Well, for starters, today is the last day in January, which means it’s the final day of the final month without baseball. It’s crazy to think that what has felt like such a long offseason has really only been less than 3 months. I’m certainly ready for baseball to come back.
With that in mind (and because I have no time this week), let’s catch up on some Cardinals news.
Chip Caray Officially Announced
For starters, on Monday, the St. Louis Cardinals officially announced that Chip Caray will take over the lead play-by-play role. We all knew it was happening, but now all the i’s have been dotted and all the t’s have been crossed.
Here’s what he had to say upon being officially introduced:
.@BallySportsMW quote from Chip Caray on becoming the lead play-by-play voice of the #STLCards : "I’m grateful and excited to come home and call games for the team that made me fall in love with baseball as a kid in St. Louis County. ... (more, 1/3)— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) January 30, 2023
Chip Caray on joining Bally Sports Midwest and the #STLCards (cont.): "As a visiting broadcaster, I have always admired the passion, knowledge, and loyalty of Cardinals fans, both here in St. Louis and across the country. The honor of continuing the legacy of my ... (more, 2/3)— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) January 30, 2023
Chip Caray (cont.) "grandfather, Harry, my dad Skip, and so many other great Cardinal broadcasters past & present, is the stuff dreams are made of. I can’t wait to start this exciting new chapter with my great teammates at Bally Sports Midwest. It’s great to be home!” (end, 3/3)— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) January 30, 2023
Regardless of your opinions of Dan McLaughlin and Chip Caray, watching Cardinals games this season will sound and feel different. It’s a new era in the booth.
Diamond Sports Group Bankruptcy
While the Cardinals have settled on a new play-by-play voice, Chip Caray may not be calling games on Bally Sports. Diamond Sports Group, which owns Bally Sports, is well on its way to bankruptcy and that could bring about a myriad of changes for both the Cardinals and fans everywhere.
Ben Clemens wrote an excellent piece about the failure of Diamond Sports Group at Fangraphs, and if you’re interested, you should absolutely read it.
Diamond Sports Group, the owner of Bally Sports, appears to be headed for a financial crash landing via bankruptcy. The process that led up to that failure is clear; what happens next is up in the air, writes @_Ben_Clemens. https://t.co/q8wnOYXHC2— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) January 30, 2023
Cardinals Rankings on Top 100 Prospect Lists
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen seen me break down the top Cardinals prospects’ placements on various top 100 lists. The Cardinals have 3 players who have ranked on every top 100 list with a few other players finishing on the back-end of some lists but not others. You can see all the results below.
Baseball America Top 100
MLB Pipeline Top 100
Baseball Prospectus Top 100
Keith Law Top 100
Jordan Walker, Masyn Winn, and Tink Hence were the only 3 consensus top 100 prospects, but Gordon Graceffo should have been too. Baseball America prefers Liberatore to Graceffo while no other list had Liberatore among the top 100. It is perhaps odd to Liberatore’s name in the top-100 after his struggles in Triple-A and the major leagues but there are times when I watch him and understand how some can still consider him to have such pedigree.
What’s also interesting is that Baseball America put Tink Hence one spot above Masyn Winn. One spot is essentially irrelevant but it’s still notable since the other publications rank Winn as the clear #2 prospect.
Outside of Baseball America, you can also see that there is little separation between Hence and Graceffo and I feel that’s about right. Hence has the better stuff and the higher ceiling but Graceffo has four above average or better pitches (in my estimation) and good control and has already reached a higher level. The two are pretty much neck and neck in the rankings which is a great sign for the Cardinals.
Finally, I love to see Alec Burleson getting some love from MLB Pipeline. I would be willing to bet on his bat and that’s a great carrying tool to have.
The last bit of news is that Paul Goldschmidt and Albert Pujols were both presented with their awards on Saturday.
That’s all I have for you today, VEB. Discuss as you see fit. I’ll be back on Sunday with a look at Andre Pallante and some potential tweaks he could make to take a step forward in 2023.