Tag Archive | "Trade Rumors"

The Winter Meetings were pretty quiet for the Royals

Each year, officials from the 30 Major League teams come together for the Winter Meetings to make deals via trades or free agent signings. Of course trades and free agent signings happen all year, but some important deals happen during the Winter Meetings. Some teams make a big splash, some teams just show up.

The Royals didn’t made a splash as of Wednesday night. They have two needs; starting pitching and a utility infielder. Starting pitching is more important to the Royals and there’s plenty of rumors about the starting pitchers the team has interest in via a trade or free agency.

The way it looks now, the Royals prefer to sign a starting pitcher via free agency. Zack Greinke is out of the question, but the Royals top target is Anibal Sanchez, who could be looking for a six-year deal at almost $100MM dollars. That’s way out of the Royals price range, but it’s more likely Sanchez will get a four-year deal and if the money is right, Sanchez might be a Royal. Sanchez isn’t an ace like Greinke, but he would bolster the Royals rotation.

Wednesday, the Royals made a two-year, $26MM offer to starter Ryan Dempster, but he’s looking for a three-year, $39MM deal and there are rumblings the Cubs, Brewers and Red Sox have interest in Dempster.

In other rumors, free agent starters the Royals are looking at are Shaun Marcum and Brandon McCarthy. Both starters had some health issues in the past, but could be intriguing choices if the price and years are right.

As for the trade route, there’s a few starters the Royals have interest in. The Wil Myers/John Lester trade rumors are cooling off, but the Royals still have interest in Rays starters James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson. For a while, there was talk of a Myers/R.A. Dickey trade, but the Royals quickly dismissed it. Yes, Dickey won the Cy Young Award this year and he’s a 20 game winner, but he’s 38 and Myers is 22. If Dickey was younger, it might be a better trade. Astros starter Bud Norris is another pitcher the Royals are looking at, who will be free agent in 2016. And the Royals have interest in Rangers starter Derek Holland, who’s a free agent in 2017.

Whatever the Royals decide, they’re not in a hurry to find the “right” starting pitcher. It could be after the Winter Meetings before the Royals make a deal.

The Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners have some interest in designated hitter Billy Butler, but there’s nothing concrete. Besides Felix Hernandez, the Mariners don’t have a Major League ready pitcher the Royals are looking for. Baltimore has some good pitching prospects and young Major League starters, but the Royals want a more established starter to lead the rotation in 2013.

There’s even talk the Royals are willing to trade Chris Getz and the St. Louis Cardinals might be interested in Getz as a utility infielder. Hey, aren’t the Royals looking for a utility infielder? Oh, wait, the Royals consider Getz a starting infielder.

With the flux of the Winter Meetings, this article might be invalid by the time it’s posted. As I write this, Twitter is buzzing about a potential Myers/Shields trade. Some Royals fans say yes, some say no, and some say heck no. Whatever happens, the Royals are getting a starting pitcher. Who that will be and when it happens is hard to say.

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Will the Royals be buyers, sellers, or window shoppers?

So far, 2012 is a disappointing season for the Kansas City Royals. Marred by injuries, a mediocre at best starting rotation and the sophomore slump of first baseman Eric Hosmer, the Royals are 37-47 and 9.5 games behind the Chicago White Sox. In an uphill struggle, the Royals are stuck in neutral and rolling back down the hill.

The Royals are getting outfielder Lorenzo Cain and infielder Chris Getz back from the disabled list. But Cain and Getz will not provide the dramatic turnaround the team needs to contend in a weak American League Central. What the Royals need is to get players via trades. But how the Royals play the next couple of weeks will determine if the Royals are buyers, sellers or window shoppers.

Buyers: If the Royals go 2-8 in the next ten games like they did in the previous ten games, they won’t be buyers until the off-season. And unless General Dayton Moore is willing to give up top prospects for starting pitching, the Royals won’t be buyers. Yes, it would be nice to think the Royals would have a chance with a Matt Garza, Cole Hamels or Zack Greinke. But at 9.5 games out and Moore’s aversion to trading prized prospects, this is a pipe dream. And would Moore trade for a front-line starter even if the Royals were in a tight A.L. Central race? I get the feeling he would say “trust the process,” and stand pat.

