Tuesday camp tidbits

* Brian Barton went to get his surgically-repaired right knee checked out today. No word on the results. I’ll have more when I know more.

* TLR discussed the leadoff spot at length today, but probably the most interesting thing about it was that he confirmed more firmly than at any previous point that he plans to hit the pitcher 8th again this year.

* They’re having a "coaches’ game" — ie, an intrasquad game with coaches throwing BP — this afternoon. "Team Matheny" includes Matt Pagnozzi (DH), David Carpenter, Mark Johnson (1B), Jarrett Hoffpauir, David Freese, Brian Barden (SS), Cody Haerther, Colby Rasmus and Nick Stavinoha. "Team Walker" features Brandon Yarbrough (DH), Nick Derba, Bryan Anderson (1B), D’Angelo Jimenez, Rico Washington (3B), Brendan Ryan (SS), Amaury Marti, Joe Mather (CF) and Gabe Johnson (RF). TLR said not to read anything into Ryan being in this game, even though he’s the only guy who played in the Majors for STL last year.

As always, check the site for notes and features and plenty more later on today.

-M.

10 Comments

How has Mather been doing?

That’s something interesting to note there M. Do you think the checkup is supposed to be precautionary or is it serious?

Hard to say, still waiting to find out.
-M.

Please, I admire innovation, but…A few insignificant stats aside, unless the pitcher is a better hitter than the eight place hitter, don’t move the pitcher up.

Why not put the best lead off candidate eighth, the second best in the first slot, and bat Albert second, that makes as much sense.

I need more convincing.

However, it has worked for TLR every time he has used it. I think that’s a little more than coincidental. And the stats, as “insignificant” as you think they are, were better. The lineup was hitting at a better ratio and was getting on base at a higher rate. You need those to score runs, so why do you see them as insignificant?

How do you prove that the pitcher batting eighth was what improved the runs per game avg.? Wasn’t Ankiel in most of the games during that same stretch? For stats to be insignficant they have to be over a longer period of time with more variable controls.

Aside from that, I appreciate your response and do think what you say is worth considering. I still say, the way Tony wants it, put Pujols second. After the first inning he will be hitting third. Or leave him in the “cleanup” third spot if you want.

Personally I still believe that unless the pitcher is a better hitter than the position player, leave the pitcher ninth. Hey, let’s get more of you weighing in on this.

What bugs me is the legitimation from TLR. The reason the Cardinals don’t have a high on-base percentage, base stealing kind of player is that TLR doesn’t manage in a way that encourages a/the speed game. Increasing OBP is a good reason for batting the pitcher eighth, if true, pulling out the base-stealing card holds no water since TLR hasn’t ever shown much interest in base stealing.

Not wanting to beat a dead horse… but, Rolen’s sadness/quotes about leaving STL struck me as far more genuine than TLR’s sadness given his surety that Rolen’s gonna have a really good year… particularly because, if true, that just might be a reason to try to work things out… unless they’re not an accurate reflection of his feelings (which are more accurately reflected in his comments just after re-upping with the team).

Is there anything on Glaus’ – who I’ve always appreciated – performance this Spring?

When have we had the players to steal bases? The last guy to steal double digits was AP wasn’t it? He swiped 15 in 05. The fact is that we haven’t had many good base STEALERS. You can make an argument for Eckstein, but the past two years with him having back and shoulder troubles, I wouldn’t have wanted to push him.

It is, of course, possible to pursue such types of players, if you are interested in that type of ball… the last honest-to-goodness base stealer I recall was Tony Womack.

I like the pitcher batting 8th. It’s the ONE idea of LaRussa’s that I like and agree with. It seems to work, but I agree with tntnt about the stats being insignificant. Too many people put way too much stock in stats. What no one seems to remember is that stats are just an AVERAGE. Just because a guy hit .300 in August against lefties, it doesn’t mean he’s gonna hit .300 in August of next year against lefties. If you see one guy who has a .450 average against a certain pitcher, that appears like a good matchup on the surface. But what if he was 4 for his first 4 against him and 0 for his last 7 against that guy. Now that doesn’t seem like such a good match up. That’s why I hate the numbers game, which is all Tony knows about baseball it seems…playing the numbers.And matto, I agree with you about our team not having any real base stealers,
but you blew up your own reasoning by pointing out that Albert had 15 one year. THAT proves you don’t necessarily NEED base staelers to steal bases and increase your scoring chances. You just have to be smart and have the green light from the skipper.

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