ST. LOUIS -- The baseball world joined the city of San Diego to mourn the loss of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who died from cancer at the age of 54 on Monday. His loss was felt particularly among former teammates and opponents in St. Louis.
Three members of the Cardinals' coaching staff -- pitching coach Derek Lilliquist, hitting coach John Mabry and bench coach Mike Aldrete -- spent part of their playing careers in San Diego as Gwynn's teammates.
"He is going to be missed by a lot of people," Lilliquist said. "He never wavered from [being a good teammate]. He was just a tremendous human being."
Gwynn, who hit .338 in his 20-year career with the Padres, played 92 games at Busch Stadium II and posted a career .302 average against the Cardinals. St. Louis actually had more success harnessing one of the all-time greatest hitters than most, as the only National League team to hold Gwynn to a lower average was the D-backs, who he faced just 30 times.
"He had the ability, like no other player that I've seen before or since, to take a pitcher's best pitch and just waste it, flip it over the opposing dugout and waste what the pitcher's best was and wait for you to come back and make a mistake," said Cardinals broadcaster Rick Horton, against whom Gwynn went 10-for-26 in his career. "You didn't fear him in the classic sense of pitching to Mike Schmidt or Andre Dawson in that era who were imposing guys at the plate. But you were so befuddled. Good offspeed hitter, good fastball hitter, in, out, up, down, it just didn't matter. He was just the consummate hitter."
As people reflected on Gwynn's career after his passing on Monday, they also spoke glowingly of Gwynn, the person.
"I was impressed by his heart to go back and coach," Horton said. "That really said something about him. A lot of big league players, especially superstars, the last thing they want to do is go coach college baseball. That was kind of unheard of. But that seemed to be his heart at that time, and I think that tells a little about the man, Tony Gwynn."
"It's a sad day for the game of baseball," added Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, whose Major League career overlapped eight years with Gwynn's. "I was always a big fan of Tony and how he went about playing the game. He was a great ambassador for the game of baseball. I got to spend a little time with him and [through that] realized how a pro went about this game. It's a sad day, especially for all the fans who followed him so closely in the San Diego area. But I think for the game as a whole, it's a big loss."
Cards, Draft pick Flaherty on verge of finalizing deal
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals signed their first pick, Luke Weaver, from the 2014 First-Year Player Draft on Monday and expect their other first-rounder, Jack Flaherty, to be at Busch Stadium on Tuesday to undergo his physical and finalize an already agreed upon deal.
While Weaver received the bonus equivalent to the No. 27 overall slot ($1.843 million), Flaherty, the 34th overall pick, required an above-slot bonus to forgo his commitment to the University of North Carolina.
Once Flaherty is officially inked, the Cardinals will have signed nine of the 12 players they picked in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. One of those still unsigned is right-hander Trevor Megill, a Loyola Marymount University (Calif.) product who missed his junior season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Megill's Draft stock dropped because of the injury, and the Cardinals drafted him with the intention of scouting him during his Cape Cod League appearances before beginning negotiations. Megill is expected to command a signing bonus higher than his slot value of $504,400 or else go back to school to prove himself healthy during his senior season.
Megill made his Cape Cod League debut over the weekend with Cardinals scouting director Dan Kantrovitz in attendance.
"We're going to continue to monitor him from here on out and hopefully come to some sort of resolution here soon," Kantrovitz said. "I don't have specifics on a time frame with that yet."
The Cardinals will scout Megill's subsequent appearances. The team has until July 18 to sign picks taken in the Draft, but the organization will make a determination on Megill before then so it can allocate its financial resources elsewhere if an agreement is not reached.
Cards waiting to decide on next step for Lyons
ST. LOUIS -- Tyler Lyons, two days after throwing 54 pitches in a Triple-A rehab appearance, threw a bullpen session at Busch Stadium on Monday afternoon. However, the Cardinals will wait another few days, general manager John Mozeliak said, before determining what the next step is for Lyons, who is recovering from a left shoulder strain.
The Cardinals have the option of continuing Lyons' rehab assignment by sending him back to a Minor League affiliate to make another appearance later this week. The club could otherwise remove him from the disabled list and assign him to the Cardinals or Triple-A Memphis.
Lyons has so far made two rehab starts. He allowed one run on four hits and two walks while striking out three in a 2 2/3-inning outing on Saturday.
"I feel like my stuff's there now and I feel like I'm strong," Lyons said on Monday, upon returning to St. Louis. "Now it's just about making it last for an extended period of time. I've done it for short bursts in two innings and almost three innings. It's about lengthening it out now if you're going to be a starter."
Kevin Siegrist (left forearm strain) is still scheduled to begin a rehab assignment later this week, though the Cardinals will first have him throw once more in St. Louis on Wednesday. Where Siegrist will be sent has not yet been announced.
Holliday collects 1,000th RBI with single
ST. LOUIS -- Matt Holliday paused for a few seconds and thought hard about his first career RBI. He struggled to remember.
"I think it was [in St. Louis]," Holliday said. "I'm not sure exactly."
Holliday won't have any trouble remembering his latest milestone. A single back through the middle in the fifth inning of Monday's 6-2 win against the Mets drove in Jon Jay from second base, the 1,000th RBI of his 11-year career.
"As a kid, if you'd told me I'd have a chance to play in the Major Leagues, first of all, I'd have been thrilled," Holliday said. "To get a chance to play this long and get 1,000 RBIs in the Major Leagues is something special to me."
The crowd at Busch Stadium rose to its feet as Holliday stood on first base, and Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak stopped by his locker to shake his hand after the game.
The RBI was the 463rd for Holliday in a Cardinals uniform. Holliday drove in 483 with the Rockies and 54 with the A's. He is the 277th player in Major League history to reach 1,000 career RBIs. The next closest active player is the Mets' David Wright with 909.
"He's pretty stoic most of the time, but I mentioned something to him and he had a big smile," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He is a baseball fan. He loves the game. He realizes there are not a lot of people who have been able to reach a milestone like that. I think it took him back a little bit."
Back to that first RBI? That was April 18, 2004, at Busch Stadium II when he was with the Rockies.
• Double-A lefty Marco Gonzales has been named the Texas League Pitcher of the Week (June 9-15) after striking out 10 and allowing one unearned run on two singles in a six-inning start on Friday. Gonzales, the organization's top pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, is the fifth Springfield player to earn a weekly honor this season.
• Triple-A outfielders Oscar Taveras and Stephen Piscotty combined to go 4-for-6 with a double, five RBIs and four walks in Memphis' 7-2 win on Sunday. Left-hander Tim Cooney (7-2) earned the win as he limited Reno to two runs on six hits and two walks in seven innings. Cooney struck out six.
• Three members of the Cardinals' Class A Advanced Palm Beach team appeared in the Florida State League All-Star Game over the weekend. Breyvic Valera and Charlie Tilson combined to go 3-for-7 with two runs scored and an RBI. Pitcher Kyle Helisek pitched a perfect inning in relief.
• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Matt Adams became the fourth player in franchise history to homer in three consecutive games of one series against the Expos/Nationals. It was previously done by Ron Gant (1998), Mark McGwire (1998) and Jim Edmonds (2005).
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Alex Halsted is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.