Friday camp tidbits

Not a lot to tell, since my notebook is already up, but a few little things from today. Senor Goold and I stayed back at camp for the morning to watch guys throw before we headed up the coast for the game at Tradition Field (aka Shea Stadium South).

* Izzy really was filthy. As Adam Kennedy pointed out, it’s tough for a hitter to get up to any kind of intensity at 10:30 in the morning on Field 1 when the whole team has left for Port St. Lucie, but still… His cutter was sharp. His change was spotty, but the good ones were just evil. His sinker had good movement. Never read too much into a game at this point in the year, obviously; it doesn’t mean Izzy’s going to go out and put up a .60 ERA for the year. But it definitely was fun to watch.

* Random amusing scene: Watching warmups for the ninth inning from down the right-field line, and Tyler Johnson was playing catch with Ryan Ludwick. Which would be no big deal, except that he was throwing right-handed, while wearing a catcher’s mitt on his left. Rest assured, TJ has no plans to go all ambidextrous — his throws from the right side definitely didn’t look like a pitcher’s throws.

* Chris Duncan played 1B again. The manager sounded less against it than he did a couple of days ago. Josh Phelps may yet make this team, but my guess right now is that the backup 1B will be Duncan (more on this tomorrow).

* Wainwright was better than his line. He was pretty consistently down, and the defense behind him was shaky.

-M.

5 Comments

Question for ya Dude: Let’s say the Cards have a most fortuitous season, meaning Carp comes back effective by start of second half, Mulder comes back effective in May, and Glaus doesn’t have a bad season, and all other questions are satisfactorily answered. Do you think we can really compete with the Cubs and Brewers, all things being equal?

Do you think they feel that Duncan isn’t panning out as a LF? Or is it just out of necessity that he would be the primary backup at first.

It’s the latter. He’s not going to be the starter, obviously. They’re trying to figure out who will back up Pujols, and if Duncan can be the guy, then you don’t have to carry someone specifically for that purpose.

As for Shaun’s question, to answer it the way you ask it, yes, if EVERYTHING breaks right, this could be a contending team. But the problem for the Cardinals is that everything doesn’t go right for any team. It’s going to be tough to keep pace; I think this Cubs team is very good, especially if it gets Roberts.

-M.

Speaking of what happened on Friday…

Matt – how much of a possibility is it that Brendan Ryan (the way he’s hit in Spring Training games so far)makes the roster as the starting shortstop? I mean, if he continues to hit and Izturis does not, is it coneivable that Tony will plug him in and how likely is it? Or, is Izturis essentially the guy regardless of how he or Ryan hits?

Thanks!

Virtually nil. By the end of the year, maybe. But at the start of the season, that job is Izturis’ to lose — think Sidney Ponson a couple years ago, where the guy has to implode AND the other guy has to be great.

-M.

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