John Mozeliak, Mike Matheny review St. Louis Cardinals’ 2014 season


Around lunchtime today, St. Louis Cardinals Senior V.P./General Manager John Mozeliak and Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny held a 2014 season review media session.

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Mo deemed the past year as a successful season and said that being a part of the final four is a credit to the organization. He also named the five free agents and hasn’t really closed the door on whether or not they plan to resign any of the five. The team feels comfortable where they are at but will make adjustments as needed.

Mozeliak says it will be a balance between what role the team can offer and what the players are looking for. The 8th and 9th innings seem very well secure.

Injury updates:
Yadier Molina is expected to be 100% by spring training.
Adam Wainwright felt great in the last game. All studies came back negative.
Michael Wacha had an MRI on Friday and it came back clean. This surprised the doctors.
Jaime Garcia is still TBD and the Cardinals will have a better idea in Jupiter.
Jon Jay‘s left wrist will be scoped on Wednesday and after 6-8 weeks of recovery, he will have a normal offseason. Nobody is sure if it was on a swing or something over time. It was around the end the end of July that it became an issue in the training room.

Mozeliak anticipates everybody on the staff will be back next season. Any changes would be voluntary and most of the staff is under contract.

Matheny told the players to take into consideration the obstacles that they overcame this year such as Molina missing a huge amount of time. The team worked hard and fought down to the last minute.

Right field is a hot topic. Oscar Taveras, Randal Grichuk, and Stephen Piscotty are in the mix.

Taveras: Physical conditioning and passion for defense need to be addressed. Both met with him and spoke about what he needs to do in the offseason. Nobody knows who will be the starting right fielder. Matheny thinks he can be a star but Taveras realizes what needs to be done to improve. There’s no doubt about his talent. He’s one of the hottest topics as far as finding ways to get him to play more. Matheny shot down the whole notion that Allen Craig was traded so as to get Taveras playing time. Mo thinks he now understands the ownership he needs to take moving forward.

Grichuk: His performance was a wake-up for Oscar.

Piscotty: Successful year at Memphis. Nothing is ruled out for next season. He’s a strong outfielder and still young.

The hope is that Oscar and Randal both fight for right field. Center field right now is Jay. Peter Bourjos will be a part of how the team makes plans in the offseason.

The Cardinals are not ruling out Kevin Siegrist but Randy Choate is one-dimensional over a long season.

The offseason strategy is going to be about opportunity. Mo isn’t sure if that will be trades or free agent market but it will be about trying to improve.

The team wants their young pitchers ready for Spring Training as a starter more so than relievers. There’s a spot for Carlos Martinez and Marco Gonzales.

Mozeliak thinks the team can be a stronger offensive club than it showed this year.

As far as the bench, the Cards might look at a bench that isn’t young like they have in the past.

On using Wacha in Game 5 of the NLCS, Matheny responded: “It shows you the faith we have in our players. Some may say blind faith, and I’m not going to deny that.”

The team has talked about the pitching workload and how to get players some extra rest. They are going to try and plan for extra rest.

Seth Maness is one that is best prepared for pitching in the middle innings. Trevor Rosenthal is going to be prepared as a closer.

On a significant offense upgrade, Mo doesn’t know how that would look for the team right now but won’t rule anything out.