Sunday tidbits

A few pieces of news/information for you, all of which I’ll update on the site later:

* Dave Duncan said he does not expect Matt Clement to be ready to go on Opening Day. Said Clement really needs to build up his arm strength and is behind. So as of now it’s basically six guys for five spots to open the season.

* Adam Kennedy arrived at camp today and began working out. TLR characterized Kennedy as the leader to be the primary 2B man, but no guarantee — said his lead on the field is definitely slimmer than last year. Kennedy said he had no problem with that.

* Chris Perez will stop throwing out of the windup. He has previously pitched out of the windup and the stretch, but he will no longer. Perez, Adam Ottavino, P.J. Walters and Mitchell Boggs all threw to hitters today.

-M.

12 Comments

a) Do Clement or Duncan have an idea of how long it will take for him to get ready or is it a rehab thing like Kinney and Mulder, where they will be called up when ready and have no set date?

b) Was there a problem with Perez’s windup where it was causing excess wear on his arm/shoulder/elbow/back or was it just a comfort thing?

a) I think it’s fairly open-ended, but I also didn’t get the feeling we were talking about months. Unfortunately, by the time we talked to Dunc, Clement was gone so I couldn’t ask him.

b) It’s mostly a command thing, I think. And also, there’s just no reason for a reliever to pitch from the windup.

-M.

It’s great to be reading your notes and updates from camp, Matthew. It’s Spring! Regardless of what the calender or weather people say. In regard to your notes from a day or 2 ago about the name listings for the Flores brothers–not long after after the Cardnials had signed Ron F to a contract, my sister christened him Flo-Bro. Wish we were there–hopefully, next year.

Having Perez use the stretch all the time seems reasonable, but I wonder whether it addresses the command problem. I’ve been looking for none-on/men-on splits for his BB/9, K/9, etc., but can’t seem to find them. Anybody? If there’s evidence that he was wilder out of the windup, this is unequivocally a good thing, and you wonder why it wasn’t done sooner.

As for Clement, all I can say is “uh, oh.” This sounds like a warmup for bad news yet to come.

I’m glad to hear that Clement just needs some strength. He probably wouldn’t have started out in the rotation anyways after missing more than an entire year.

On another note, has Juan Gone shown up yet, and if so, what sort of impression has he made on the staff?

Nice to hear Clement will get the time he needs. Maybe the head shed learned something after putting Mulder in too early last year.

Some reports have commented on the clarity of the Cards reporting when it comes to injured players. Positive spin?

Anyway, I think the lineup and bullpen will be fair to good. The rotation is a house of cards, no pun intended.

One thing is certain, the change in GMs hasn’t changed the fact that our manager and pitching coach are not on the same page as upper management (STILL), and Tony (and Dunc in this case) is still flapping his gums about his players before talking to the player himself!

“I would say it’s a little premature to determine whether he’s going to be ready or not,” Mozeliak said. “We still have six weeks [to go]. In a meeting with our medical staff, it is about strength. I can’t tell you today if he’s going to be ready or not. I just think that to say that all of a sudden the skies have darkened isn’t really fair.”

This isn’t like making a lineup right now. It’s something that Duncan observed and has predicted. There is nothing set in stone, especially with a guy that hasn’t pitched since 06. It wouldn’t surprise me if Clement wasn’t pitching in the opening couple of weeks, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it would. The fact is that he is behind guys like Wainwright and Looper that have started recently as far as arm strength and may need more time to get there.

I know that,heymatto, and I’m not comparing the two. What I’m saying is it seems obvious to me that Clement didn’t like hearing his manager and pitching coach saying those thigns about him so prematurely, and neither did Mozeliak. AND they shouldn’t have siad it to begin with. It doesn’t matter that it’s not set in stone, the fact is those comments show a lack of confidence, and to me, a lack of respect for the player who is working hard to come back by opening day. Why risk putting doubt in his mind and risk clouding his confidence? It’s just a disrespectful way of going about things.

I disagree about Duncan’s comments showing a lack of respect. There is absolutely no way the Duncan could have avoided questions about changing Clement’s spring training program. If he would have had Clement throw a long toss session in place of his bullpen day without first addressing it with the media, he’d be accused of covering up the situation. He can’t win either way.

Yes he can win. He can go to Clement and say, “Look. I don’t think you’ll be able to get your arm stregnth up in time for O.D. So when the media starts asking questions about your spring throwing program, that’s what I’m going to tell them.” How hard is that? That way you don’t have the coavhes telling the media one thing, and the player saying the opposite. No confusion between player/ manager and no mixed messages to the media and fans! Is it really that difficult of a concept?

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