Results tagged ‘ St. Louis Cardinals ’

Baseball America’s Top 100 List


This time of year always provides several signs that baseball is around the corner. The weather begins to warm up, players report to Spring Training and the countdown to opening day at AutoZone Park dwindles down to a reasonable number. In addition to that, Baseball America releases its top 100 prospects list with the season just weeks away. That list was revealed last night on MLB Network with four names from the St. Louis Cardinals organization on it. While Kolten Wong and Carlos Martinez are expected to make the big league club out of Spring Training, Memphis has a good chance of hosting Stephen Piscotty and Oscar Taveras for at least part of the season. Here is a more in-depth look at the four talents.

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Oscar Taveras: Taveras earned the #3 ranking from Baseball America, the highest of any Cardinals’ prospect this year. The outfielder has been on the radar of the organization after his stellar 2010 season, leading the Rookie-level Johnson City Cardinals to an Appalachian League Championship behind his .322 average. Since then, the 21-year old has hit above .300 in every season and slowly began to hone his power numbers, including a .572 slugging percentage and 23 home runs in 2011 with Double-A Springfield. St. Louis’ top prospect was expected to see action in the big leagues in 2013 before going down with an ankle injury that cut his season short after 46 games in Triple-A. Taveras saw most of his playing time in center field with the Redbirds, although he is projected as more of a corner outfielder once he reaches the major league level. Early reports from Spring Training are positive towards the way Taveras feels on his ankle, as the young player eyes his debut in the majors during the 2014 season.

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Carlos Martinez: Martinez earned the #31 spot on the top 100 list. The hard-throwing right-hander has been a top three prospect in the St. Louis organization since 2010 and named to Baseball America’s top 100 list since 2011. The Dominican Republic-native was rated as having the “Best Curveball” in the St. Louis organization by Baseball America the past two seasons as well.  Martinez has been a Cardinal since 2010, pitching through three different levels in 2013, including the major leagues. A starter his entire career in the minors, Martinez went back and forth between St. Louis and Memphis, pitching as a starter in Triple-A and reliever in the majors. He put up solid numbers in several stints with both Memphis (5-3, 2.51 ERA) and St. Louis (2-1, 5.08 ERA). The 22-year old is looking for redemption and expecting to spend his first full season in the big leagues during 2014, claiming a spot in the bullpen.

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Kolten Wong: For the third time in three years, Wong’s name appeared on the coveted list, this time as the #58 prospect. The second baseman has done nothing but produce after being drafted 22nd overall in 2011 by St. Louis out of the University of Hawaii. During his three seasons at the minor league level, Wong has compiled a .301 average and recorded 50 steals. Last year at Triple-A Memphis he hit .303 with 21 doubles and 45 RBIs in 107 games and earned a late-season promotion to St. Louis on August 16. The 23-year old struggled to find a rhythm following the promotion though, going 9-for-59 (.153) with 12 strikeouts at the plate. The starting job at second base for St. Louis appears to be Wong’s to lose for the 2014 season. Many project him to man second base for many years in a Cardinals’ uniform.

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Stephen Piscotty: Piscotty was probably higher on the list than most people thought he would be, taking the #70 spot. Entering his third professional season after being drafted 36th overall in 2012 by St. Louis, Piscotty has aggressively climbed the ranks with hopes of beginning the 2014 season with Triple-A. The 23-year old was converted from a third baseman to an outfielder after the 2012 season. After being ranked by Baseball America as having the “Best Outfield Arm” coming into 2013, he proceeded to make eight outfield assists and record three double plays. The crazy thing about it all is that his defense is not what he is noted for. After hitting .295 between Advanced-A and Double-A last season, Piscotty took an invitation to the Arizona Fall League and made full advantage of it. With a team-high .936 OPS, the outfielder hit .371 with 18 RBIs in 23 games. If the California-native can put together a good spring, a roster spot could be his to begin the year in Memphis.

Birds in the Spotlight – Seth Maness


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Seth Maness had one of the shortest stints of all players with the Memphis Redbirds last season. The right-hander appeared in four games, going 2-2 with a 4.23 ERA in four starts. His minimal time in Triple-A warranted a call up to the big league club, one Maness took full advantage of. The former 2012 MILB.com Organization All Star ranked 21st in the National League with 15 holds, complimenting a 2.32 ERA in 66 games. Maness was a key piece to Mike Matheny’s bullpen.

