Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Tag Archives: Shelby Miller

St Louis Cardinals, Spring Training 2014

A quick post to share player photos from our recent trip to sunny Jupiter, Florida – the Spring Training home of our beloved St. Louis Cardinals.  Photos (from the February 28th game against the Marlins and the March 2nd game against the Mets.)

Coming soon:  Photo diary with tips on how to be a baseball tourist in and around Jupiter Florida, Roger Dean stadium and the practice back fields.  (LINK HERE)

Click on any photo to enlarge and/or to shift through larger photos one at a time.  Enjoy!

Baseball is back!!  🙂

Winter Warm-Up, Day 2

Who is this guy and what did he do with Mitchell Boggs?

Today, Day 2 of the Cardinals Winter Warm Up, was a lot of fun hard work!

Yesterday, I figured out the system and broke in my sparkly new media pass.  Today, I put it to full use.

In between player interview opportunities, I branched out to explore more of the Warm-Up environment.  By staking out some hallways and talking to folks waiting for autographs, I met a slew of wonderful Cardinal fans who were willing to answer all kinds of questions about their Winter Warm-Up experiences.  (Be watching for the poll results in an upcoming post!) I also made an executive decision to postpone the transcribing of over 2 hours of player interview recordings from today in order to take lots and lots of photos – which was way more fun hard work.  😉

The media room was hopping with visits from a phenomenal sampling of Cardinal players and one Mr. Bill Dewitt, Jr.  Among those who stopped by:

  • J.C. Romero
  • Shelby Miller
  • Matt Adams
  • Brandon Dickson
  • Daniel Descalso
  • Mitchell Boggs
  • Jason Motte
  • John Jay
  • Jaime Garcia
  • Shane Robinson
  • Lance Berkman
  • and ….Matt Holliday

Some of the highlights/stand-out moments of the day (for me) included getting an introduction to our new pitcher, J.C. Romero, who made a wonderful first impression with his fun personality, making jokes about being “old” and doing a bang-up job of being a likeable character. Romero spoke honestly and openly about his desire to protect his reputation and to be a role model to kids.  He’s a long-time friend of Yadier Molina (Romero teased “He’s my boy.  I knew Yadi before all of you guys knew him.”) and made it a point to talk about his faith in God.

Stumbling upon a barely recognizable baby-faced Mitchell Boggs signing autographs for fans had me amused mid morning, as did the interviews with Jon Jay, Daniel Descalso, Jason Motte and Lance Berkman.

I was impressed by minor league pitching prospect Shelby Miller’s openly discussing how the suspension last season (alcohol related) helped him to realize his priorities and to make necessary changes in his life and “keep his head on his shoulders.”

Shane Robinson spoke to a small group of us, detailing his horrific outfield collision in a AAA ballgame last season and the recovery process involved, mentally and physically.  Shane also shared the exciting news that he and his wife are expecting their first child in May, grinning nervously as he spoke about being a new dad.

And of course there was Matt Holliday.  Matt spoke to a packed house of very determined journalists, so I knew my chances of getting in any questions were honestly hopeless.  So, I climbed up on my chair and balanced on my tiptoes to snap a dozen (or hundred) fairly gorgeous shots of the birthday boy. Yes, Matt Holliday spent the afternoon of his 32nd birthday with ME…. annnnd a small multitude of Cardinal fans. 😉

Okay, I’m keeping the post short tonight, because honestly? I’m exhausted – a good exhausted.  It’s time for bed so that I can wake up and do it all again tomorrow!  Winter Warm-Up, Day 3 – the last hurrah!

I leave you now with a slideshow of some of my favorite photos from today AND a promise to write more later!  =)

Sparks from the Farm: My Top 7 Cardinal Prospects List

In September, the UCB (United Cardinals Bloggers) combine their efforts once again, this time to determine the top 7 Cardinal prospects.  We were each invited to select our Top 7 candidates.

How does one rank a prospect?  Well, I am taking the liberty of using my female fan intuition (for the fellas, that would be “gut instinct”) along with whatever stats tend to back me up.  Honestly, my rankings favor the guys I’ve followed more closely, the guys in AA and AAA.  And granted, some of them earned bonus points for that elusive quality of “being more fun to watch” or having that extra spark of personality, but all are players I’ll be keeping an eye on over the coming years.  So, here are my top seven Baby Bird prospects.  (okay, I have 12. But really…  How was I supposed to pick just 7?!) 😉

Shelby Miller

#1- Shelby Miller.  So far Shelby’s arm has lived up to the hype surrounding the Cardinals’ 2009 first-round draft pick. Pitching in AA Springfield this season, Shelby earned a 9-3 record with a 2.7 ERA.  Miller made headlines in August when off-field drama resulted in a one-week suspension for his violating team policy in an alcohol-related incident, but Shelby shut the book on 2011 with an impressive 8 innings of shutout baseball and 9 strikeouts during his final appearance on September 2nd.