If the Royals go on a 8-2 run and play well the rest of the month, they might go for a Shaun Marcum, Jeremy Guthrie or Jason Vargas. But it’s likely the Royals will wait until the off-season to get a starting pitcher through free agency or a trade.

Sellers: This is the likely scenario for the Royals, a path the team has traveled too many times. The trade rumors for closer Jonathan Broxton are warming up and the trade rumors of outfielder Jeff Franceour will intensify as the trade deadline approaches.

In Broxton’s case, teams like the New York Mets need bullpen help and he might fit the bill. I wonder if the Mets would trade starter R.A. Dickey straight up Broxton? It’s doubtful, but it would be cool for the Royals to have a Dickey on the team. If the Mets aren’t interested, perhaps another team will show interest in Broxton.

Another player likely to be traded is Franceour, but don’t underestimate the love Moore has for Frenchy. Franceour’s defense is above average, but his offense has slipped from his numbers last year. And if you think we’re getting top tier prospects for Franceour, keep dreaming. But some low to mid-level prospects or a league replacement level player or two would be a fair trade.

Last month, I wrote an argument for keeping Franceour. But Wil Myers is close to Major League ready and if some other general manager gets the love jones Moore has for Franceour and gives up good players, the Royals have to trade him.

Then there’s outside trade candidates like infielder Yuni Betanourt and starter Bruce Chen. Yes, I said Yuni. Offensively, he had a great June and if Betancourt keeps it up, some team desperate for a utility infielder with some pop might be willing to trade. If that’s the case, Yuni needs to go.

As for Chen, he’s a dependable pitcher who can help out a contending team. The Royals shouldn’t give Chen away, but if the team can get some value, he needs to be traded. Chen’s exit would make way for Jake Odorizzi to join the Royals rotation and get a jump on 2013.

Window shoppers: This is an unlikely scenario, but it’s possible. The Royals wouldn’t get anyone in a trade and keep Broxton, Franceour, Chen and Betancourt. The team would shuttle starters like Nathan Adcock and Everett Teaford back and forth between Kansas City and Omaha. They might call up Myers and Odorizzi and whomever they replace will go to the bench, to AAA Omaha or be designated for assignment.

This scenario could happen if the Royals keep playing like they are or if the team doesn’t get the players they want via trades. They would play out the season and wait for 2013.

The reality is the second half of the 2012 season is shaping up like the second half of previous seasons. Middling to mediocre baseball, young players finding or losing their way in the Majors and a few bright spots in an otherwise dull campaign.

Will this ever change? I hope it does. I was heartened by the cheers fans gave Billy Butler during the All-Star Game. And when fans booed Yankees infielder Robinson Cano for not including Butler in the Home Run Derby, it showed fans still care for the Royals and they desperately want the team to win. Let’s hope the enthusiasm the fans had for Butler will carry over to the rest of the team. But the Royals have to play better baseball if they want to salvage the 2012 season.

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Naturals Provide Hot Stove Report

DALLAS, TX – A few former Northwest Arkansas Naturals have spent the past couple weeks seeing their names bandied about in trade rumors as respect for the job Royals’ GM Dayton Moore and his key front office executives have done building the farm system gets noticed across baseball.

Naturals’ outfielder Wil Myers has been thrown around in more than a few of those rumors. Earlier this fall, several different sources had him being of interest to the Atlanta Braves, who were attempting to interest the Royals in starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens and infielder/outfielder Martin Prado. In Dallas, it was rumored that the Oakland Athletics were placing talented southpaw Gio Gonzalez on the block, with Myers one of a couple of players that might interest the A’s should they hook up with the Royals on a trade.

