Good Morning Cardinal Nation. Here’s what I have for you this morning:
CARDS HAVE SIX IN TOP 100 PROSPECTS: As Jenifer Langosch writes this morning, the Cardinals have six players in the top 100 prospects that were listed by MLB.com on Tuesday. Oscar Taveras is all the way up at number three, while the other five rank as follows:
As we have noted several times this offseason, it’s very clear that the Cards have one of the top minor league systems in all of baseball. The Cardinals are only one of five teams to have six players listed in the top 100, and keep in mind that four of those players are in the top 50 which makes it that much more impressive. I feel like fans might be confused to see Carlos Martinez so far ahead of Kolten Wong, who we seem to hear a lot more about on a regular basis. That’s simply a product of the Cardinals’ needs at the current moment. They’re going to be struggling as it is to fill spots on the roster with their top pitching prospects for 2013, assuming everyone is healthy. Once there is actually room in the rotation or the bullpen for a guy like Martinez, who went 4-3 with a 2.90 ERA in 15 games last year for Springfield-AA, you will be hearing his name a lot more often. Last note on this: here’s a video of MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo talking about these prospects.
THIRD-TO-FIRST MOVE NOW A BALK: I’m a couple days late on this, but as you may have read, Major League Baseball is banning the third-to-first fake pickoff move. From now on, it will be seen as a balk. “A large majority of the managers, I mean really a good amount, wanted to eliminate it,” Joe Torre said to the New York Times. “So we presented it. … Just my experience, added to what they want, I made a case for it. The feeling was, you’re deceiving the runner or the hitter.” I understand that. Having said that, I think I remember seeing it work maybe once or twice over the past few years. Doesn’t seem to be deceiving them too much.
THE PED MESS: Buster Olney does a nice job of breaking down this current PED scandal and what the MLBPA’s role in all of this is. I’m happy that there are no current Cardinals listed in this whole scandal, but it is really bad for baseball. Just as we were under the impression that steroids in baseball were starting to fade away, this story breaks and the past several years are suddenly in doubt again. Earlier this offseason, they announced new HGH testing for players which should certainly make an impact, but you have to think that it’s inevitable that if players can find them, they will continue to find and take more undetectable substances that drastically alter the way they play.