Today is February 23, 2016, and on this date 94 years ago, Cardinals' catcher William "Pickles" Dillhoefer died from typhoid fever at the too-young age of 28. Pickles played for the Cardinals from 1919-1921, but is best known for being traded by the Cubs to the Phillies for future Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander in 1917. This was a bad trade on the Phillies part because a great nickname does not a Hall of Famer make. At the time of his death he had a -0.9 bWAR in five seasons of ball but was decent enough to save his best season for the birds on the bat when he hit .263/.304/.326 in 1920 (it was only a year or two removed from the dead-ball era, mind you). Pickles is buried at Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile, Alabama. If you're not in the neighborhood you can pay your respects by friending him on Facebook.
Here's what you missed yesterday at VEB:
Kolten Wong projections
- Be sure to participate in the 2016 VEB projections. Yesterday was Kolten Wong's turn.
- Derrick Goold recently wrote an interesting column on who might one day replace Yadier Molina behind the plate. One of the names he discussed was Carson Kelly. Joe Schwarz analyzed Kelly's minor league hitting stats and compared them to Yadi's when he was roughly the same age.
- Adam Wainwright was recently pegged by manager Mike Matheny to start on opening day versus the Pirates. As lil scooter notes, he's joining the likes of Dizzy Dean, Bob Gibson, and Chris Carpenter as the only Cardinals' pitchers to make five or more opening day starts. That's some fine company. I was at Wrigley last year on opening night against the Cubs when Wainwright handled the Cubs and didn't allow a run. As is wont to happen, the season didn't end like we all hoped but that certainly was a great night.
- There's now one place where you can find a list and bios for the top 29 Cardinals' prospects and that place is here.
Production at first base
- Lastly, I argued that first base is one position where the Cardinals have a good opportunity to improve from last year. Production at that spot last year was abysmal and improved play from Matt Adams or Brandon Moss (or both) in 2016 could help the Cardinals put some needed runs on the board.
A good tweet
The Wild Card game has been absolutely *great* for baseball. Sure, it's a coin flip, but it prioritizes winning the division.— stlCupofJoe (@stlCupofJoe) February 23, 2016