“I’d like to keep Wil Myers‘ name out of the paper as much as possible,” Moore told Dick Kaegel of MLB.com. “Wil Myers is a young, talented player. He had a tremendous Arizona Fall League. We live with him every day. We love him and he’s a big part of our future. But he’s a Double-A player. He’s going to produce at his own natural rate. We’re not going to put unrealistic expectations on him. What other cliche do you want?”

In the end, nothing took place on either front, as KC would prefer to hold onto Myers, who finished a stellar stint in the Arizona Fall League, batting .360 with a .481 on-base percentage. The Kansas City Star reported that one reason for holding off on exchanging prospects for major league pieces, particularly a young southpaw like Gonzalez, was that the Royals wanted to see how their own young left-handers – all current or former Naturals like Chris Dwyer, Mike Montgomery, Danny Duffy, and Will Smith, continued to develop. They also have Naturals’ lefty John Lamb, arguably the most talented of them all, recovering from Tommy John surgery.

The Royals are hopeful Lamb will be able to return to action mid-season, and that he and the rest of the quintet of southpaw prospects proves the pitching depth Kansas City appeared to have prior to the 2011 season is very much intact.

Another rumor had the Toronto Blue Jays interested in emerging Royals’ fireman Greg Holland, a former Natural from the 2009 bullpen. Holland has drawn interest from other teams as well, but before the Winter Meetings began, the Blue Jays had been rumored to be dangling former Cardinal outfielder Colby Rasmus for him. There was another rumor that had the Rays discussing Naturals’ infielder Christian Colon possibly in a package for Tampa Bay starter James Shields.

On the lobby floor of the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, it can be very difficult to separate fact from fiction, especially given that with so many baseball people talking to one another and so many media people around, some of the fiction invariably ends up airing on TV and appearing on the internet. But one thing appears clear – most of baseball has respect for the direction the Royals appear to be headed. Those former Naturals are just going to have to get used to the rumor mill.

“A lot of people have a lot of interest in our young guys, and that’s good,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “That’s really good. We like them and think they’re going to be good players and help us win a championship, so we’ve got to be especially smart in the moves we make now.”

The old baseball saying is, sometimes the best trade is the trade you don’t make.

“We’re in really good shape,” Yost said, “because Dayton and our scouting people and player development have worked really hard to build this organization to where it is now. And to dismantle it [by trading] some of these young players really doesn’t make sense at this time.”
Naturals/Texas League Notes

Rule 5 Draft: The Royals took left-handed pitcher Cesar Cabral in the Major League phase and immediately dealt him to the Yankees for cash. In the Triple-A phase, they selected left-hander Thomas Melgarejo from the Dodgers’ organization. Melgarejo could be a candidate to see time with the Naturals in 2012. The Royals lost no players in the Draft, in either phase.

Winter League Report

Several other current and former Naturals are honing their craft this off-season playing in various winter leagues that span the globe.

Puerto Rico: Rey Navarro (Crillos de Caguas) had a three-hit game on Saturday but still has underwhelming overall numbers, sitting at .167 with a homer and eight RBI’s… Irving Falu (Indios de Mayaguez) has an eight-game hit streak intact through Thursday, with two multi-hit efforts. He’s now batting a cool .308 this winter…Angel Sanchez, teammates with Falu in Mayaguez, has six hits in his last two games to lift his average to .279…Mario Santiago, having completed a stint in the Dominican Republic that saw him go 2-0 with a 2.62 ERA in nine appearances for Tigres del Licey, now has re-located back to his native Puerto Rico and joined his usual club, the Gigantes de Carolina. He made his first start for them on Tuesday night, going seven innings and allowing just one run.

Venezuela: Mario Lisson (Navegantes de Magallanes) has been getting increasingly more playing time, and both he and his team have been to the benefit, as he’s lifted his average to .270 with five homers and 16 runs batted in. He’s even seen spot duty in right field… Ernesto Mejia (Aguilas del Zulia) homered on Thursday for his seventh home run of the winter league season, part of a 2-for-4 effort that included three RBI’s. He’s now hitting .275 with 34 RBI’s which leads the team…Manny Pina (Bravos de Margarita) sees mainly defensive duty only for the Bravos, and he has just one hit in his last seven games.