One of the reasons Matheny relied on Maness was his ability to get hitters out in front and produce groundballs. Maness talked about that, and his excitement to get back into the swing of baseball, in a recent article.

Congratulations Carlos Martinez!


Memphis Redbirds RHP Carlos Martinez (Allison Rhodes/Memphis Redbirds)

Memphis Redbirds RHP Carlos Martinez
(Allison Rhoades/Memphis Redbirds)

Redbirds pitcher Carlos Martinez, 21, was recalled to the St. Louis Cardinals after last night’s game. Martinez joined the Memphis rotation in May, and was selected as the Cardinals Pitcher of the Month in June. Congratulations, and best of luck from the Memphis Redbirds Front Office!

The Cardinal Way, Part Three


Look for this feature on our manager, Ron “Pop” Warner, and pitching coach, Bryan “Gerdy” Eversgerd, in copies of the Bird Feeder program, available starting May 13 at home games at AutoZone Park.

Final of a three-part series. Part 1  Part 2

Redbirds Manager Ron "Pop" Warner

Redbirds Manager Ron “Pop” Warner
(Allison Rhoades/Memphis Redbirds)

The transition from playing to coaching was smooth for both Eversgerd and Warner, helped in part by staying in the same organization. “For me, it wasn’t that much of a transition,” said Warner. “For the last couple years playing I was the fourth coach anyway, me and a couple other guys. You take on that role as an older player. My last year I was 29 years old. That’s the beautiful thing about Triple-A, you have your coaches and you have your veteran players teaching young guys how to approach and play the game. I did it, he (Eversgerd) did it, and I see it in guys now like Rob Johnson.”

Eversgerd added to the coaching conversation, “When you grow up in a system like the Cardinals, you feel like you can make the conversion at the end of your career. You teach the way that you learned – how to play the right way, you go on your past experience. When you’re an older guy in Triple-A, you become that guy. It’s an easy transition.”

This season, the Redbirds hope to develop their young talent while winning games the right way. “Finish games out, that’s what my expectations are,” said Warner. “We’ve played really good baseball so far. Played good defense, offensively we’ve hit and got good pitching. We just need to seal the deal.”

Eversgerd points to the good attitude of the players. “It’s nice to see the fight we have in these kids. We’ve been down and came back a few times already. Goes to show you the character and competitive nature we have on this team.”

Pitching Coach Bryan "Gerdy" Eversgerd

Pitching Coach Bryan “Gerdy” Eversgerd
(Allison Rhoades/Memphis Redbirds)

Eversgerd relates a story about a game at Tim McCarver Stadium where his and Warner’s roles were flipped. During the second game of a double-header, Memphis was running low on players and brought Warner in to pitch while Eversgerd backed him up in left field. Warner recalls not giving up any runs and Eversgerd managed to fire in a throw over the cut-off man from left. Both laugh about the experience and Warner recalls other, less successful pitching outings he had.

For Pop and Gerdy, the current season is like almost all they’ve had before in their professional baseball lives. They are dedicated to passing along what it means to play, learn, teach and live the right way – the professional, Cardinal Way.

Did You Know?

Pop and Gerdy are the second and third former Redbirds players to also coach for the team. Danny Sheaffer played for the Redbirds in 1998, and managed the club from 2003-06.

Pop And Gerdy Talk About “The Cardinal Way”


Look for this feature on our manager, Ron “Pop” Warner, and pitching coach, Bryan “Gerdy” Eversgerd, in copies of the Bird Feeder program, available starting May 13 at home games at AutoZone Park.

First of a three-part series.

Ron “Pop” Warner and Bryan “Gerdy” Eversgerd
(Allison Rhoades/Memphis Redbirds)

The Cardinal Way

Ron “Pop” Warner and Bryan “Gerdy” Eversgerd embody “The Cardinal Way”, striving to teach and coach their players the right way to do things. Warner is the manager of the Memphis Redbirds for the second straight season, and has been a coach in the St. Louis Cardinals organization since 2000. Warner spent nine seasons as a player in the Cards’ system prior to his coaching career.

Eversgerd joined the Redbirds as pitching coach for the 2013 season, having been a Cardinals minor-league coach since 2004 and was a player in the St. Louis organization for nine of his 12 professional seasons, including winning the PCL Championship with Memphis in 2000.

