blown save, and Socolovich got the win.

 

Saturday, March 4 - Cardinals 1, Nationals 1

The first tie of the spring came Saturday against the Nationals at home in Jupiter.  Lance Lynn made the start, and surrendered the lone run for the Nationals on two hits in four innings pitched.  Jonathan Broxton, Arturo Reyes, Rowan Wick, and Josh Lucas followed with the remaining five clean innings. The Nationals were held to three hits.

The Cardinals scored one run on four hits, led by a ninth inning solo home run by Patrick Wisdom.  Randal Grichuk and Magneuris Sierra each doubled and Jedd Gyorko singled. 

The Cardinals’ defense committed two errors, a throwing miscue by Wisdom, and a poor pickoff throw by Lynn.

 

Sunday, March 5 - Cardinals 14 at Mets 11

It was slug fest in Port St. Lucie as the Cardinals socked 18 hits on the way to 14 runs to defeat the Mets.  Mike Leake started, pitching four innings and giving up three runs on six hits.  Zach Phillips and Austin Gomber followed, with Phillips surrendering an additional run.  Brett Cecil relieved in the seventh, and the wheels came off the bus for the lefty.  Cecil allowed six Mets runs on four hits, including a three-run home run.  Cecil did not record an out, and was replaced by Sam Tuivailala, who struck out the side to end the long inning.  Tuivailala returned for the eighth, but didn’t fare as well, as he quickly loaded the bases with no outs.  The righty retired the next three, however, to get out of the inning, with all six of his outs recorded via the strikeout.  Matt Bowman closed the ninth, giving up one run on two hits.

The Redbirds offense was busy.  Jose Martinez hit a three -run bomb in the second inning to give the Cardinals the lead.  Aledmys Diaz added an RBI single in the second.  A triple by Harrison Bader in the third cleared the bases for three runs.  Greg Garcia singled in a run in the fifth, followed by another RBI single by Bader.  In the top of the sixth, Patrick Wisdom hit a solo home run, and Garcia drove in another score on a ground rule double.  A solo home run in the eighth by Anthony Garcia topped off the Cardinals scoring.

 

Back issues sideline Carpenter from WBC

Matt Carpenter, who has been out since Wednesday with a stiff back, withdrew from the World Baseball Classic, which starts this week.  Carpenter feared continued tightness would seep into an oblique injury, a malady he encountered last July (see photo above).

http://www.scout.com/player/133107-matt-carpenter?s=321

Carpenter expressed disappointment that he won’t be able to participate for Team USA, as this would have been the infielder’s first appearance in the tournament.  Giving up his spot now prevents him from joining the team in later rounds. He was replaced on Team USA by Josh Harrison of the Pirates.

The Cardinals and Carpenter don’t believe the setback will affect his readiness for Opening Day.  He will resume swinging the bat sometime in the coming week and hopes to return to games within a week.  Carpenter has been able to continue with defensive work.

 

Wainwright makes kind gesture to a teammate

Veteran pitcher Adam Wainwright noticed that teammate and non-roster relief pitcher Ryan Sherriff was walking daily to and from the Spring Training facility, about 10 minutes from Sherriff’s rented condo.  It was unusual for players to walk to work, most renting cars or carpooling with teammates.  Wainwright passed Sherriff on his walk on three consecutive days, and approached Sherriff about it.  Wainwright offered Sherriff a bike or a car, which he declined.

http://www.scout.com/player/68830-adam-wainwright?s=321

Sherriff soon received a call from a member of the Cardinals’ equipment staff, who asked him for a copy of his driver’s license.  Sherriff thought someone was planning to play a prank on him.  To his surprise there was no prank, but what followed was a rented Nissan Altima parked at the complex with his name on it.  Wainwright had rented the car and paid the cost as a gesture to Sherriff.  Wainwright noted that he had received a gesture of kindness from former teammate Mark Mulder earlier in his (Wainwright’s) career.  Mulder purchased some shirts for Wainwright after he noticed Wainwright was wearing some worn out shirts to work.  For Wainwright, the gesture to Sherriff was a “pay it forward” moment.

http://www.scout.com/player/158032-ryan-sherriff?s=321

For his part, Sherriff was very grateful, and to show his gratitude he did some digging and found out Wainwright’s favorite things were Chick-fil-A, sweet tea, and barbeque.  Sherriff went to a local grocer and bought Wainwright a gallon of sweet tea and a bottle of A-1 steak sauce, which Sherriff mistook for barbeque sauce.  Sherriff also purchased a gift card for Chick-fil-A, and put all three items in Wainwright’s locker as a thank you.