Dominican Republic: Manauris Baez (Estrellas de Oriente) allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings with five strikeouts in his most recent start on Sunday… Willy Lebronwas sidelined after leaving a game with an arm injury on November 6th but returned on November 23rd, pitching a third of an inning, where he allowed two runs. He’s been sidelined since… Kelvin Herrera (Leones del Escogido) completed his stint in winter ball after 12 outings, having allowed just one earned run and fanning 15 while walking four in 17 1/3 innings pitched…He was teammates with Everett Teaford, who finished his winter league season with five starts, during which he went 1-1 with a 3.04 ERA, striking out 29 batters and walking only three in 23 2/3 innings. Elisaul Pimentel (Leones del Escogido) has gotten more work of late, with four appearances since Thanksgiving, giving him six on the year all in relief. Pimentel has fanned 11 in ten innings and has a 2.70 ERA…Naturals’ southpaw Andrew Dobies (Toros del Este) has allowed four runs in four appearances thus far…

Mexico: Federico Castaneda (Tomateros de Culiacan) allowed a pair of runs in his most recent outing which came on Tuesday. He has a 6.23 ERA and a 1-2 record over 20 outings…new acquisition Thomas Melgarejo (Aguilas de Mexicali) has been dominating, striking out 12 and allowing just five hits in 10 2/3 innings over 18 appearances.

These teams and respective leagues will play the round-robin Caribbean Series which takes place in February just before early reports for Major League Spring Training.

Transaction log: Several other Texas League teams saw talent plucked in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft– the Travelers lost first baseman Gabe Jacobo (selected by Toronto), reliever Barrett Browning (selected by St. Louis), and two infielders on their roster, Michael Wing and Ricky Alvarez who played with lower level clubs in 2011 but were likely members of their 2012 club. San Antonio had a lefty reliever, Aaron Poreda, snared by the Pirates and Midland lost left-hander Fabian Williamson to the Rangers. Springfield lost both infielder Domnit Bolivar (Milwaukee), catcher Charlie Cutler (Pittsburgh), and pitcher Javier Arenado (Toronto) but picked up Browning from the Angels and right-hander Shooter Hunt out of the Minnesota organization. In the minor league version of the Rule 5 Draft, there is no provision that states that the selecting team must return the player to their original organization or keep him at any pre-determined level of the organization, so many of these players will be in Double-A in 2012.

Check nwanaturals.com twice monthly for the Hot Stove Report, where we’ll continue to follow Royals’ minor leaguers in winter ball as well as cover other off-season baseball information that pertains to the Naturals and the Texas League.

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale. Visit our website, nwanaturals.com, for information on season tickets and ticket plans.

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AFL Notebook: Myers, Colon Impress At Rising Stars Game

SURPRISE, AZWil Myers went 3-for-5 with a stolen base, a run scored, and two RBI’s, and Christian Colon scored a pair of runs in a 1-for-2 effort on Saturday at the Arizona Fall League’s annual Rising Stars Game, which was broadcast to a national audience on the MLB Network.

Photo Courtesy of Minda Haas

Jeremy Jeffress also chipped in a scoreless frame of relief, fanning all three batters he faced as their West Division squad cruised to an easy 11-2 win over their counterparts from the East Division, a squad that included baseball’s top two prospects in Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, not to mention Gerrit Cole, the number one selection in the 2011 draft by the Pirates, who started for the East and was roughed up to the tune of five runs. The Pittsburgh Pirates prospect recorded only two outs.

Meanwhile, Myers’ and Colon’s club, the Surprise Saguaros, continue to cruise along, currently sporting a 20-8 record, best in the six-team circuit. Entering play Wednesday, they needed only two wins or a combination of Surprise wins and losses for a 13-15 Peoria club adding up to two to have another date on National TV.