#2 – Matt Adams.  Matt played first base for AA Springfield this season, raking 32 homeruns with 101 RBI and ending 2011 batting .300 and slugging .566 with an OPS of .923 (stats compliments of baseball-reference.com.)  Matt snagged high honors too, voted Texas League Player of the Year for 2011. The question for 2012: Can Matt maintain that power in AAA and translate it into big league success?

#3 – Carlos Martinez:  Martinez, the highly anticipated right-hander from the Dominican Republic, signed with the Cardinals last Fall.  Still a teenager (he turns 20 this month), Martinez is a true flamethrower (mid to upper 90’s) with a curveball, slider and possibly a changeup (by some reports) to supplement his primary fastball .  The Cardinals are understandably drooling over the potential of this young arm.  Martinez started the 2011 season in A level ball in Quad Cities (2.33 ERA, 8 games) and was promoted to high-A Palm Beach (5.28 ERA, 10 games).

Tony Cruz

#4 – Tony Cruz.  Tony logged playing time in 34 Major League games this season, establishing a hold on the backup-backup catcher position.  However, Cruz’ versatility was also on display earlier in the season when he covered 1B, 2B, 3B and outfield as needed.  Plus Cruz did throw out a respectable 50% of base-stealers during his MLB service (small sample size alert.)  Versatility.  Strong, accurate arm.  Backup catcher batting .258? (.262 with 4 HR in AAA Memphis during 2011)  What’s not to like?

Brandon Dickson

#5 – Brandon Dickson.  Made his first Major League start on September 1 in Milwaukee and pitched into the 4th inning, striking out 3 but giving up 2 homeruns in an eventual Cardinal win against the Brewers (8-4).  Dickson has a strong resume in the farm system including a 2009 ERA (AA) of 3.78,  2010 ERA (AAA) of 3.23 and 2011 ERA (AAA) at 3.95.  He’s put in the time, showing consistency and effectiveness. I expect Dickson to be a solid contributor from the Cardinal bullpen in 2012.

#6– Matt Carpenter. You may remember, Matt had a brief (but lackluster) stint in St. Louis for a week in early June. However, Matt did hit .300 (OPS .880) with 12 HR and 70 RBI for Memphis this year.  Matt’s name continues to pop up in top prospect lists all over Cardinal Nation, and I’m giving him a spot in mine because 1) the baseball gurus believe in him and 2) I’m still curious to see what he’s got.  Granted, in the few games (small sample size alert) that I’ve been able to watch Matt firsthand, his bat wasn’t popping.  Maybe I’m bad luck?  Nah…. 😉

#7 – Zack Cox First round draft choice in 2010, Zack moved up from Palm Beach to AA Springfield this year where he ended the season batting .306 with 13 homeruns (A+ and AA combined).  Even those of us with intense loyalty to our current 3rd baseman cannot deny that Zack Cox has potential written all over him.

Honorable Mentions:  Because an even dozen is even better than just 7.

* Kolten Wong:  Highly touted 2011 first-round June draft pick.  Wong plays 2B and batted .335 with a .911 OPS for Quad Cities this year.  In a recent interview, Wong’s love for the game was not only obvious, but inspiring.  There’s nothing quite as wonderful as watching a ballplayer who truly ENJOYS being on the field and SAVORS the opportunity.

Adron Chambers

*Adron Chambers.  Cardinal Nation got their first glimpse of Chambers at Busch Stadium on September 6th when he made his Major League debut as a pinch runner. On September 9th, again pinch-running, Chambers tore into 2nd base in an aggressive slide, taking out Dan Uggla, in an admirable and bullish attempt to break up the double play. Chambers batted .277, playing centerfield for AAA Memphis this year and stole 22 bases.  If he can trim down his strikeouts and improve his OBP, Chambers could be an entertaining menace on the basepaths for the Cardinals.  Adron does get bonus points for his extreme likeability.  Whether you’ve met him in person or just heard reports of his character, you can’t help but cheer for Chambers.

