Cardinals to visit top affiliates spring 2017

PITTSBURGH -- Ahead of Major League Baseball's upcoming release of the 2017 schedule, the Cardinals announced on Tuesday that they will play exhibition games at the sites of their top two affiliates next spring.

Following their Grapefruit League season, the Cardinals will travel to Memphis, home of the organization's Triple-A team, for a 7:05 p.m. CT game on March 30. A day later, the Cardinals will play their Double-A club in Springfield (Mo.) at 5:05 p.m. CT.

The Cardinals last played in Memphis in 2015 and will be making their first trip to Springfield since 2012.

"It's always a plus for the Cardinals' organization when we have the opportunity to connect with our many fans outside of the St. Louis region who offer such enthusiastic support for both our Major and Minor League teams," general manager John Mozeliak said.

Minor matters

• The Gulf Coast League Cardinals will play a winner-take-all GCL championship game against the Phillies on Wednesday to wrap up the best-of-three series. Behind Dylan Carlson's two-triple, two-RBI performance on Monday, the Cardinals won Game 1, 3-0. The Phillies evened the series with a 3-2 victory on Tuesday.

• Another four Cardinals affiliates will begin postseason play this week, beginning with Rookie-level Johnson City (Tenn.) on Tuesday. Short-season State College (Pa.), Class A Peoria (Ill.) and Double-A Springfield will open the first round of their league playoffs on Wednesday.

• Right-hander Ryan Helsley earned Midwest League Pitcher of the Week honors in recognition of his terrific start for Peoria on Friday. Helsley threw 6 2/3 innings in what was his final start of the regular season, allowing one hit and striking out 13.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.