Good Morning Cardinal Nation,

I’m back on my CardsBlog grind and will be with you throughout the coming days, leading up to a new design of CardsBlog which should be released in a couple of weeks. Here’s what I have for you this morning:

— Check out this article to see what Tony LaRussa has been up to

— Viva El Birdos has an in-depth look at who the Cardinals took in the Rule 5 draft on Thursday

— Mike Matheny apparently loves managing the Cardinals

There is no doubt the Cardinals got one of their biggest needs covered this week. They signed left-handed reliever Randy Choate to a three-year deal worth $7.5 million. Having a second lefty in that bullpen should be an enormous help and will allow them to be a lot more flexible with Marc Rzepczysnki. Matheny was often criticized throughout his managerial season that he had poor bullpen management skills. Well, part of the reason is the bullpen he was given. The bullpen, at least now, has a very solid core of relievers that should be relatively intimidating to other teams.

Choate had a 4.05 ERA in 36 games in 2012. For his career, he is 11-11 with a 4.02 ERA over 309.1 innings pitched.

Until later today…