March 2008

Travelin' Man

Greetings from Springfield, where it’s a lot chillier than it was back in Florida. Your faithful correspondent has earned his money recently, having to drive from Atlanta to STL last night after the second leg of my flight home was canceled. Then drive to Springfield this afternoon for the games down here.

However, I am here.

It appears that Rico Washington is going to be on the team. Ryan is of course still down in Jupiter. However, it still looks like Ryan’s injury is relatively short-term, so they’d rather add a guy who can be optioned out after Ryan is activated. I’m told Washington is an excellent defender at third base, and they’re willing to play him at a ton of different positions.

Reyes is not listed in the bullpen for today, but per TLR, that’s because he threw a side session yesterday. He’s scheduled to be available tomorrow. That last decision, we are told, is still not final.

I’ll have more for y’all if and when news warrants, so stay tuned.

Today’s playlist, five of my favorite road songs:
* Willie Nelson, "On the Road Again"
* Black Crowes, "Wiser Time"
* Metallica, "Wherever I May Roam"
* U2, "Where the Streets Have No Name"
* Bob Seger, "Turn the Page"


Sun sets on Jupiter

As I write this, I have a beautiful view from the Roger Dean Stadium of a few clouds at sunset. The second and last equipment truck to St. Louis is pulling out right now. The Cards and Marlins have one more game tomorrow, but I’m heading home in the morning, and I can definitely tell you that the clubhouse is already starting to take on a last-day-of-school kind of feeling. Don’t expect many long at-bats tomorrow.

I don’t have a lot to offer that I didn’t get in my stories today. It’s been a grueling camp, with all the news, but it’s also seemed to go by very quickly in a way. It really does seem like just a few days ago that games started. The decisions have pretty much made themselves in most cases, and I have very few quibbles with how the roster will shake down, given the list of players they started with. It’s going to be an interesting team, whether it’s good or not.

Your faithful correspondent probably won’t blog tomorrow, but Friday in Springfield I’ll have more for you. And of course the opener is coming soon — M. in a tie! — so that’ll definitely be fun.

I leave you with today’s playlist…
Stone Roses: "I Am the Resurrection"
Joy Division: "Atmosphere"
REM: "Diminished"
Beck: "Que Onda Guero"
Mike Doughty: "Unsingable Name"


Roster all but finished

* Kyle McClellan and Brian Barton have been told that, barring something shocking in the next 4 days, they are on the roster.

* Chris Perez and Cliff Politte were re-assigned to Minor League camp this morning.

* Juan Gonzalez’s situation will be addressed by the club today, but one way or another, he’s obviously not on the team.

* The only remaining questions are one infield spot — whether Brendan Ryan is healthy enough, or instead if D’Angelo Jimenez makes the team — and at the back end of the bullpen. It’s down to Kelvin Jimenez and Anthony Reyes for that job.

* Hugo Castellanos is still in camp, but has been told he will not make the team. However, it appears that he will accompany the club to Springfield in order to serve as bullpen protection.


Clement throws

Matt Clement threw two innings in the Double-A – Triple-A game today. It was a camp day, so Memphis played against Springfield, and Clement was pitching for Springfield.

He didn’t actually complete either inning. Each time, they called the inning off when he reached a certain count — 20 in the first inning, 17 in the second.

Clement had a lot of movement on his ball, but both command and velocity were lacking. He was pitching at 84-85 mph and hit 86 twice. Of the seven batters he faced, he walked four, he struck out one, retired one on a flyball out and one reached on an error. He got three swinging strikes.

Story to follow on the site.

Pineiro pitches

Joel Pineiro pitched two innings in the Triple-A game today. He was scheduled to go 30-40 pitches, and he threw 34, 18 for strikes.

First inning: bunt groundout to catcher; flyout to left field; groundout to 3rd base
LOOOONG delay, as Memphis put up a big second inning.
Second inning: soft liner to second base; double to left field; strikeout called; strikeout swinging

He sat in the high 80s and hit 90 mph.

Story to follow on the site.

Monday camp tidbits (short)

* