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Yet another introductory post...

Sorry, VEBers, but this is yet another introductory post for you to meander through.


Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Joe (Schwarz). Alright, fine, that was a very lame Jay-Z "Public Service Announcement"/Jon Jay walk-up song reference. My bad. Moving on...

I am a 5th year pharmacy student at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was born in St. Louis, and I live in St. Louis--when I am not away at school at least. Baseball has been a part of my life since the very beginning--largely because my dad who pitched his way through college. I was a pitcher myself, but my career stopped after high school. An injured right shoulder is one of the main things that did me in.

Enough about my personal life. You all don't care about that. You care about Cardinals baseball, and I care about Cardinals baseball. You enjoy reading and conversing about Cardinals baseball, and I enjoy writing about Cardinals baseball. You like analytical posts largely based on statistics, and I like writing analytical posts largely based on statistics. Sounds like a perfect fit to me.

I will be joining the VEB masthead as a staff writer looking to write five(ish) posts a week. (I realize the VEB masthead has me listed as an Editor, but that will likely change once we get through this transition period). Being a student in pharmacy school, there may be weeks with less, so please bear with me on that. However, at the same time, there may be weeks that I bring you more content--especially if breaking news needs to be discussed among the VEB community.

I know some of you are cringing about the thought of more content than what you are used to, and I completely understand that. However, know that I am the type of guy that will only publish something if I think it is some of my better work. After all, my name will be at the top of these posts, so it is in my best interest to write good, thoughtful posts.

What should you expect from me in terms of style of posts? You can head on over to my blog's website,, to have a look yourself if you would like. Either way, I will give you a recap of my blogging career so far. I started my website back in May of 2013, so less than a year ago. However, in that time, I have written over 110 posts, with the vast majority being about the St. Louis Cardinals.

I have interviewed some Cardinals prospects (Carson Kelly, James Ramsey, Kurt Heyer, and Jordan Swagerty), and those posts can be found over at my site. I will try to bring more of these for the Future Redbirds section as I see fit.

One of the highlights of my blogging career thus far is easily my interview with Cardinals scouting director, Dan Kantrovitz. My post on him, published back in August, can be found here if you are interested in checking that one out. Dan was not only very helpful with the post, but he has been a very reliable resource for me ever since. Thank you, Dan. I tend to believe you may be reading this post.

To continue the "Q&A with Dan" train, I was also lucky enough to have a quick baseball chat with ESPN's Dan Szymborski, and that, too, can be found over on my site. When I heard about possible openings here at Viva El Birdos, I immediately talked with Dan to see what he thought about the position. He, like most of you, realized there probably isn't another danup out there in the Cardinal blogosphere, but at the same time, he was very encouraging in my attempt to get a writing position here at VEB. I cannot thank him enough for that. I know he made his opinion known about the current state of VEB in the comments section yesterday, but I feel this will change (even if it is just a little) now that I will be part of the staff.

Okay, enough about interviews and Q&A's. There's a time and a place for those. The majority of my posts will be analytical pieces. When I am on my computer, phone, or iPad, and I am not on social media, you can usually find me in one of two places--Fangraphs or BrooksBaseball. I like to consider pitching analysis one of my specialties, and with the incredible amount of arms in the Cardinals organization, I will obviously have plenty to write about.

That's enough about me for today. In the meantime, take a look at what Dan Brooks from BrooksBaseball published recently. It is a complete breakdown of framing stats for catchers from 2009 through 2013. I am open to discussion of your thoughts on the data because in my opinion, this is a breakthrough for catching statistics. As we all know, once they are able to place a value on pitch framing, it will help (or hurt I guess) catchers' WARs. However, it will likely be too little too late to help Yadi in his attempt to bring home an MVP award.

I look forward to meeting all of you.

Until next time...


Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @stlCupofJoe