Both men have spent much of their lives associated with the St. Louis Cardinals, an organization of stability and success. “It’s the Cardinal Way,” said Warner about his career. “It’s all the old Cardinals who taught me how to play the game. George Kissell, Dave Ricketts, just to name a couple. This organization goes about teaching the game of baseball, and the game of life. Once you’re a Cardinal and you’re in it for a few years, you understand the way they operate. It’s safe to say there’s no other organization that comes close to this one as far as how we teach the history and the game of baseball. I don’t want to leave this organization, I’ve been here 23 years. It’s who I am and what I do.”

It was George Kissell, the longtime Cardinal, who gave Warner his nickname. Kissell was a Cardinal for 69 years, as a player, manager, coach, instructor and advisor. Kissell mentored Sparky Anderson, Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa. “It was my first day in the New York-Penn League, up in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada,” recalled Warner. “He (Kissell) was there and he was one of our senior advisors. I was working out and my group was taking batting practice in the cage. He stopped and asked me my name, and it was Pop Warner after that. He named a few guys that day, but mine stuck.”

Eversgerd ranks third in Redbirds history with 156 relief appearances. He was the pitching coach for the 2012 Texas League-champion Springfield Cardinals. Eversgerd served as pitching coach for the last two Cardinal Minor League Pitcher-of-the-Year award recipients, Seth Maness in 2012 and Shelby Miller in 2011.

Eversgerd pitching as a Redbird

Eversgerd pitching as a Redbird
(Memphis Redbirds)

Eversgerd also attributes his success in the St. Louis system to The Cardinal Way. “Growing up in this organization, you learn to play the right way,” explained Eversgerd. “George Kissell was instrumental in laying the foundation for what we do every day.” Eversgerd was the recipient of the 2012 George Kissell award from the Cardinals, given yearly to a minor league coach for displaying excellence in player development.

“I’ve been in other organizations and there’s something different about the Cardinals,” Eversgerd continued. “It’s the Cardinal Way, it’s the way we learn the game, it’s the way we approach the game in a professional manner. It’s pretty special to be a part of. I feel I’m privileged to put on the uniform every day. There are other teams I’ve been with and didn’t feel that. But I do when I put that bat and birds on every day, it’s a special feeling.”

Part two coming on Thursday, April 18.

#Twinterview number three with @AdamOttavino


As promised, another #Twinterview took place earlier today. Here’s the Q & A in case you missed it!

@memphisredbirds: Alright @AdamOttavino, are you ready to get this #Twinterview started?!

@AdamOttavino: absolutely! ready and willing! #twinterview

@memphisredbirds: Great! Now, how has your offseason home in Brooklyn, NY been treating you? #Twinterview

@AdamOttavino: it has been good so far, been working hard and enjoying being home. Here is a pic i took http://t.co/eEEfLCDA #twinterview

@memphisredbirds: Good to hear, so what has been keeping you busy this offseason? #Twinterview

@AdamOttavino: I have been preparing for next season, dominating in Fifa 12 from PS3, and giving some lessons to local kids #twinterview

@memphisredbirds: Dominating in Fifa 12, eh? So you think you’re better than fellow teammates @jonjayU and @DanielDescalso? #Twinterview

@Adam Ottavino: Well, I don’t want to brag, but I have the ring in Fifa, and they have the real ring i want…WS Ring #twinterview

@memphisredbirds: Touche sir, soon enough! What made you want to become a baseball player? #Twinterview

@AdamOttavino: my dad taught me the game, and its been a companion every year since…the only thing i ever felt meant to do #twinterview

@memphisredbirds: What are your parting words for 2011 Redbirds manager Hammer? #Twinterivew

@AdamOttavino: congrats!! Hammer was a great manager to play for and I am happy he is going to be in STL this year #twinterview

@memphisredbirds: What are your thoughts on Pop managing the Redbirds next season? #Twinterview

@Adam Ottavino: The team is in great hands…Pop is another great manager…I am sure the team will have a good year #twinterview

@memphisredbirds: Which Cardinals player do you think you have learned the most from? #Twinterview

@AdamOttavino: Many players have helped me, but I have watched Adam Wainwright closely , and learned a lot from him and his approach

@memphisredbirds: He is certainly a good guy to watch. Who is your favorite athlete? Why? #Twinterview

@AdamOttavino: Jimmy Key was my favorite pitcher growing up..overall athlete I would Say Muhammed Ali, he changed the world #twinterview

@memphisredbirds: Who have people said you look like? #Twinterview

@AdamOttavino: I have heard lots of names, josh hartnett, tom brady, ashton kutcher… personally i don’t see them but oh well#twinterview

@memphisredbirds: We’ll go with Josh Hartnett. If you weren’t in baseball, what would you be doing? #Twinterview

@AdamOttavino: I think I could have a sports talk radio show or something someday #twinterview

@memphisredbirds: Tell us one thing about you that the fans don’t already know. #Twinterview

@AdamOttavino: My arms can do this: pic.twitter.com/C1AU7NDB

@memphisredbirds: Oh wow, did not see that coming. Impressive. What are your words to live by? #Twinterview

@AdamOttavino: Make Haste…Slowly (meaning things take time, but consistent work will pay off) #twinterview

@memphisredbirds: Let’s go back to 2006. Describe in 140 characters how it felt to be drafted in the 1st round of the MLB draft? #Twinterview

@AdamOttavino: surreal feeling..took a while to hit me…my 3 years at Northeastern had helped me achieve a major goal for me #twinterview

@memphisredbirds: And how was it working through your shoulder injury in 2010? #Twinterview

@AdamOttavino: crazy, i had never been through anything like that. I felt helpless. Thankfully I wasn’t, and now I feel great. Thanks to all the people who helped me get healthy and back on the field, they deserve the credit #twinterview

@memphisredbirds: What is the most difficult part about playing professional baseball? #Twinterview

@AdamOttavino: just the everyday grind…people are at the beach and you can’t go… it ok though because I love it #twinterview

@memphisredbirds: Always good to love what you do. If you were on a reality TV show, which one would it be and why? #Twinterview

@AdamOttavino: The Amazing Race…I love the traveling aspect, and flying a lot is easy at this point #twinterview

@memphisredbirds: Yea, you’ve got to be used to the traveling by now. So, how are you preparing for next season? #Twinterview

@AdamOttavino: I strength train with @strengthcoach64 and throw nights during the week with local pro ballplayers i know #twinterview

@memphisredbirds: Liked the shout-out right there. What was the best decision you ever made? #Twinterview

@AdamOttavino: To go to College instead of signing out of high school..i was 17 and not ready. I had a great college experience and got bigger and stronger #twinterview

@memphisredbirds: One last question: what do you like most about being part of the Cardinals organization? #Twinterview

@AdamOttavino: They have a great history, and I have been blessed with great teammates in my career #twinterview

@memphisredbirds: That’s all from us here in Memphis, thanks for participating in this #Twinterview! And as always, good luck next season!

@AdamOttavino: Thanks for having me! #twinterview

Leave a comment if you have any suggestions on who should participate in our next #Twinterview!

Meet the Manager


Just last month the Memphis Redbirds bid adieu to Chris “Hammer” Maloney and welcomed a new face to the managerial position, Ron “Pop” Warner.

The former Double-A Cardinals manager spent five years with the team in Springfield, MO. While with the S-Cards, Warner went 364-347 (.512) in the Texas League. This will be his first time as a manager in the Pacific Coast League but not his first time as part of the PCL. Pop was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1991 in the 17th round of the first-year player draft. Warner spent nine years in the Cardinals organization and played for Memphis from 1998-99 at Tim McCarver Stadium.

The 41-year-old hit .290 in 1999 at Tim McCarver Stadium while collecting 11 home runs and 33 RBI as a Redbird. In 2000, Warner made his transition to a coach when he served as the Cardinals batting practice pitcher. His previous coaching jobs include the New Haven Ravens (2001), New Jersey Cardinals (2002), Johnson City Cardinals (2003), Swing of Quad Cities (2004) and Palm Beach Cardinals (2005-06) before taking the job with the Springfield Cardinals in 2007.

Pop replaces previous manager, Hammer, who was promoted to first base coach with the St. Louis Cardinals. Maloney led the Redbirds to a 367-350 (.512) record in his five years as manager, becoming the club’s all-time winningest manager as he surpassed former skipper Gaylen Pitts (364 wins) this past season.

Pitching coach Blaise Ilsley and hitting coach Mark Budaska will both return to Memphis for their fifth season. Ilsley’s pitchers posted a 4.10 ERA, the lowest in the Pacific Coast League, while Budaska coached his hitters to a .270 average last season.

The Redbirds also say goodbye to long-time Athletic Trainer Christophe LaMonte Conroy. After seven years of service with the Memphis Redbirds, Conroy received his call up to the big leagues and will join the St. Louis Cardinals for the 2012 season as their Assistant Athletic Trainer.  You will be missed CC, but we are more than proud of you!

#Twinterview with @jonjayU


Our second #Twinterview is in the books and was quite a success! Thanks to @jonjayU for helping us out! If anyone missed it, here’s what went down:

@memphisredbirds: Alright everyone, let’s get this #Twinterview started! @jonjayU, are you ready for this?

@jonjayU: let’s do it!

@memphisredbirds: Great! In 140 characters describe your World Series experience. #Twinterview

@jonjayU: it was incredible especially the series we had. I remember watching World Series in the past and dreaming of playing in one.

@memphisredbirds: Do you consider winning the World Series the most exciting thing you have done in life thus far? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: in the sports aspect of my life it is definitely number one

@memphisredbirds: How did you feel once that last out had been made in game 7 of the World Series? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: it was crazy I remember running over to Craig and just yelling because we were so fired up

@memphisredbirds: When did it hit you that you were a major leaguer? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: the day I got called up from Memphis I got to pinch hit for Carp against Hudson when I was standing on deck it hit me

@memphisredbirds: What are you looking forward to in the 2012 season? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: I can’t wait to be around my teammates and trying to do the same exact thing we did last year, win!

@memphisredbirds: What made you want to become a baseball player? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: since I can remember I always loved baseball it’s always been the one sport I have always enjoyed the most

@memphisredbirds: Which minor leaguers do you think fans should keep their eye out for in the #StLCards farm system? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: I think Ryan Jackson is a sleeper

@memphisredbirds: What’s one thing you learned in the minors that has helped you in the majors? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: I’ve learned how to deal with different circumstances and still be able to perform: long bus rides, 5am flights, eating bad

@memphisredbirds: Also, what adjustments did you have to make going from the Redbirds to the Cardinals? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: every level in the minors Ieagues I had to make an adjustment from Memphis to St Louis the speed of the game is faster.

@memphisredbirds: And what do you miss most about Memphis? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: I miss the good Memphis barbecue And my Huey’s burgers

@memphisredbirds: What were your parting words for Tony La Russa? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: It was a shocker. I thanked him for helping me in my career, he is an incredible manager.

@memphisredbirds: Thoughts on Matheny taking over for TLR? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: I’m excited, I think he is going to a great job we have a good group of core guys

@memphisredbirds: Ok, so we’re all wondering: what’s the status of your fro right now? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: haha I tweeted a pic last week but here’s another one lockerz.com/s/161158736

@memphisredbirds: It’s all gone! Will it make another appearance next season? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: maybe we’ll see how I’m feeling

@memphisredbirds: Haha, ok. You always seem to be chewing on gum during games… do you have a favorite flavor? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: haha I just stick with the original flavor I like the big league chew grape

@memphisredbirds: Ah, ‘Ground Ball’ Grape, nice choice. Who have people said you look like? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: I’m not really sure I say I look like a young fresh prince of Bel Aire Will Smith haha

@memphisredbirds: Yea, we’ll give it to you! If you weren’t in baseball, what would you be doing? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: involved in some Type of Business probably be an entrepreneur

@memphisredbirds: Now, you are known for your large shoe collection. What’s your favorite pair? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: I’m not sure prob my lebron 8′s South Beaches and All the 11 Jordans

@memphisredbirds: We see that you, @DanielDescalso and @dfreese23 all say #ouef on twitter, are you allowed to tell us what that means? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: sorry thats secret society

@memphisredbirds: I guess we’ll have to respect that. What is your favorite thing about being a part of the Cardinals organization? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: The Tradition

@memphisredbirds: Which Cardinals player have you learned the most from? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: it’s funny because I think everyone has helped me at some time that’s the great thing about our team we are all close

@memphisredbirds: Tell us one thing about you that the fans don’t already know. #Twintervie

@jonjayU: that if i didn’t play baseball all year in high school I would have played soccer

@memphisredbirds:  Wow, very interesting. What are your words to live by? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: trust in God

@memphisredbirds: You’ve made it to the majors, played in the WS, what’s your ultimate goal now as a baseball player? #Twinterview

@jonjayU: be fortunate enough to win another ring

@memphisredbirds: Always good. That’s all from us in Memphis, thanks 4 participating in our 2nd #Twinterview. Good luck in StL, we’re rooting for ya!