*Maikel Cleto:  The remnant of our Brendan Ryan trade.  Thankfully, Cleto has some upside.  He can throw hard and FAST, reaching triple digits at times.  Cleto sped through the system this year, starting in Palm Beach (2.48 ERA), to AA Springfield (3.93 ERA) and then AAA Memphis (4.29 ERA).  Cleto was rushed to the Majors briefly in June (after injuries had depleted the Cardinal bullpen) with disappointing results but returned this month with a much better result:  4 batters faced, 1 hit, 2 Ks and no earned runs to close the 9th in the Cardinals 4-1 loss to Milwaukee. If Cleto continues to improve his command and control as well as develop his secondary pitches, he may be a valuable arm in the pen.

*John Gast:   Drafted in 2010, Gast moved from Palm Beach to Springfield this year with a 4.02 ERA. He impressed the Cardinals during his first Spring Training, earning the right to stick around far longer than most expected.  Praise for Gast’s killer pick-off move is hedged with worries about command. However this lefty hurler, who had TJ surgery out of highschool, remains an alluring prospect, especially for a team that values their LOOGYs.

*Heath Wyatt:  Drafted in June 2011, Wyatt pitched in relief for the Johnson City Cardinals (A), earned a 3-1 win/loss record as a reliever and a 3.24  ERA with a ratio of 30 strikeouts to 7 walks (25 innings).  Okay, okay…. None of that is important as the primary reason he’s on my list.  Heath’s a SUBMARINER – and that’s a guaranteed Gold Glove for “watchability” in my opinion.

Want to read more about the sparks in the Cardinal farm system?  Check out who made the Top 7 Prospect lists of the other UCB members here.

St. Louis Cardinals on Twitter

(note: please click “Twitter Guide” tab at top of page for most recent updates)

Here’s the thing:  Twitter is my baseball connection, and I am proud of my Twitter feed.  Breaking news?  Got it.  Cardinal lineups?  Got it.  Game photos?  Absolutely!  Links to MLB.com, Post-Dispatch and StL Today articles about the Cardinals?  Check!  News about all my babybirds?  yep!  Even twitpics of Jon Jay’s newest shoes!  … Plus baseball chatter from some of the best tweeps in Cardinal Nation!  I LOVE  my collection of Twitter follows.

With this week’s new Redbird Twitter arrivals, I figure it’s a good time to take stock and share the wealth.  So, here you go:  My List of the Cardinal Twitterverse

The links should be hot, so click to follow…. and if I’ve missed someone, please let me know!   Thanks!  😉

Cardinals

Manager: TonyLaRussa Tony La Russa – People Rescuing Animals…Animals Rescuing People

Left Fielder:  mattholliday7 matt holliday – (hasn’t tweeted since February 2010)

Outfielder jonjayU Jon Jay  – Official Twitter page of Jon Jay from the St. Louis Cardinals

Pitcher ESanchez52 Eduardo sanchez – St Louis cardinals baseball player

Cardinal Legends

OrlandoCepeda30 Orlando Cepeda – Official Twitter of Orlando Cepeda — former SF Giant & Hall of Fame 99′

STLWizard Ozzie Smith – St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Shortstop

 

AAA Memphis Redbirds

memphisredbirds Memphis Redbirds – The official Twitter feed of the Memphis Redbirds, Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals

Outfielder kingchambers_8 Adron

 

AA Springfield Cardinals

Sgf_Cardinals Springfield Cardinal – Official Twitter of the Springfield Cardinals. Double-A Affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Become a follower to get updates on Springfield Cardinal news.

Outfielder cswag8 Chris Swauger

 

Palm Beach Cardinals – A Advanced

PBCardinals Palm Beach Cardinals – The official Twitter account of the Palm Beach Cardinals, Class-A Advanced affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Game updates, player news, great deals and more

Pitcher JordanSwagerty Jordan Swagerty – Went to Arizona State now play for the St. Louis Cardinals. (edit 5/12/11 – Swagerty promoted from Quad Cities)

Pitcher ShelbyMiller19 Shelby C Miller – Texas born and raised, Brownwood, TX. Drafted by St. Louis in 2009. Born October 10, 1990. Follow my Career on here. God Bless you all!


