Thursday camp tidbits: Pineiro scratched

* Joel Pineiro apparently experienced some arm stiffness yesterday and was scratched from a live BP session. As a result, he’s been scratched from his scheduled Sunday start. TLR said the strength in the arm was good, for what that’s worth. I’ll write more as I have more, of course.

* A few of Mulder’s teammates watched his throw this morning and were very impressed. FWIW, of course, but it was unsolicited. They just brought it up to me.

* Juan Gonzalez starting at DH today, Kennedy leading off.

* Conversation has already started about roster spots in the wake of Spiezio’s release. TLR said Chris Duncan probably won’t see any more innings at 1B than he already would have. Said Joe Mather would take some groundballs there, but mostly emphasized that in his mind, 1B can be handled by nearly anybody who can play the infield. One name I find very interesting in the new situation: D’Angelo Jimenez, who switch-hits, plays three spots (not necessarily well, but plays them) and gets on base.



Man…Jimenez seems like a stretch to play first…and I don’t like the “not necessarily well” aspect…plus…I don’t know much about him offensively…is there someone you could compare him to offensively, Matt?

Good news on Mulder!!! I’m so pumped about seeing him come back…

Especially considering spring training games don’t count, why would Gonzales be put in the game as a DH? Among all the options in the crowded outfield, it seems if Barton or Gonzales don’t make the Major League team, they are leaving the Cardinals organization. They know Gonzales can hit – DH does not add to the evaluation. I’d rather look at his reflexes/speed/durability in the field where an NL hitter will spend most of his time. This is especially true considering we may get a few years from Gonzales or a career from Barton.

I like Jimenez a lot offensively. He gets on base, really nice offensive player. In his last full season, he put up a 270/364/394 line, and I’d take that in the leadoff spot every day.

As for Gonzalez, why wouldn’t Gonzalez be put in at DH? The question, in my opinion, is absolutely about his bat. He was never a Gold Glover or a great baserunner. If he’s only a 270/330/440 hitter at this point, like he was in 2004, then there’s no reason to keep him. If he’s a 300/350/500 hitter, then there’s reason to keep him. The only thing that really matters about him is, is he a dangerous hitter?

But basically, there are seven guys. They’ll all play outfield, and likely most of them will get a look at DH once in a while. Barton and Rasmus both played yesterday. Today four of the other five guys are in there. The only guy who has yet to get in is Ludwick.


What does Jimenez offer that Ryan doesn’t? This incident opens an infield spot, and if the organization is really going for the youth movement, then should that spot be Ryan’s? I understand he has to produce and earn the spot, I’m simply suggesting that he should be the favorite to take that spot. He can handle 2b ss and 3rd, and for the days Albert needs a rest there is the option of duncan. Nothing against Jimenez, I agree with your assesment M, but I would really perfer that job to fall to Ryan unless he falters this spring. As a long shot, what about Barden?

I like Ryan…but to answer your question in a word (What does Jimenez offer that Ryan does not?): experience. We need it more than anything with such a young team this year…it’s that situational hitting, versatility, experience role that Spiezio left behind…I want Ryan for the future, but let him learn a bit more in AAA…

um…is there a game delay or something…? the Live Box Score hasn’t changed in a while and even is showing top of the second…

It seemed obvious at the time that Ryan would be the likely candidate… Should be an interesting season.

oh…nevermind…just behind and slow…sorry to use the thread for that, Matt…but I HAD to know…and, you know…it does ‘kind of’ have to do with today’s camp tidbits🙂

I’m not trying to rag on jimenez in anyway here, but I just don’t think that experience is really that necessary and shouldn’t be a reason to take him over Ryan. Ryan is a better defender, most likely a better bat and younger. That’s 3 out of 3 for me. As far as needing experience, this team isn’t that young. Assuming Izturus and Kennedy take the starting spots, and miles as the other infielder, that’s quite a bit of experience. Ryan would represent the only youth option on the infield. The outfield is young, but I’ve seen the Gonzalez experiment critisized simply because he is old and it goes against the youth movement. So if gonzalez is being looked at that way, why isn’t Jimenez? Obviously I’m a strong Ryan supporter, I was impressed with his play last year, and I think he has the tools to continue to develop at the big league level. I would rather see him play through some mistakes, and see what he really has to offer, rather than see jimenez. he is a known quality, however, he is a limited known quality and I prefer to see what the kids can do.

whoa…Jimenez and Gonzalez…different situation entirely…you’re talking about a guy who left baseball (Gonzalez) and started playing major league ball in 1989 vs. a guy who has been playing and started in 1999. Big “age” difference. Not the same thing at all…

And, tell Ryan if he wondered if experience mattered last year while he was sitting on the bench for not taking a pitch? Or ask the team from 2006 if experience mattered when Spiezio came to the plate and smacked a season-saving triple off the wall…twice.

You’re right in that experience isn’t nearly everything…but it does matter…especially with a young team like this. And, keep in mind, I mean young as far as Major League experience…not general age. I think, however, that experience (not age – not always the same thing) does absolutely matter when you’re talking about a position that has to come in for situational hitting in pinch hit spots or a guy who has to easily move from first to second to short to third when needed…it rattled Ryan a bit last year (his lack of “experience” – there’s that word again – on third made it difficult for him at times).

Now, I don’t know much at all about Jimenez…but I do know that for guys in a “youth movement,” moving them out of AAA too early can be damaging to them. Ankiel needed at-bats, Ryan needs experience, some pitchers need arm strength…etc. I don’t know Jimenez, but I know experience is worth something.

I don’t disagree with experience being important in a playoff race. This isn’t a playoff race. As for him sitting on the bench for not taking a pitch, that is the exact experience he needs, and he needs to get that experience at the Majors level. That’s the type of experience he simply isn’t going to get at AAA. With young players you have growing pains, and those growing pains will happen whether he spends more time at AAA or not. And once again, the infield IS EXPERIENCED. Kennedy is experienced, Izturus has been in the bigs for several years, Miles has 5+ years experience, Albert and Glaus are experienced. Having 1 inexperienced player on the infield is not going to hurt this team, not allowing a good young player to grow at the big league level could. Also don’t forget, when Ryan was up last year, he produced. Ofcourse he made errors at an unfamiliar position, but I don’t see you commented on Miles errors at shortstop last year. He was an experienced guy at a new position and had growing pains there as well, or was he “rattled”. Plain and simple, Ryan has the talent and i think he needs to be eveluated at the big league level. With Jimenez we are not talking about a proven clutch performer, we are talking about a guy who has just been around longer. He could absolutely be a useful player in the utility infielder role, however, I think ryan should have that spot and really push the established middle infielders for playing time if the don’t produce.

hmmm…maybe…maybe not…but for the record, experience is just as important in the regular season – imo. In 2006, we essentially made the playoffs by a 1/2 game. That means every single game was important…and each game has the potential to be won or lost on a single error…and we have an even smaller margin for error this year than we have for any other year in the last 5.

But, I do see your point…and you could be right…God knows I like Ryan…we’ll see…

My thing with Ryan is that if he is warming the bench in the bigs, he’s missing out on time to refine on a few things in the minors by playing everyday. I;d rather him get more everyday experience, then be promoted.

exactly…that’s how you learn more in AAA than you do in the Bigs at this point…thanks heymatto!

I don’t disagree with that either. However, I think that more applies to a younger guy like Rasmus. At some point you simply need to play the younger guy and see what he has. I think Ryan has reached that point. I would much rather see him take 300 AB in the majors than have 500 at AAA. Also, it’s not like the guys we have in the middle infield have been tearing up the competition over last few years. Ryan could have the opportunity to play a lot in the majors if he performs to the level of ability that he flashed while he was up last year. I’m not hoping for him to make the team and ride the pine. I want him to make the team and play.

If he is going to play everyday…okay, fine…but the facts are that it doesn’t look like he’s going to get that opportunity…nor is Jimenez, which was the origins of this discussion…whether or not Ryan should take over for Izturis or Kennedy is not what we were discussing. We were talking about Jimenez or Ryan as the final backup infielder. Considering that fact, Ryan/Jimenez will NOT play everyday…

Therefore, Ryan should go to AAA to get everyday starts…unless he proves during spring training that he is the better man for the job “right now.”

And, actually Rasmus is a good comparison to Ryan (in some areas) as far as playing time goes. Ryan and Rasmus both need at-bats and everyday starts like Ankiel got last year. In Rasmus’ case, the team has already said if he can’t make the team as a starter, he’s going to AAA so he can get at-bats. He and Ryan are almost ready…but they need at-bats and everyday experience just a bit more…so, off to AAA for Ryan…

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