Pineiro in, Schumaker out

Joel Pineiro is expected to arrive at the park any time now, and he’s added to the roster tonight. To make room, Skip Schumaker has been optioned to Memphis. Pineiro will throw a bullpen tonight, or so goes the plan, and then he’ll start Saturday. That gets them back to 12 pitchers, which is where they wanted to be — 5 starters and 7 relievers.

TLR was definitely not happy about sending Schumaker out, since Skip has played so well. He said, several times, "We must be a really good team, if we’re sending out such a good player." Schumaker will be back Sept. 1 at the latest, and you can be sure if there’s an opening before that, they’ll look for a way to get him back.

Miles is in at SS and leading off tonight, with the early game tomorrow for Eckstein. Otherwise, the lineup is Looper and 7 regulars at the other seven positions.

-M, really digging some old live New Order  clips from YouTube while mourning the apparent demise of my iPod.

34 Comments

um…wow…hate to see Skip go down. But, with the inconsistent performance of our starters this year, maybe they are just thinking they don’t know what they have in Pineiro yet and need the extra relievers to bail us out over the weekend. Hmmm…’course, can’t really send down Ludwick right now, either…SS just ended up the odd man out, I guess.

No iPod? That hurts. Can’t you get the MLB folks to “expense” one for you? It’s such an integral part of your blog. Surely that’s a write-off.

“Jerry, all these big companies, they write off everything.”

“You don’t even know what a write-off is.”

“Do you?”

“No. I don’t.”

“But they do, and they are the ones writing it off.”

Why does TLR leave the pitcher in the game until he gives up so many runs it is almost impossible to catch up? Looper doesn’t have his control tonight and should have been removed already. We have a bullpen for a purpose, afterall. Also, I can’t believe we had to give up Schumaker for even a few weeks!

I couldn’t agree more about leaving the starting pitcher in too long when he’s getting the **** beat out of him. Yet, when someone like Reyes was pitching great the other night, he took him out after just 6innings. Go figure.

By the way, it would’ve been nice to keep Skip w/ the team and just dispose of Taguchi instead. Our young outfielders like Skip and about a 1/2 dozen others in the farm system have more tools then So has. I’d prefer to have Skip, and Ankiel on the team but then TLR wouldn’t be able to play his all Right handed lineup everytime there’s a LH pitcher starting for the opposing team. That has been the most dissapointing thing he does since we have had the worst record in the majors against lefties while other teams let their sluggers play everygame regardless of whos pitching

Well, after the first, Looper was decent, so I’m assuming y’all are calling for lifting him in the first. So tell me… how would you have gotten through the next eight innings?

-M.

Looper needs to be a reliever. I mentioned that back on one of the Lucky Sevens a week ago. The cards will battle back tonight and score some runs, and the difference will be the 5 spot Looper threw in the first. It’s scary to think about him in the rotation if the birds make the playoffs. If you guys don’t agree, you must at least agree that he should be no lock, even if if through a good half of the season. Looper needs to compete for a slot…a regular season slot.

Actually the Cards are an even 18-18 against lefty starters, while many teams including the Cubs are much worse. I would like to see Duncan in the lineup five out of six games, but if you look at the numbers TLR’s strategy is working better than a lot of other teams’.

So is this how we see Maroth from now on? Or is he not going to be in uniform come saturday? Or is that pending Pinero’s start?

Well, Looper gave up another 2 runs in the 3rd inning, and if you call that decent then I guess we don’t perceive decent in the same way. I agree w/ Looper being in the bullpen b/c he just does NOT have anything to get hitters out with on a regular basis. 7 runs in 3 innings against the Pirates is just bad. Absolutely no chance for the offense. Not to mention, Maroth needs to be let go.

I agree w/ ya bulldogg, the Cards have had some mild improvement compared to last year against lefties. However, I just find it hard to expect much consistancy from your players when you don’t let them play everyday. Isn’t that why the guys like Edmonds and Duncan get paid more then the bench players…I know TLR is a very intelligent man and a phenomenal Mgr; I just don’t have much faith in Taguchi, Miles, Encarnacion, etc… to take them very far. I guess maybe that goes back to the ownership and what they are willing to spend. Any suggestions

The point is there was no obvious point where taking him out would have been feasible AND would have made any impact at all on the outcome of the game.

The first-inning stuff all came with two outs, bang-bang-bang-bang. There was absolutely no opportunity to get a reliever up and in the game BEFORE the damage was done in the first. So that leaves you already down 5-0, and either pitching 7 1/3 innings with your bullpen, or leaning on Looper a while longer.

