February 2008

Move coming

Something is shaking; they’re expecting to add a pitcher by the end of the day. Don’t get your hopes up, it’s definitely not going to be anybody earth shattering — a depth LHP.

Here’s the list of names who might fit the descriptions that I’ve been given thus far:

* Bruce Chen
* Ron Villone
* Billy Traber

-M.

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.

How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm once they've seen Roger Dean Stadium?

Fun day at camp today.

First, there was a little stir about the name "McGwire" on the schedule today — more on that in my notebook, but basically they’ve invited Mark and he hasn’t yet said no. But he hasn’t said yes either.

Mostly, though, it was a chance to see a lot of guys throw who I’d never seen throw before. Pretty much all of the really interesting kids threw today – Boggs, Ottavino, Mortensen, Walters, Motte, Perez, Worrell, Garcia, McLellan. So that was very cool. I’d seen Boggs once before, Perez once, Worrell alst spring, and Garcia once. But really haven’t seen any of these guys extensively.

Boggs has a really nice motion to my eye, looks very smooth and easy. And he’s a big guy, of course. You  can see pretty easily some of the things that the team and scouts like about him. Ottavino seems to have a lot on his ball, a really big arm. He’s very interesting, and I’m intrigued to see him against hitters. Perez just throws big-time gas. I was told yesterday that he was hitting 99 at the end of the year last year. The ball really jumps out of his hand and pops in the mitt.

There are a lot of intriguing stories this spring — the outfield, the back of the rotation, Juan Gonzalez’s comeback, the middle infield, etc etc etc. But one of the ones I’m most looking forward to is watching all of these guys pitch.

-M, listening to U2′s All That You Can’t Leave Behind.

Lucky Seven, Happy-Valentine's edition

Wishing the Mrs. a happy V-Day from 1200 miles away, here’s this week’s Lucky Seven.

1. Of these seven outfielders — Duncan, Ankiel, Schumaker, Ludwick, Barton, Gonzalez, Rasmus — which five make the team?

2. Of these 11 (eleven!) infielders — Pujols, Glaus, Kennedy, Izturis, Miles, Spiezio, Ryan, Hoffpauir, Barden, Jimenez, Phelps — which six make the team? (hint: I think the Pujols guy is pretty safe)

3. Of these three starting pitcher candidates — Reyes, Thompson, Wellemeyer — which one opens the season in the rotation?

4. Of the six pitchers who attended the Cards’ minicamp — see Derrick Goold’s excellent piece on it from the other day — which one makes the Majors first? Which one has the best career? The pitchers are Mitchell Boggs, Jaime Garcia, Clayton Mortensen, Adam Ottavino, Chris Perez and P.J. Walters.

5. Who will win the Daytona 500? (If you don’t like NASCAR, just ignore the question. Don’t take a shot. I’m a gearhead. You don’t have to like it, but I do and it’s my blog.)

6. Now that the writers’ strike is settled, what show’s return are you most eagerly anticipating?

7. What’s the last good book you read?

-M.

Numerology

OK, not really. But numbers.

Today was report day, and it’s still pretty quiet. Some guys are working out, but the organized team workouts with schedule sheets don’t start till tomorrow. I’ll have plenty on the site later this evening, but for now, here are some noteworthy jersey numbers for new arrivals and prospects. I didn’t notice any veterans with new numbers.

3 – Cesar Izturis
8 – Troy Glaus
21 – Jason LaRue
22 – Juan Gonzalez
28 – D’Angelo Jimenez
40 – Cliff Politte
46 – John Wasdin

Those are all of the new arrivals with numbers under 50.

Colby Rasmus does not have a big league number — he’s wearing 84. The highest number with So Taguchi gone belongs to catcher David Carpenter, who’s wearing 92.

-M.

Opening Day roster projection, first guess

All right, I’m going to try to do a few more of these than usual this year, so let’s start with one before my first visit to camp.

Pitchers
Adam Wainwright
Braden Looper
Joel Pineiro
Matt Clement
Anthony Reyes
Jason Isringhausen
Ryan Franklin
Russ Springer
Todd Wellemeyer
Brad Thompson
Randy Flores
Tyler Johnson

Catchers
Yadier Molina
Jason LaRue

Infielders
Albert Pujols
Adam Kennedy
Cesar Izturis
Troy Glaus
Aaron Miles
Scott Spiezio

Outfielders
Chris Duncan
Rick Ankiel
Skip Schumaker
Ryan Ludwick
Brian Barton

-M.

On the road again

Headed for Florida this afternoon. Baseball and warm weather are good. Being away from my wife and animals, not so good.

I’ll be posting on here a lot more often during the spring and season, so hopefully y’all will visit a lot more often too. Here’s to the adventure that is eight months of baseball…

-M, with Jack Johnson’s new one on the speakers (first listen, digging it so far).

Lucky Seven, last-one-before-Spring-Training edition

1. What’s the most interesting storyline going into Cardinals Spring Training?

2. Other than Rasmus, which prospect are you most interested to see this spring?

3. When does Mark Mulder make his regular-season game debut this year? What about Chris Carpenter?

4. What one still-unsigned free agent would you like to see the Cardinals add?

5. As currently constituted, what’s the best team in the NL?

6. It’s a half-decent list of nominees for Record of the Year (though in general I hate the Grammys). Which one should win?

7. What’s your favorite beach anywhere?

-M.

Back on the horse, for real this time

Hello, all…

The Mrs. and I have returned from our winter vacation (Key West — fanTAStic!), and I’m back on for the duration, pretty much. Not a lot to say right now, since I’m still digging out from being gone, but I should be contributing more regularly from now until, well, October.

-M, with iTunes shuffling.

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