@jonjayU: thanks you and everyone for your questions

So it looks like #oeuf will remain a mystery to fans, but you can’t blame us for trying to find out!

Because both #Twinterviews went as well as they did, a few more are in the works to be scheduled soon. Leave us a comment here about who you think our next #Twinterview should be with! And of course, follow us! @memphisredbirds

#Twinterview with @DanielDescalso


As the Media Relations Manager, I realized that this blog is in serious need of some attention and what better day to start back up then when something good happened?! So today we held our very first interview via Twitter aka a Twinterview. Let me tell you right now, you can definitely expect more of these to come- everything went really well. Daniel Descalso was the perfect player to help us test this concept out. St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay is next on our list, his Twinterview is scheduled for Thursday, December 1st at 2:00 p.m. CST.

If you missed our Twinterview with Daniel Descalso, you’re in luck. I kept tabs on every question and answer exchanged and here’s what we came up with:

@memphisredbirds: Let’s get this twinterview started! In 140 characters describe your World Series experience. #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso : It was a dream come true. I can remember being a little kid hoping to be a big leaguer and to win a WS is amazing.

@memphisredbirds: When did it finally hit you that you were a major leaguer? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: It sunk in when I got my first hit. A double in Pittsburgh.

@memphisredbirds: What are you looking forward to in the 2012 season? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: I’m excited to play for Mike Matheny and to get Wainwright back. I smell a repeat.

@memphisredbirds: What made you want to become a baseball player? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: That is all I ever wanted to be. From the moment my dad put a whifflebat in my hands I knew I want to be a baseball player.

@memphisredbirds: What were your parting words for Manager Tony La Russa? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: I thanked him for the opportunity he gave me and I wished him luck in the future. I was lucky to play for him.

@memphisredbirds: What are your thoughts on Mike Matheny taking over for La Russa? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: Great player. Great leader. Even better guy. Tough to follow TLR but I’m exited about what he brings to the table.

@memphisredbirds: Which players do you think fans should keep their eye out for in the #StLCards farm system? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: There are lots of good players in the system. 1B Matt Adams and SS Ryan Jackson are just a couple.

@memphisredbirds: Which #StLCards player have you learned the most from? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: I’ve tried to learn from them all. With the veterans we have it’s hard to point out just one cuz I’ve learned from them all

@memphisredbirds: Alright, we have to ask…what do you miss most about Memphis? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: Rendezvous and the Kooky Canuck. Two of my favorite spots. And all the great people of course.

@memphisredbirds: Memphis misses you too! So do you know who tweets for @TortyCraig? Is it Wainwright? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: No comment haha. I will say that it’s not Wainwright or any other member of the team.

@memphisredbirds: Haha, fair enough! Here’s a tough one: @BuschSquirrel or @TortyCraig? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: Definitely Torty. He was with us the whole year (we kept him quiet) and the squirrel only showed up in the playoffs

@memphisredbirds: Nice! What’s one thing you learned in the minors that has helped you the most in the majors? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: You gotta ride the wave. There are lots of ups and downs in baseball but you cant get too high or too low.

@memphisredbirds: Who is your favorite athlete and why? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: I’m a huge 49ers fan and I always loved watching Steve Young play quarterback. Great competitor.

@memphisredbirds: What activities keep you busy in the off-season? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: Right now it’s getting a coffee and walking around in the Marina in San Francisco. I’m simple haha

@memphisredbirds: Sounds like a very relaxing off-season for you! Who have people said you look like? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: I did have one fan tell me I looked like a cross between Matt Morris and John Mabry. Haha I dunno.

 @memphisredbirds: Hmm…there’s somewhat of a resemblance…If you weren’t in baseball, what would you be doing? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: Great question…I like to cook so maybe an executive chef or own my own restaurant.

@memphisredbirds: What is your favorite thing about being a part of the St. Louis Cardinals organization? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: The tradition. It’s an honor to wear the same jersey that so many legends have worn over the years.

@memphisredbirds: Good choice, very true. Tell us one thing about you that the fans don’t already know. #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: Hmmm…my last name literally means “no shoes” in Italian and Spanish.