The MLB Network will broadcast the AFL Championship game on November 19th, which in all likelihood will pit Myers, Colon, and Jeffress’ club opposite the Salt River Rafters, the team which sits atop the East Division and includes players who may spend time in the Texas League with Tulsa and Corpus Christi next season.

Surprise has lived on its offense in what always is a nice offensive environment in the dry Arizona fall. And Myers has been a part of it, continuing his resurgence as he posts numbers that are comparable to the best the AFL has seen in its nearly two-decade history. It hasn’t gone unnoticed either – Myers’ name has popped up in trade rumors this off-season, as teams no doubt would love to have a 20-year old prospect who has dominated older or more experienced competition in a circuit like the AFL.

Myers has taken a breather from action since Saturday’s Rising Stars Game, with a league off-day Sunday and a cancellation of Surprise’s game on Tuesday, but leading into the game Saturday was a 5-for-5 effort in Friday’s game. Myers drove in two, scored three runs, and drew a walk. Anthony Seratelli has also continued his solid play, working a current six-game hitting streak. Seratelli has reached base in all 14 of his Fall League contests and is batting .367 overall in 14 games with a .492 on-base percentage.

On the hill, Brendan Lafferty has gotten back on track with two scoreless outings in the past week, helping lower his Fall League ERA to 4.73. Bryan Paukovitsalso has had three consecutive outings without allowing a run. Nate Adcock pitched an inning in the Rising Stars Game, allowing a home run. His most recent start for Surprise came last Tuesday with three scoreless innings.

Check back on nwanaturals.com for updates on the progress of these players. You can also get updates by following the Naturals on Facebook and Twitter.

Naturals/Texas League Notes

Romak, Lisson, others hit free agency: Late last week Baseball America unveiled their annual listing of minor league free agents, as Major League Baseball granted 537 players free agency on November 2nd. The list included a handful of players who played in Northwest Arkansas all or portions of 2011 as well as many players who were Naturals prior to 2011. From this past season’s club, two mainstays in the Naturals’ lineup, 3B Mario Lisson and 1B/DH Jamie Romak are free agents, as are pitchers Henry Barrera, Willy Lebron, and Zach Miner. Mario Santiago, Andrew Dobies, and Edgar Osuna would have been eligible for six-year free-agency, as it is called, but they were re-signed by the Royals during the month of October.

Among former Naturals from outside the Royals’ organization, right-hander Blake Johnson, who started 2011 with the Naturals before moving onto Triple-A Omaha, is listed as among the free agents. Johnson was let go by Kansas City in June and signed quickly by the Colorado Rockies, where he finished out the year at Triple-A Colorado Springs. 1B Corey Smith (2009), INF Ed Lucas (2008-09), OF Jose Duarte (2008-09), C Adam Donachie (2008), INF Josh Johnson (2009), right-hander Roman Colon (2008), left-hander Dusty Hughes (2008) and right-hander Alex Caldera (2010) are among ex-Naturals who are free-agents.

Winter Ball Updates: Several other current and former Naturals are honing their craft this off-season playing in various winter leagues that span the globe.

The Puerto Rican Winter League opened this week, and, as expected, a couple of current and former Naturals are participating. Naturals’ infielder Rey Navarro is playing for the Criollos de Caguas, where thus far he has struggled, as he’s without a hit in his first nine at-bats. Faring better is former Natural Irving Falu (Indios de Mayaguez), who is batting .235 through his first four games of action. Falu is teammates in Mayaguez with former Natural and current Houston Astros shortstopAngel Sanchez, who is batting .231 through four games but has a hit in his past two starts.

In the Venezuelan Winter League, Mario Lisson (Navegantes de Magallanes) has three hits in his last two games to lift his average to .241. Overall he’s driven in five runs in nine games this winter season. Former Natural Jose Duarte (Leones de Caracas) got a hit Tuesday to snap a five-game hitless streak. Duarte has yet to swipe a base in 17 games. Ernesto Mejia (Aguilas del Zulia) had a homer Saturday and is riding on a three-game hitting streak, while Manny Pina (Bravos de Margarita) is still fighting a slump as his average has dropped to .160 (4-for-25) in 11 games.

In the Dominican League, David Lough (Aguilas Cibaenas) currently sports a three-game hitting streak, although his winter league average sits at .215. Naturals’ right-hander Manauris Baez (Estrellas de Oriente) has continued a great start to his season in the Domincan, allowing only two runs in four appearances, covering three starts for a sparkling 1.54 ERA. He has, however, walked eight and fanned just four. Mario Santiago (Tigres del Licey) gave up just one earned run in 3 2/3 innings in his most recent start, although four unearned runs came across. His winter league record stands at 1-0 with a 2.59 ERA. Naturals reliever Edgar Garcia joined Licey for a game and got roughed up in relief, allowing three runs (two earned) while recording just one out. Willy Lebron, Santiago’s rotation-mate in Licey and fellow Royals’ farmhand, allowed three runs in three frames in his most recent start and now has a 2-3 record and 2.95 ERA in five starts. Southpaw Brandon Sisk (Gigantes del Cibao) hasn’t pitched in over a week but owns a 2.84 ERA in five outings, while Kelvin Herrera (Leones del Escogido) hasn’t allowed a run in six outings thus far, fanning five in 7 1/3 innings. He’s teammates with Everett Teaford, who was roughed up to three runs in 4 2/3 in his last outing. Teaford’s ERA in three outings is 5.25. Also on Leones is Elisaul Pimentel, who joined the Naturals late in the season and will likely be in the 2012 rotation. Pimentel recorded one out in his only winter league outing of the year.…

In other leagues, former Natural Federico Castaneda (Tomateros de Culiacan) has a 1-2 record and 8.68 ERA in 12 outings thus far in the Mexican League, while former Naturals’ southpaw Paul Mildren (Adelaide Bite) made his first winter start in the Australian Winter League. He allowed two runs in five innings of work. Mildren has not pitched stateside since the 2009 season.

These teams and respective leagues will play the round-robin Caribbean Series which takes place in February just before early reports for Major League Spring Training.

Transaction log: Former Naturals outfielder Jordan Parraz, who was among the 537 players attaining free agency, didn’t have to wait too long to find a new club, signing a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves’ organization after spending 2011 in the New York Yankees’ organization with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The contract included an invitation to spring training. If he doesn’t make the big league roster, he’ll likely suit up for Triple-A Gwinnett…He may find himself as teammates with Ernesto Mejia, who was with the Naturals one season after Parraz in 2010. Mejia was re-signed by the Braves after a solid season with Double-A Mississippi…The Braves also elected their right to retain former Natural left-handers Rowdy Hardy and Ben Swaggerty. Those pitchers did not have the six years of service time required to become free-agents.

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale. Visit our website, nwanaturals.com, for information on season tickets and ticket plans.

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Andrew Brown Claimed

Andrew Brown put together an impressive season for the Memphis Redbirds this year, being chosen as a Pacific Coast League All Star in the process.

Photo Courtesy of Erika Lynn


The corner outfielder would post a .284/.382/.501 slash line while driving in 73 runs and hitting 20 home runs. He had become a strong hitting prospect within the organization since his 18th round selection in the 2007 amateur draft.

Brown was also involved in a collision with Shane Robinson shortly after the season began in 2011. Both players have recovered since then, with Robinson taking the more severe injuries. You can read (and see) more about that in i70baseball’s early article found by clicking here.

Before the beginning of the 2011 National League Championship Series, the Cardinals made some roster adjustments. In one of those moves, Andrew Brown was placed on waivers and Lance Lynn was added to the 40-man roster.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, Brown has been claimed by the Colorado Rockies organization. Their report can be found by clicking here.

Brown joins former Cardinal outfielder Joe Mather in Colorado for the 2012 season.

Brown’s career minor league numbers:

2007 22 Batavia A- 66 276 239 34 57 14 7 7 40 31 52 .238 .330 .444 .773 106
2008 23 3 Teams AA-A-A+ 126 518 452 68 123 32 0 21 76 58 136 .272 .361 .482 .843 218
2008 23 Quad Cities A 34 136 117 18 32 10 0 5 23 17 30 .274 .368 .487 .855 57
2008 23 Palm Beach A+ 24 100 88 14 29 8 0 4 15 11 25 .330 .410 .557 .967 49
2008 23 Springfield AA 68 282 247 36 62 14 0 12 38 30 81 .251 .340 .453 .794 112
2009 24 3 Teams AA-A+-Rk 79 319 277 42 79 12 3 13 44 33 53 .285 .373 .491 .864 136
2009 24 Cardinals Rk 1 3 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .667 .667 .667 1.333 2
2009 24 Palm Beach A+ 4 14 11 1 2 1 1 0 2 2 4 .182 .357 .455 .812 5
2009 24 Springfield AA 74 302 263 40 75 11 2 13 42 31 49 .285 .371 .490 .861 129
2010 25 Springfield AA 98 407 361 65 105 17 1 22 63 41 98 .291 .371 .526 .897 190
2011 26 Memphis AAA 107 428 359 67 102 12 3 20 73 56 105 .284 .382 .501 .883 180
5 Seasons 476 1948 1688 276 466 87 14 83 296 219 444 .276 .365 .492 .857 830
AA (3 seasons) AA 240 991 871 141 242 42 3 47 143 102 228 .278 .362 .495 .857 431
A+ (2 seasons) A+ 28 114 99 15 31 9 1 4 17 13 29 .313 .404 .545 .949 54
A (1 season) A 34 136 117 18 32 10 0 5 23 17 30 .274 .368 .487 .855 57
Rk (1 season) Rk 1 3 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .667 .667 .667 1.333 2
A- (1 season) A- 66 276 239 34 57 14 7 7 40 31 52 .238 .330 .444 .773 106
AAA (1 season) AAA 107 428 359 67 102 12 3 20 73 56 105 .284 .382 .501 .883 180

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
Follow him on Twitter here.

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Winter Warm Up: The Long Road Ahead

Prepping for the Grind

While Lohse and Freese have to exercise caution going into the accelerated workouts of Spring Training this year, other players finished 2010 healthy and that allows them to achieve top form well before the start of the preseason.

Friend of the site Cadence and Jon Jay

Chris Carpenter is excited about the way his body and arm feel. “The last two years were the best I ever felt going into Spring Training, and this year is no different,” Carpenter said Saturday. He starts mentally preparing for the upcoming year after Thanksgiving; once Christmas and New Year’s Day pass he starts throwing and that signals “go time.” Carpenter feels the 2011 Cardinals’ rotation gives the team a chance to win every night. He praises having all five starters locked up early in the offseason because it allows the group to talk as a unit and keep track of each others’ workout routines up to and throughout the season.

Jon Jay realizes he is still a young player, but that doesn’t stop him from seizing every learning opportunity he can. He was happy with the way he broke in last year and he wants to use that experience to help him going forward. “I’m just trying to make the team right now,” Jay said. “I don’t look at (the outfield situation) as a battle; I know if I take care of what I can take care of I’ll be all right. I’m just trying to do the best I can do and go from there.”

Colby Rasmus has spent a lot of his offseason in the woods hunting. After a 2010 he calls “a learning experience,” Rasmus knows he can’t change anything that happened on or off the field. He didn’t pay any attention to the trade rumors that mentioned his name earlier this offseason, so he’s ready to move forward. He doesn’t expect to change much about his workout routine, and he already feels good and ready to go. “I’m enjoying the time (in the offseason), but I get to go on the Cardinals Caravan with some of the older players, so it’s kind of time to start buckling down after I get back.”

Chris Reed is a freelance writer from Belleville, IL who also writes about the Cardinals for InsideSTL on Mondays and Bird Brained whenever he wants. Follow him on Twitter @birdbrained.

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