NL Central Notes: Carpenter, Neshek, Phillips, Cubs

With Matt Carpenter and the Cardinals are reportedly closing in on a six-year extension that will be worth $50-55MM, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at the long road Carpenter has taken to get to this point. Carpenter had to settle for a $1,000 signing bonus as a fifth-year senior out of Texas Christian University and didn't establish himself as a big league regular until age-27. Goold spoke to manager Mike Matheny and several Cardinals players about Carpenter's perseverance and leadership. Said Matheny: "One of those great stories — a guy who didn’t necessarily have the golden road paved for him. He came in here and worked his butt off."

Here's more on the Cardinals and the NL Central…

  • Matheny also told Goold that Cardinals non-roster invitee Pat Neshek's chances of making the club are largely tied to his ability to retire left-handed hitters. Neshek did just that in his most recent appearance, but lefties have been a problem for the sidearmer over the past two seasons. Matheny doesn't want two specialists in his bullpen, and he already has lefty specialist Randy Choate as a fixture in the relief corps.
  •'s Anthony Castrovince looks at the turbulent last year for Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, who has found himself at the center of controversy and trade speculation. Castrovince notes that it was Phillips' brash attitude that got him traded from Cleveland to Cincinnati, and some of that has been on display in recent months. Phillips laughed off the notion that he's declined, citing his RBI total and Gold Glove Award, but did say that the offseason trade rumors hurt him to an extent. "This offseason, I really found out that baseball is a business," he told Castrovince. "…Did it [hurt]? Yeah, it [hurt]. I did as much as I can for this organization when it comes to social media or caravans or Reds Fest. I did it all because I wanted to do it. Not because they asked me to do it; because I wanted to do it."
  • Emilio Bonifacio and Jose Veras have a presence among the Cubs' young Latin American prospects, right-hander Carlos Villanueva tells's Carrie Muskat. Villanueva says that prospects such as Arismendy Alcantara and Jeudy Valdez idolized Bonifacio as they grew up watching him play in the Dominican Winter Leagues. Bonifacio tells Muskat he tries to laugh and share his energy with everyone to keep the clubhouse positive.

22 Responses to NL Central Notes: Carpenter, Neshek, Phillips, Cubs Leave a Reply

  1. dave 1 year ago

    I think 50-55 million 6 yrs for Carpenter is to much… He wont be near as good this year as last year…. Pat Neshek should be on the Cardinals roster and Seth Maness should be off the roster.. But Matheny has man crushes on Maness and Lynn…

    • kylecthomas 1 year ago

      you want to take the reliever who led the nl in double plays off the roster?

    • Seamaholic 1 year ago

      Huh? There are 29 teams that would love to take Maness if the Cards don’t want him. That’s silly.

      • dave 1 year ago

        Trade him and get something for him then? I would have resigned Axford really…

    • kylecthomas 1 year ago

      you want to take the reliever who led the nl in double plays off the roster?

      • dave 1 year ago

        He did get a lot of double plays I know but he also gave up a lot of hits…

    • Brian Tollini 1 year ago

      As soon as you said Carpenter isn’t worth it you lost me.

      • dave 1 year ago

        One good year lol and he gets a big contract? lol

        • Brian Tollini 1 year ago

          I would argue that it wasn’t a good year….it was an MVP year and that doesn’t happen accidentally. Will he duplicate these numbers this year? Probably not, but he proved he is worth this contract without a doubt.

          • dave 1 year ago

            HEs a great player but Craig should have got the contract that Carpenter got.. and carpenter should have got what Craig got.

      • dave 1 year ago

        One good year lol and he gets a big contract? lol

    • stl_cards16 1 year ago

      So Pat Neshek (the guy that exactly zero teams would give a Major League deal to) is good and Matt Carpenter, Lance Lynn and Seth Maness are not. Okay, I’m catching on here.

      • dave 1 year ago

        I didn’t say he was good.. HEs just better then Maness… Gives the bullpen a different look as he is a side armer….

      • yeah idk man Matt Carpenter proved he deserved that money last year as an offensive player, and Lance Lynn il taked him any day over Neshek. Agree with you man

  2. Really hoping Bonafacio makes the Cubs team. He seems like a gamer in a lot of ways.

  3. Infield Fly 1 year ago

    I don’t know. Brandon Phillips has definitely had his issues, but if I didn’t know better, I’d think Castrovince was trying to get back at Phillips after being slighted. He’s dressed up his words, but there’s a tinge of what feels like spite (or something) to his piece. Given the circumstances, such feelings would be understandable if Castrovince were a mere fan, but as a journalist I would wish that he (and others) were above that kind of approach, no matter who they report on. I suppose it’s a sign of the times we live in though.

  4. Federal League 1 year ago

    Who still cites RBIs as a measure of productivity?

    • LouisDoench 1 year ago

      People who hope you aren’t paying attention.

  5. LouisDoench 1 year ago

    “Phillips laughed off the notion that he’s declined, citing his RBI total and Gold Glove Award,”
    Of course, it’s silly to say that BP declined last year. Phillips has been declining for 3 years. He’s a second baseman on the wrong side of 30 whose plate discipline has been in full retreat since 2011, whose speed has completely deserted him and whose power is evaporating outside of the GAP. His 100 rbi season is completely a function of batting behind Votto and Choo all year. The fact of the matter is that a better hitter would have had many more rbi’s in that spot. Bryan Price appears to have seen the light in that regard and will be batting Jay Bruce cleanup against righties, unfortunately he insists that Phillips hit second, a waste of outs on a player who should not hit higher than sixth at this stage in his career.

    • Ruthlessly Absurd 1 year ago

      Wonder what Brandon would say about his career low (in full seasons) OBP and SLG last year

  6. JaysFan1996 1 year ago

    I think you mean Neshek’s ability to retire RIGHT-handed hitters.

    • Yankees420 1 year ago

      Neshek’s career splits:

      Vs RH batters: .177/.257/.315 against
      Vs LH batters: .231/.328/.432 against

      He seems to be able to be able to retire RH batters fairly well, which isn’t surprising since he’s a RHP. What the paragraph is saying is that Matheny doesn’t wan’t a ROOGY in his bullpen.

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