@memphisredbirds: Haha, that is pretty awesome. What are your words to live by? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: Only worry about the things that you can control and forget the rest. That’s my motto.

@memphisredbirds: As of right now, who do you think will be the #StLCards biggest competition next year? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: The NL Central will be tough again. The Reds and Brewers are going to be good. We can’t underestimate anybody though.

@memphisredbirds: What are your expectations for the Cardinals next season? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: I think the sky is the limit. We have a great team coming back and after winning this year we are all hungry for a repeat.

@memphisredbirds: You made it to the majors and was a part of the 2011 WS team, what’s your ultimate goal now as a player? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: The goal is to play as long as I can and win a lot of World Series’. The first one was great but I want more.

@memphisredbirds: How do you prepare for the next season? What does your off-season workout include? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: I do my strength and conditioning with a trainer in the Bay Area. I also hit and throw with other local baseball players.

@memphisredbirds: One last question to wrap this up! How many ways can a batter reach first base? #Twinterview

@DanielDescalso: 7…Hit, Error, Walk, Hit by pitch, Dropped 3rd strike, Catcher’s interference, and Fielder’s Choice. Nailed it haha.

@memphisredbirds: Nicely done! That’s all from us in Memphis. Thanks for participating in our 1st #Twinterview! Good luck with everything, we’ll be rooting for ya!

@DanielDescalso: Anytime…Go Cardinals and Go Redbirds!! #Twinterview

Bombs Away


Outfielder Joe Mather is claimed off waivers by Atlanta Braves

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Around 2:00 p.m. yesterday the St. Louis Cardinals announced on Twitter that Joe Mather had been claimed off waivers by the Atlanta Braves. It wasn’t more than five minutes later when hundreds of tweets appeared from Cardinals fans, sad to see their beloved “Joey Bombs” depart. Joe was touched to hear about all the support people expressed.

“That’s great, my mom told me she read some of the (Tweets)…I don’t get on the computer a whole lot and read any of it, but to hear that some people were sad to see me go- there were a lot of really nice things said, and to hear that is very humbling and it touches me all the way to my heart. That’s another thing about the Cardinals, the fans are amazing and I’ll definitely miss them too, there’s nothing like a Cardinals fan.”

Mather joined the Cardinals organization in 2001 after being selected in the third round (104th overall) of the June free-agent draft. He made his big league debut May 30th, 2008 displaying his talent in two different stints with St. Louis that year. The Arizona resident appeared in 90 games as a Cardinal from 2008-2010 with a .233 average (45Hx193AB), 27 runs, 19 extra-base hits and 21 RBI. Plagued with hand and wrist injuries, specifically a left hamate bone that was broken late 2008, Mather has had a hard time recovering and attaining the same success since his exceptional rookie season in the big leagues. Although he showed promise during 2010 spring training and landed himself a spot on the Cardinals’ Opening Day roster, the right-hander was recalled to Memphis May 28th.

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Relied upon as a right fielder while with the Redbirds, Mather was capable of playing first base, third base, left field and center field also. After becoming a key player in the 2010 ‘Birds lineup, he was able to work on improving his performance, collecting 46 RBI and 55 runs in 91 regular season games. Mather also hit 12 home runs, including two bombs in game two of the playoffs against Oklahoma City, recognizing him as the first and only Redbird to hit two home runs in a single playoff game.

“That’s awesome,” he said after being told of his accomplishment. “There’s a lot of history…a lot of great players who have been here so it’s an honor to have that.”

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Throughout the years, Mather has been a familiar face of the Memphis Redbirds and the Cardinals’ organization. He has enjoyed interacting with the fans at each level of baseball and made some lasting impressions, developing a large fan base. Joe Mather will be missed by Cardinals fans, who are upset to see him leave, but excited to see what he will do with this opportunity.

“Thank you, the biggest thing would be thank you.” Mather directed towards the fans. “Cardinals’ fans were always great to me, my family and friends. I’d be very surprised if I found better fans than the Cardinals anywhere. I’ll miss them and the love and support that I received; I’ll always respect and be a fan of Cardinals fans. They’re awesome, I’m going to miss you all and thanks again.”

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A respected veteran of the Redbirds, several teammates looked up to Joe; as a role model or someone to depend on, but most of all, as a friend. We wish him the best of luck beginning a new journey with the Atlanta Braves and hope to see his hard work and positive attitude put to good use.

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