Quad Cities River Bandits  – Class A

QCRiverBandits QC River Bandits – Single-A Affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals…Season opener April 7th @ Modern Woodmen Park! (563) 3-BANDIT

Catcher codystanley21 Cody Stanley – Being happy, main objective to life. Playing baseball makes me happy. I will continue



Front Office

CardsInsider St. Louis Cardinals – The official Twitter of the St. Louis Cardinals Front Office at Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri.

stlcardinals St. Louis Cardinals  – Official Twitter of the St. Louis Cardinals

jluhnow Jeff Luhnow – Vice President of Scouting and Player Development for St Louis Cardinals

Media/Scribes Covering the Cardinals

dgoold Derrick Goold – Baseball Writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Avid reader. Proud father. Lapsed cartoonist. Former World Record-holding second baseman. Look it up.

stlhensley Roger Hensley – Deputy Sports Editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

MatthewHLeach Matthew Leach – Cardinals beat reporter for MLB.com. Lots of tweets about the Cardinals and baseball, but also college football, music, and plenty more

JohnMarecek John Marecek – St. Louis sports talk show host on KTRS Radio

miklasz Bernie Miklasz – St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist

BJRains B.J. Rains – Cardinals beat writer for FOXSportsMidwest.com. My thoughts and comments are my personal opinion and in no way reflect the view or opinion of Fox Sports Midwest 

JoeStrauss Joe Strauss – Cardinals beat writer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Into pitching duels, hold ’em, cobalt Mustangs, betting the rail, O’Brycki’s and window seats

Covering the Baby Birds

Dustin_Mattison Dustin Mattison – Senior Minor League Writer-Scout.com

B_Walton Brian Walton – Operates TheCardinalNation.com on Scout.com, TheCardinalNationblog.com, writes for Mastersball.com and FOX Sports Midwest

jrocke217 Josh Jones – St. Louis Cardinals Fan, Run the Cardinals Best News Links Blogspot, Write Various Articles For The Cardinal Nation @scout.com, Follow Latin Baseball Happenings

Future_Redbirds Future Redbirds – Hyperventilating Prospect Geek Fraternity

 

For Cardinal Game Photos

scottrovak Scott Rovak – Photographing professionally over 28 years. I’m a photographer for the St. Louis Cardinals, Rams and StL Sports Magazine.

 

For Cardinal Blogs

Get links to all new posts from member blogs of the United Cardinal Bloggers

utdcardbloggers U. Cardinal Bloggers – The United Cardinal Bloggers is a group of writers that have come together in a network to complete writing projects about the St Louis Cardinals.

stlbaseballapp StL Baseball – I love everything Cardinal baseball! Check out my Cardinals iPhone app StL Baseball!


and of course, there’s us!  DiamondDiaries Diamond Diaries – Blogging about our #stlcards from the female side of the stands.

i70 Launch Day

There might not be a Cards game today, but we still have some exciting news for you. Today is the launch of i70baseball.com! The site focuses on both the Cardinals and Royals, will have a weekly radio show starting tonight, and is an affiliate of BaseballDigest.com.

Why are we so excited about this new project? Because Erika and I will be contributing to the site on a weekly basis! Erika will have her first piece up there tomorrow, but I have a couple links for you already:

All-Stars At The All-Star Break: A look at all five of the Cardinal All-Stars that are on their way to Anaheim right now and how they perform from the first to the second half.

Surprising Frustrations: The Cardinal Players Of The First Half: Checking on who’s been up and who’s been struggling so far this season. Don’t yell at me about which All-Stars made the ‘frustrating’ lists – read first, then argue! 🙂

The Cards finished off a series win against the Astros with a W yesterday. Blake Hawksworth had his fourth consecutive outing of 5 or more innings while allowing 3 runs or less. Matt Holliday continued his hot streak by blasting a 3 run home run, and Jon Jay is carrying an 11 game hitting streak through the break.

For those of you interested in the Futures All-Star game that was played yesterday evening, Shelby Miller (Team USA) and Eduardo Sanchez (Team World) both appeared and had flawless outings, facing a total of 5 batters, hitting 95 MPH on the gun and getting 5 groundballs. Somewhere, Dave Duncan has a huge smile on his face!

Tonight’s All-Star festivities include the Home Run Derby (Go Holliday!) and the Celebrity All-Star Game. It’s not Cardinal baseball, but at least we’ll see a few St. Louis hats out there tonight, and with any luck, Ozzie Smith will be there and playing!

Short post today, because we want you to head over to i70 Baseball and check out what is already going on over there. We’re excited about the new project and hope you enjoy it!

%d bloggers like this: