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Cardinals news and notes: Tejada, projections, and pitching

The Cardinals may have signed their Opening Day starting shortstop on March 19, in case you thought only college basketball had March Madness.

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

For one weekend every year in mid-March, college basketball takes the center stage in the American sports landscape as the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament began last Thursday. The field started at 68 teams, was down to 64 by Thursday morning, and by Sunday night, was down to 16.

Admittedly, college basketball ranks somewhat low on my sports preferences (which did not stop me from watching countless hours of it over the weekend). I grew up a fan of the Missouri Tigers, but ever since the university made the decision to eliminate its men's basketball program (citation needed), it's been more of an attention struggle. But the sheer volume of available sports on TV is a bit intoxicating. And it got me thinking about alma maters of baseball players.

Unlike the NFL, in which virtually all players played college football, and the NBA, where rules now prohibit high school seniors from entering its draft, there are many top MLB players who never played college baseball. But some did, and here is the most recent St. Louis Cardinals player from each of this year's Sweet Sixteen teams.

School Player
Kansas Sam Freeman (2012-2014)
Maryland Vic Keen (1926-1927)
Miami Jon Jay (2010-2015)
Villanova Steve Huntz (1967, 1969)
Oregon Steve Baker (1983)
Duke Ron Davis (1968)
Texas A&M Michael Wacha (2013-present)
Oklahoma Bobby Witt (1998)
North Carolina Ty Wigginton (2013)
Indiana None
Notre Dame John Axford (2013)
Wisconsin Lance Painter (1997-1999, 2003)
Virginia Mark Reynolds (2015)
Iowa State Jerry McNertney (1971-1972)
Gonzaga Marco Gonzales (2014-present)
Syracuse Mike Barlow (1975)

Here is what happened at VEB over the weekend.

Cardinals sign Ruben Tejada

On Saturday, the Cardinals signed Ruben Tejada, formerly of the New York Mets. There was initial excitement, as there is when any player signs, as well as some passionate community opinion regarding what this move will mean for Aledmys Diaz (who was sent to AAA on Sunday), but as Craig Edwards noted in his initial analysis of the transaction, it will not likely move the needle too much. Ruben Tejada is a low-cost signing who was available for a reason, but he is a safer bet at shortstop than the existing in-house candidates.

Projections results

Three more Cardinals' VEB community projection results were unveiled over the weekend. On Friday came new Cardinals starting pitcher Mike LeakeSaturday was left-handed reliever Kevin Siegrist. And on Sunday was recently-extended second baseman Kolten Wong.

Prospect reports

Over the weekend, ebo filed three prospect reports: one on Friday, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Game threads

We also had game threads, and you can check out the conversation you may have missed about Friday's game vs. the Tigers, Saturday's game vs. the Red Sox, and Sunday's game vs. the Marlins.

Pitcher posts

wrote about the lack of a true "LOOGY" in this year's bullpen, lil scooter wrote about the likelihood that Michael Wacha will start the Cardinals' 2016 home opener, and the red baron wrote about what Marco Gonzales should provide for the Cardinals in the future.

Week 2 takeaways

Craig Edwards listed three takeaways from the second week of Spring Training. Is Matt Holliday actually going to play first base? Do the Cardinals pitch good? Might the Cardinals pursue Ruben Tejada? Only one way to find out!

Have a wonderful week, VEB!