Wainwright was much appreciative of the gesture and said it was the best thank you gift he had ever received.

 

Cardinals Hall of Fame voting open

Seven Modern Era players were revealed on Friday as finalists for the Cardinals Hall of Fame class for the coming season.  The ballot is available online at www.cardinals.com/HOF for fans to vote.  Voting will continue through April 14 and the HOF class will be announced on April 28.  The induction ceremony will take place on August 26.

The seven players on the ballot are:  Steve Carlton, Keith Hernandez, Jason Isringhausen, Scott Rolen, Mark McGwire, Tim McCarver, and Edgar Renteria.  The top two players of this group who receive the most votes will be in this season’s Hall of Fame class.  The seven players were chosen by a panel of experts earlier in the year.

Along with the two Modern Era inductees, the Cardinals will select a veteran player who retired more than 40 years ago, as chosen by the Red Ribbon Committee.  The organization can also choose to add an important figure in Cardinals history to the class.

 

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

 

Transactions

21 Cardinals zero-to-three year players not already under contract for 2017 agreed to terms on one-year deals. They are C Carson Kelly; INFs Eliezer Alvarez, Greg Garcia, Edmundo Sosa and Breyvic Valera; OFs Anthony Garcia, Randal Grichuk, Jose Martinez, Tommy Pham, Stephen Piscotty and Magneuris Sierra; RHPs Matt Bowman, John Gant, Mike Mayers, Alex Reyes, Miguel Socolovich, Sam Tuivailala, Luke Weaver and Rowan Wick; and LHPs Marco Gonzales and Tyler Lyons.

 

Injury Report

Matt Carpenter (back soreness) has withdrawn from the World Baseball Classic due to continuing back tightness.  Carpenter has not played in a spring game since Wednesday.

RHP Trevor Rosenthal was scratched from his Monday, March 6 start due to lat muscle soreness.

http://www.scout.com/player/133929-trevor-rosenthal?s=321

RHP Luke Weaver left Wednesday’s game with back spasms. The move was precautionary. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Monday.

 

Looking Ahead

The first full week of spring games began on Monday February 27.  The second week begins on March 6 with the Cardinals taking on the Twins in Fort Myers.  John Gant will get the start.  Adam Wainwright will start on Tuesday at home against the Marlins.  The Cardinals play the Nationals at home on Wednesday, followed by the Astros at home on Thursday. On Friday, St. Louis travels the short distance to West Palm Beach to take on the Nationals, then come home on Saturday to play the Braves.  Sunday’s game will be against the Marlins with the Cardinals as the visiting team.

http://www.scout.com/player/181552-john-gant?s=321

The full Spring Training schedule can be found here.  The updated spring game broadcasting schedule can be found here, at the TCN blog.

The beginning round of the World Baseball Classic opens on Monday, with Israel taking on Korea in Seoul, South Korea.  Cardinals reliever Seung Hwan Oh is participating for Team Korea.  Reliever Corey Baker is participating for Team Israel.  Reliever Ryan Sherriff was ticketed to participate for Israel but was not to be active in the first round and decided to withdraw to remain in camp.  Additional Cardinals who are participating are Yadier Molina for Team Puerto Rico, and Carlos Martinez and Alberto Rosario for Team Dominican Republic.  Matt Carpenter had to withdraw from the USA team due to back soreness and Alex Reyes (Tommy John surgery) could not participate for the DR, but Brett Cecil will pitch for the USA.  Trey Nielsen is on the pitching staff of Team Italy.

Information about the tournament, including the schedule and pools, can be found at www.worldbaseballclassic.com.

Opening Day is scheduled for Sunday, April 2.  The Cardinals will play the Cubs at 7:30 pm on Sunday night, a game that will be televised on ESPN.  The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.

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