St. Louis Cardinals

Stadium: Busch Stadium | Manager: Mike Matheny
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Cardinals' Carpenter hoping to build off postseason power surge
by Michael Hurcomb |

Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter hit just eight home runs with a .375 slugging percentage during the 2014 regular season, but had a much better power swing in the postseason, belting four home runs and slugging .722 in nine games.

“I took a more of an aggressive approach in the postseason,” Carpenter said, per “Part of that was from the experience that I had gathered the year before. After a long season, going into the playoffs I felt like I wasn’t as prepared as I felt like I could’ve been. It kind of snowballed and my approach and the way I took the regular season at-bat in the postseason it wasn’t playing out well.”

Carpenter said his postseason success could have a positive impact on his power numbers in 2015.

"Certainly, I’m always going to be a guy who’s patient at the plate, but that was a good learning experience for me -- being aggressive," he said. "I don’t remember the exact numbers but out of the four home runs I hit, I think three of them were on the first pitch. That’s something typically I don’t do a lot of, and it was a good learning experience.”

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Cardinals will not try to overhaul Mark Reynolds' approach at plate
by Michael Hurcomb |

Cardinals slugger Mark Reynolds has carved out a niche in the majors as a power hitter. He has 224 home runs and a .457 slugging percentage over eight MLB seasons.

Unfortunately, Reynolds is also known as an all-or-nothing hitter and strikes out quite a lot. He has 1,398 strikeouts in 1,118 games.

Still, the Cardinals have no plans to dramatically overhaul Reynolds' swing, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“We need to capitalize on what his strengths are and not to focus on the weaknesses,” Matheny said, “and realize that he’s got a power component that is very rare. There are going to be some swings and misses.

“But we’re not necessarily going to go up and ask him to completely overhaul that. Make some subtle changes to maybe improve, but not be afraid to drive the ball. That’s why we did bring him in, and also to give us some options against tough lefthanded pitching.”

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Cardinals' Martinez will 'be ready' to compete for spot in rotation
by Michael Hurcomb |

Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez performed well in the Dominican winter league this offseason. The right-hander, who will compete for a spot in the Cardinals' rotation this spring, posted a 2.25 ERA with 26 strikeouts and just two talks in 24 innings (five starts). He even won three times, per

"I feel mentally, emotionally really good that I've had that chance to work real hard there and bring that to spring training," Martinez said. "I feel like, yes, this is my spot. I feel like I'm the pitcher I'm meant to be, and I have experience now. I'll be ready."

Martinez added he will dedicate "this year and every year" to fallen teammate and friend Oscar Taveras, who was killed in a car accident in October. Martinez will wear Taveras' No. 18.

"I spoke to [general manager] John Mozeliak, and I'm thankful they've given me the opportunity to wear it," Martinez said. "[Taveras] was a friend, a brother, and it's an honor for me to be able to wear it. I'll wear it for the rest of my career."

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Kolten Wong's confidence improved after postseason surge
by Michael Hurcomb |

Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong had quite the power display in the 2014 postseason. All seven of his postseason hits went for extra bases. He had three doubles, three home runs and one triple.

Wong's postseason power surge has his confidence up heading into 2015, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"I think it's going to change my game and allow me to play at a different level that what I've been playing my previous years in the big leagues," Wong said. "I'm going to come in confident, confident in my abilities. and not worry about the 'what ifs?' anymore. I'm confident I can play at this level. It's time for me to fully buy into the fact that I'm a big league player."

Wong added he would like to steal 20-plus bases again and improve his batting average this season.

"At least somewhere above .249," he said, laughing. "That's definitely nothing that I'm proud of." 

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Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha ready to get back on the mound
by Brandon Wise |

Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha is ready to get back on the field. Mostly because he's been asked about his status "just a couple million times," according to The Associated Press.

With the Cardinals expecting Wacha to be able to handle a larger role on the pitching staff this season, the 23-year-old said Sunday he is optimistic he can handle it.

"Everything's been feeling good this offseason with my workouts, my training, my throwing program," Wacha said. "It's an exciting time for sure, feeling good and strong and excited about spring training coming up."

Wacha was restricted near the end of the season with a shoulder injury, which allowed him to make just four starts and last longer than five innings once. He also gave up the game-winning home run to the Giants in the NLCS.

"I wanted to be out there in that situation," Wacha said. "As a competitor, that's when you want to be out there, when the game's on the line and everyone's depending on you."

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2014 Team Leaders
AVGMatt Adams , 1B.288
HRJhonny Peralta , SS21
RBIMatt Holliday , LF90
OBPMatt Carpenter , 3B.375
SLGMatt Adams , 1B.457
RMatt Carpenter , 3B99
SBKolten Wong , 2B20
WAdam Wainwright , SP20
ERAAdam Wainwright , SP2.38
WHIPAdam Wainwright , SP1.03
KLance Lynn , SP181
SVTrevor Rosenthal , RP45
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