July 23, 2014

Cards activate LHP Kevin Siegrist from D.L.


ST. LOUIS, Mo., July 23, 2014 – The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have activated left-handed pitcher Kevin Siegrist (left forearm strain) from the 15-day disabled list and optioned left-handed pitcher Nick Greenwood to Memphis (AAA). 
Siegrist, who went on the disabled list May 24, appeared in five games for Springfield (AA) during an injury rehabilitation assignment, allowing no runs in his 4.2 innings pitched with three strikeouts.  He logged 1.1 scoreless innings in his most recent outing – July 21 vs. Tulsa.
Siegrist, who as a rookie last season set the Cardinals record for lowest ERA (0.45) by a relief pitcher (min. 35.0 IP), fanned 50 batters in 39.2 IP and allowed just 17 hits.
Prior to going on the disabled list, Siegrist had posted a 1-1 mark with a 3.60 ERA in 23 games (20.0 IP) while striking out 27. 
Greenwood debuted with the Cardinals last month and appeared in nine games.  He was 1-1 with a 4.74 ERA and turned in two perfect innings of relief last night.

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Inside-outside routes in the outer gardens

Analysis of baseball using the St. Louis Cardinals is focus of 4thebirds..., and in Tuesday night's 7-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, we get to break down a defensive play in which we catch some Redbirds doing it right.

Before Adam Wainwright got touched up for a significantly crooked number in the middle innings, Cardinals outfielders Matt Holliday (lf) and Jon Jay (cf) and shortstop Jhonny Peralta converged on a pop fly in shallow left field.

First off, Holliday correctly called off Peralta, as such a defensive chance is normally handled much easier by an outfielder moving forward toward the infield than an infielder running back or backpedaling into the outfield. Why? Well, most fielders are more accustomed to making catches on fly balls while moving forward, but also, because backpedaling and/or running sideways while straining to look upward tends to get the fielder landing on his heels, which in turn makes the ball seem to jerk about in his vision. Outfielders (any fielder) running forward has a much easier time staying on their toes, which makes vision on the ball much smoother, hence, more easy to judge.

But the effectiveness of the approach regarding vision solves for individual technique and not the issue of convergence.

Specifically, when outfielders converge, the chances of a collision get higher in a hurry.

Obviously, a misplayed ball is at stake, but the possibility of injury to one or both players becomes the larger concern. Inside-outside routes (by the outfielders) can reduce the odds of a bad outcome on convergence plays.

Inside-outside routes describe the desired outcome of execution, however, it is the execution of fly ball reception which creates the routes. The center fielder, therefore, on fly balls in the gaps or alleys where a collision with a corner outfielder is possible, executes a basket style catch. Either the left or right fielder, in the same situation, attempts a catch at shoulder level. If the outfielders take the prescribed paths to the fly ball, assuming the left and right fielders are never meeting in a gap, they should not end up on a collision course.

Take the play described in the opening of this post for instance. With Peralta backing off the fly ball, Holliday races in, catching the ball at shoulder level while Jay moves through behind Holliday. Jay is seen to be readying for a basket catch. There is a discernible difference in their routes due to the execution of fly ball reception taken by each outfielder.

Inside-outside routes should always put the center fielder on a path that goes behind (outfield wall side) either corner outfielder, depending on which alley the fly ball is falling.

As far as the play chosen for analysis, it is possible Holliday was simply calling for the fly and his teammates were backing off, but it certainly had the appearance of a properly executed inside-outside route. In other words, Holliday may have been just trying to reach the fly ball the best way he could, without regard for his style of reception. And Jay may have simply been approaching for a basket catch because he calculated a collision with an outfielder that would have resulted in something similar of a blindside hit by former NFL star, Dick Butkus.

If the inside-outside routes taken by Holliday and Jay were due to understanding the technique, all the better.

If the inside-outside routes were taken accidentally, than a real train wreck is imminent.

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Homestand Highlights - July 23, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — Cardinals vs. Tampa Bay Rays (6:15 p.m.)

  • Christmas in July Theme Night: Celebrate Christmas in July at Busch Stadium! Fans who purchase this special theme ticket will take home an exclusive Cardinals “Ugly Sweater” Christmas t-shirt designed by STL Style. A limited number of tickets remain for this game at cardinals.com/theme. Please note that the t-shirt is only available with the purchase of this special ticket. Fans who purchase this ticket will receive a voucher which can be exchanged for this promotional item. Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item. (#CardsTheme)

  • Johnny Hekker Takeover: Rams’ Pro Bowl punter Johnny Hekker is taking over tonight’s game. Hekker will throw the ceremonial first pitch and take over the Cardinals Twitter account (@Cardinals) during the game. Fans can follow along and join the conversation using #HekkerTakeover.

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July 22, 2014

Homestand Highlights - July 22, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — Cardinals vs. Tampa Bay Rays (7:15 p.m.)

  • Farmers Appreciation Night: Monsanto invites fans to celebrate America's Farmers at Busch Stadium during the Farmers Appreciation Theme Night. Fans who purchase this special Theme ticket at cardinals.com/theme will receive a limited edition Cardinals and Monsanto themed t-shirt! Please note that the shirt is only available with the purchase of the Theme Night ticket. Fans who purchase this ticket will receive a voucher which can be exchanged for the shirt. Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item. (#CardsTheme)

  • Peanut Controlled Zone Theme Day: The St. Louis Cardinals are pleased to present the second of three Peanut Controlled Games at Busch Stadium. This unique opportunity allows our fans with peanut allergies to sit in a "Peanut Controlled Zone" - sales of peanuts will be halted in this section and fans will not be allowed to consume peanut products in that area. A limited number of tickets remain for this game and the final peanut controlled game on Sunday, August 3 at cardinals.com/theme.

  • All-Star Teacher of the Year: Teachers are classroom all-stars that make a difference in the lives of students and their communities. During this year’s All-Star Game® at Target Field in Minnesota, 30 teachers from across the country represented their favorite team as they were recognized on field. Tonight, the Cardinals’ teacher, Hank Kauffman of Ladue High School, will be recognized during a pre-game ceremony. Kauffman has been teaching math at Ladue since 1961. (#MyAllStarTeacher)

  • Battle at Busch: Busch Stadium is proud to host the Battle at Busch in conjunction with Mozingo Music and 105.7 The Point. The 2014 schedule features 18 local bands over the course of six nights, at six different Cardinals’ home games out in Ford Plaza. Tonight’s battle features Man Eating Tiger, Johnny Chase, and Red Letter Days Band. Bands begin performing 20 minutes after the gates open with each act given 20 minutes to perform. Each band will be judged on a point system by Mozingo Music and 105.7 The Point. The top three scoring bands of the summer will be invited back to play on September 16th in the “Battle at Busch” finals for the grand prize package. Tickets are available for $10.57 to each Battle at Busch game by going to cardinals.com/battleatbusch.

  • Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Fans have the unique opportunity to bid on exclusive autographed Cardinals memorabilia at the game. The auction is a great way for fans and collectors alike to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community. The auction tables will be located at Gate 3, Gate 1, Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club, and in the Redbird Club.

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