Notes from the Pulpit 1/7/2014

It has been awhile but Winter Break must end for all the Preachers sooner or later. On a quick personal note, I’m officially a college graduate now and hope our loyal Conclave followers do not expect any difference in posting from this corner of the Wi-Fi cave! Quite a few things will be coming out in the near future as we ramp up for next month’s (wow) spring training sprint.

While I have started to piece together prospective 2014 rosters and lineups across the Minor League Spectrum, one thing keeps coming to my attention. The Cardinals have nearly added just as many outfield prospects as they did RHP gems going into the 2013 campaign. This ‘problem’ would typically make things more difficult but I’m fascinated to see how the clubs work their magic in moving pieces around the prospective grass near you!

One tidbit that caught my eye was due to the wonders of technology. I’m a Windows Phone junkie but couldn’t seem to get my At-Bat to play nice for whatever reason. After swapping out the phone, however, I powered up the App to find just what this cold weather hater needed: St. Louis nuggets with one of the prospective outfielders front and center. James Ramsey will get his shot at cracking the starting outfield in Memphis if not back in Springfield short-term. With a number of potential options, though, this opinion certainly gave me pause. The Skippy method would open up a spot at the highest two levels but questions remain as to where Ramsey’s landing spot would be? Maybe he should pack an extra glove just in case, especially after showing up with five fellow prospects already on the 40-man.

Entire segments will be dedicated this year to Oscar Taveras, no matter how much he helps the big league Cardinals. As the top outfield prospect in the sport, Taveras will be scrutinized plenty starting at the Winter Warm-up later this month. Yes he has more question marks now but can squash even the biggest detractors of starting the ‘clock’ by knocking the cover off the ball from March to say…October 2020. He has that kind of potential if you have not seen him live.

As far as I’m concerned, Derrick Goold’s work should never be missed, and his chats certainly help the snow days. He does a much better job than I can of detailing just how stacked the upper levels of the organization are now in terms of outfield depth, a far cry from even five years ago. Plenty of new faces will be introduced starting next week, and St. Louis added yet another to the party yesterday.

Letting other pieces fall around baseball works out quite well if you are like the Cardinals and have spots open on the 40-man roster. After Texas needed one of those said spots, Rafael Ortega was claimed by the National League Champs. He is another great story, and a player who at 22 has plenty of time to learn the Springfield outfield. Ortega only strengthens the ability to add the speed element to more than one level as well, something the Preacher hopes is spreading all the way to Peoria!

I don’t know about anyone else, but the dog days of Summer sure sound just fine to me. Stay warm out there and catch the Caravan if you get a chance. I’ve been to a couple now and wouldn’t miss the Joe Kelly/Shelby Miller party for much of anything.

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