He gets through the second, 1-2-3. In the third, leadoff home run. OK, do you get him immediately?

I just can’t see where there’s any reasonable argument that leaving Looper in cost them the game. I don’t buy it.

-M.

Matthew is right: Looper was “decent” after the first. He gave up most of his hits early and leaving him in didn’t cost the game. His first inning was the difference and Maroth’s 7 spot didn’t exactly apply the tourniquet.

All that said, the birds need consistency, not “Jekyll-and-Hyde” (as Mattew put it) pitchers, as Looper is right now.

I’m with Matt on this one. Pulling Looper down 7-0 is beyond pointless. In your words, Matt, the “damage was done.” Why spend another arm if you don’t have to? I was actually surprised they came and got him after 4. Unless he’s on a restricted pitch count or in physical pain, what’s the big hurry? Re-orienting Thompson to the bullpen?

I don’t recall seeing Cardinal pitchers getting pounded with such regularity–and gusto, don’t forget gusto (gallows humor, sorry) – since…well…last year, actually, when Marquis made his precipitous fall from grace, and Mulder developed his mysterious shoulder injury. Holy c**p, Marie!

Maybe all this (keeping Looper in the rotation, and letting Maroth get absolutely malled) is TLR’s not-so-veiled cry for help. Stop frowning…it’s one way (albeit a passive-aggressive one) of suggesting to ownership that we need to make with the hammer this winter and break open the piggy bank for some decent starting pitching. Afterall, it worked so well with Marquis last year…oh, wait…no it didn’t…nevermind.

As for the other eight guys, it’s gotta be tough to find motivation at the plate when your starter puts you in a 7-0 hole by the third inning. That said, it’s nice to see Miles go yard, and Rolen bang out two hits, though. Didn’t know the little guy (Miles) had it in him.

I didn’t catch every inning. Anyone know why Rolen was lifted after going 2-2? Was it just to give him rest during a blow-out?

Is the starting pitching really in need of a big money upgrade? The problem with the rotation is the loss of Carp. Next season I think the cards are in a good position. Assuming Mulder retuns to be Mulder. Looper is a fine 4th or 5th starter, the problem is he is being counted on as being the front of rotation guy. If the rotation went Carp, Mulder, Wainwright, Looper and then the best of the rest in the 5 spot, the rotation would be viewed as a strength of the team. I guess, what I’m trying to say here is there is no need to panic and make a big money move that could handcuff the team finacially in the future. Mulder, Carp, Wainwright and Reyes all are big talents that are under the Cards control for atleast the next 2 years. Let’s not panic. Also, let’s hope the injuries stop and carp and mulder come back pitching like before their injuries.

Yes I think b/c they have an early game tomm, TLR was basically throwing in the towell although 7 runs wouldn’t be impossible, I guess he was just saving him for the final game tomm afternoon. I just have a bad feeling about tomm w/ another lefty goin for the Pirates. It’s obvious Edmonds can’t get any consistancy at the plate in a platoon role although he is FULLY HEALTHY now. This used to not be this much of a problem until last year. Why has Larussa become so hard on his left handed hitters over the last couple years. Remember, before that, Edmonds played every day for the most part and hit lefties pretty well I might add.

Hmmm, I hope they decide to finally spend some money for a change in the offseason myself b/c Carp will NOT be back until after the allstar break next year and that’s if he doesn’t have any setbacks. So, I wouldn’t say their starters are in good shape for next year.

Carp, Mulder, Wainwright, and Reyes…of those, only two are currently healthy. Starter #5? Who knows? Wellemeyer? Pinerio? It makes me wince just thinking about it.

Mulder is really still one BIG ? until we see him pitch. Carp won’t be back until this time next year, and who knows what that’ll look like. Of the two remaining, only Wainwright has demonstrated that he’s got the big league stuff and mental constitution to get the job done. Reyes can bring it, but lacks consistency (OK, I’m being kind).

Hence, the assertion that we’re hurting for a starter.

As much as I hate to acknowledge it, Jimmy Edmonds isn’t going to be the impact player he once was. Behind the plate or out in center field. For all intents and purposes, he’s done. Why they re-signed him for two years is beyond me. I like him. He’s made a huge contribution to the Card’s success, but he’s got nothing left in the tank.

Looper, is a seasoned vet. As a starter, I don’t think he’s withering under the pressure of being the staff’s standard bearer, because he’s not (in that role) — that burden has fallen to Wainwright for the time being. I just think he (Looper) is ill-suited to the task, and probably fits the ‘pen better.

Yeah, I really have to agree with mathdude on the Edmonds deal. He was a great player back in the day but as of the last couple of years he has really gone downhill. I would hate to see him break a hip diving for a catch or something. Tag has done pretty decent this year at the plate, but he still has a few defensive kinks to work out. I really hated to hear that Skip got optioned down. I think he could have been a big asset to our outfield, but as kevinreyn said earlier we might need the extra relievers this weekend just in case Pineiro turns out to be another Wells/Maroth deal. It would be great if Pineiro could pick up a few pieces that our starting rotation lacks. I wish him the best of luck, we need it!!!

OK, so Skips gone and Pineiro’s in. Will this help solve any pitching issues or are they just grasping at straws. La Russa says that this is an issue of having “too many good players”. I agree with him, but it’s just too bad that none of them are pitchers. I was really hoping for a big trade to bring in a top notch starting pitcher. Maybe if they didn’t resign Edmonds we could better afford one. I know GM Walt is good at bringing in deals late in the season, but I don’t think there is even anyone on the radar. I just hope we can land someone in the off-season.

In sprite of Duncan’s defensive deficiencies I believe he is capable of generating more runs than he gives up in the field. It hurts to see one of the top 50 hitters in MLB platooned when half the guys in the lineup can’t hit LHP’s as well as he does.

Edmonds hasn’t shown a thing since he came back from the DL except drop his batting average about 40 points. It is good, however, to see Rolen hitting better since getting treatment.

Maroth needs to go to the minors.

The funny (not funny ha-ha, funny peculiar) thing about all this is, it wasn’t that long ago that pitching was all that the Cardinals had in the minors. Until this year, the farm system was producing at most one decent position player a year, which isn’t enough to maintain the big team, while starting pitching prospects were being stacked up like firewood. Ankiel … Bud Smith … Haren … Hawksworth … Narveson … Reyes … the list goes on and on. Yet none except Wainwright (who really wasn’t “found” by the scouting/farm system, even if he was “developed” there, and isn’t through the injury nexus yet and could still bomb out … go wash your mouth out with soap …) have helped the major-league team on any continuing basis. You’ve never seen a starting pitcher with a performance equivalent to Schumaker’s sent back down because there’s no room for him, have you?

Yeah, I know, TINSTAAPP (if you don’t know what this means, check out Baseball Prospectus), but still, I can’t help but wonder if we’re looking in the wrong place for responsibility/things needing improvement. Why aren’t these guys developing? And why are they getting injured? Not to mention: why is the supply of even those marginal, fragile starters drying up now? What problem needs fixing here?

I like the pickup of Piniero. We’ll see if he works out. I am thinking positively…I hate seeing all of you bash Jim Edmonds, when last year people were saying the Cards owe it to Edmonds to sign him so he could retire a Cardinal.And whomever it was that said Edmonds is not an asset at the plate OR in CF is not thinking clearly.He can still get to nearly everything hit his way, and I promise you his bat will get better. Not like in his prime, of course, but better…Looper IS best suited for the pen, hence the reason he’s been there until this year. He was every bit as inconsistent in the pen though…What’s the deal with Juan E. not sliding??? Is he hurt and afraid to slide?, Is he too cool for school and doesn’t think he should have to slide?, Has he forgotten HOW to slide?….I wish someone would take him off our team and trade us ANYBODY. The guy is just way too lazy to play baseball in St.Louis…I’m ready for a new “regime” in the dugout.Bring on Joe Girardi or promote Jose Oquendo, apparently he made an impression at the World Baseball Classic.And, dude, he’s the Secret Weapon!

Juan is also our 3rd best offensive player with a .785 OPS(behind Duncan and Pujols, obviously).

On another point brought up here – the willingness of management to spend money, most of the pitchers signed this last off-season have been busts. The one we were supposedly the most in the running for in Jason Schmidt, especially so. I’m not trying to be an apologist to management, but as we can all see from looking at the Yankees, spending the most money doesn’t make you the best team.

Okay, lets start out with Juan Encarnacion: He’s 4th on our team in homeruns, 4th in rbis, 4th in total bases, 9th in .obp, 3rd in slugging, and has the 2nd highest batting average on our team out of any of the starters other than Albert Pujols. You claim that he’s lazy, I say he’s not, I think it’s that he’s upset about losing every day, when you play and lose, you get upset, when you’re upset your lack of trying seems to go down. And on to what Matthew said about how taking Looper out wouldn’t have affected the game. Incorrect my friend, if we move our starting rotation to being: Reyes, Wainwright, Looper, Thompson, and Piniero, here’s our solution, when one of those pitchers has a bad start, you have two other guys in your bullpen who have started in games this year, one of them who has been gold from the relief position, his name is Wells, if we make him and Maroth into relievers here’s the plan, when a starter goes out there and gets jacked up for 5 runs in the first, you remove him so it’s only a 5-0 game, coming back from a 5-0 game is easier than coming back from a 7-0 game, when your starter does bad you bring in Wells or Maroth, they can go 5 or 6 innings for you and keep the game from getting too far out of hand.

And why do we keep sending good players like Brendan Ryan, Troy Cate, and Schumaker down? Why can’t we send our other players either down to the minors or off this team like: Gary Bennet, So Taguchi, and Adam Kennedy. You can claim that Taguchi is a good player, we can’t afford to send him down, but uh Schumaker is better, I’d much rather have Schumaker than Taguchi any day. And as far as the last post about Thompson as a starter, yeah he’s going to be better as a starter than a reliever, it’s time to keep him as either a starter or a reliever, stop switching him back and forth, that makes it harder for him to find his niche. You may say that Maroth isn’t that good from the bullpen or as a starter, which is true, he hasn’t done good so far, but Albert Pujols gave him some advice, and I wouldn’t go straight to starting him, I’d keep him in the bullpen for awhile and see if the advice actually did work out or not, and if it didn’t just get rid of him. Seriously I would like to keep our rotation at 5 guys instead of 9 guys though.

Simply put, crazy_insanity, Ryan, Cate, etc., have “options” left, while Bennett, Kennedy, etc., don’t. Read this article — http://espn.go.com/mlb/s/transanctionsprimer.html (sic) — for a summary of the transaction rules that allow some players to be moved from minors to majors and back far more easily than others. The rules are incredibly complex, but Neyer does a good job of explaining them.

The option situation also explains why TLR and Jocketty have been reluctant to bring up Rick Ankiel despite his AAA power production: he’s out of options. If they bring him up but decide not to keep him there, they risk losing him altogether if they try to send him back to the minors.

I noticed Ronnie Belliard is having a much better season than Adam Kennedy. It still puzzles me that the Cards did not keep Belliard. He helped the Cards in the playoff and World Series. He should still be a Cardinal.

The answer to your question is easy Kennedy. The answer is….bad management.

Well, I think its time we saw a lot of rookie players in STL to close the season out. With the way the Cards are playing now its time to get some new blood on the field. Say goodbye to some old friends via the trade route, and I think all but a very few players should be considered to trade away. Thanks for all the good times you once gave us, but the new faces seem to be the only way to salvage a very bad year. Bring the minor league players up and see what they can do as a preview to next year, do not wait due to this impossible dream of playoff action. Schumacher, Ryan, Ludwick and all the other new players with talent should be brought up to finish the year. Now is the time for action.

I’m with you, but I’d rather keep with the way we are right now, and try to trade players away, and get some new faces, then bring up the young players for next year.

I agree with you enola. Pitching was a huge strength when considering youth and minor league prospects. Right now Memphis is hurtin in that category, but Springfield seems to have some live arms. I think we’ll see four of the Springfield Card pitchers in the majors before too many years. Two righties and two lefties. Eric Haberer was raised in our neighborhood and is a lefty. Our righties are two “Confederate” kids, Boggs, the “Georgia Peach” anda youngster from the banks of the Mississippi, “Rocket Rausch.” However, our fourth pitching prospect is from the deep south, Mexico..Jaime Garca. These and others are doing well keeping the young birds on top. Besides Rick Ankiel, who will always be a favorite of mine, Hoffpauir, Anderson, and Richardson ae having outstanding to pretty good years. Did I mention Bozied at Memphis wth Ankiel?
Some of these guys are still having apparent trouble learning the strike zone and the spin of the ball, but my gosh, Ankiel is hitting the ball hard! ew, I agree with you about Duncan playing all the time. He can hit lefties! I’d like to see him play regularly and just spell him occasionally. “Little Dunk” is getting better at fielding..still green but much better. Oh yes, I’ve got to defend Taguchi. I like Skip, and Ludwick, but Taguchi is a 110%er. He is a great asset for any club and he hustles like a youngster. As far as pitching goes…don’t get me started! Of all the struggling pitchers, I think that the “Baylor Bear”, Kip Wells, is about to get back into the groove. Reyes might also…still young, but sd was Ankiel, Bud Smith, and years ago, “Vinegar Bend” Mizell. If any of you find another kid that reminds you of Bob Gibson, the Dean Brothers, or Steve Carlton, let us know. I’ll personally go scout them!

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