Brian Walton / The Cardinal Nation

Brian Walton’s St. Louis Cardinals news and notes from Yankee Stadium on Saturday, April 15, 2017.

On Jackie Robinson Day, the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals discusses what it means to him and raves about Jose Martinez’ approach as a hitter along with other news.

April 15 is always a special day across Major League Baseball, being Jackie Robinson Day. The fact that it falls on a Saturday this year and the St. Louis Cardinals are in New York, Robinson’s home as he broke the game’s color barrier, made it even more meaningful.

Of course, both teams wore #42 jerseys with no name, just as did Robinson starting in 1947.

I was told the Cardinals game-worn jerseys are committed through a corporate agreement to Mobil On the Run. If you are interested, look for an upcoming promotional announcement.

The manager’s remarks (paraphrased)

Mike Matheny opened with his reaction to the special day, calling it “a great celebration of the game”. The manager has a “high level of respect and admiration” for Robinson and noted it is “great the game acknowledges it – as they should”.

On Kevin Siegrist and questions about diminishing velocity: The lefty reliever is “starting a little slow”. The skipper will “continue to give him opportunities”. Siegrist “will find his rhythm” but is currently “struggling to make quality pitches”.

On Jose Martinez being a platoon possibility: “I like him in the lineup anytime.” “Against the closer (Aroldis Chapman) he had as good as any at-bat in years.” Not just a fastball hitter. Has success against others too. Just has quality at-bats. Ability to catch up to Chapman’s 103 mph is “rare territory”. He is a guy who “just hits”. Will get more opportunity.

On impact of Joe Girardi on his managing: Matheny talked with Joe and his wife as well. Opened the door for his wife Kristen to also speak with here. Subjects included jump from player to manager, staffing and situation things, as well as family considerations. The two managers “have a lot of common things in their lives”. Matheny said he “stole a lot (from Girardi) and made it my own.” Girardi and Joe Torre were two of his biggest influences along with Bruce Bochy. They gave him “priceless information”.

On Adam Wainwright’s recent in-game shift on the rubber: He does it to get more movement. Adapting to help his curve. Hard for hitters to pick up that late.

On plans to help hold runners on first better: “The staff is doing better.” The opponents have had “some good baserunners on”. He did note that Siegrist had been “too long” and they need to be “careful not to give a base late in the game”. Pitchers can help with head movements, holds and pick offs.

Other Cardinals news

As evidenced by the following tweet from Friday night, I am a fan of tall socks.

As a follow up, I took an up-close view of the Cardinals’ implementation. These are made by a company, Stance, which had its first success in the NBA and moved into baseball last season. Note they are customized for left and right feet.

Brian Walton / The Cardinal Nation

Yadier Molina’s son, who I would guess is seven or eight years old, is with the club and in uniform. About three hours before the game, the left-handed hitter was whacking balls all over the outfield with his Dad. He then sat patiently while the catcher conducted several interviews at his clubhouse stall. Later, around noon, Jonathan Broxton engaged the younger Molina in a game of catch.

Jonathan Broxton, Yadier Molina's son (Brian Walton / The Cardinal Nation)

Jedd Gyorko is getting Saturday’s start at second base. I asked him how many gloves he packs. The answer is three. The smallest he uses at both second and short. His third base glove is larger with the other being a first baseman’s mitt.  Makes sense.

This is it for now

I am ending my coverage from Yankee Stadium after two games so I can celebrate Easter Sunday with my family. May you and yours have a blessed holiday as well!

For more

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

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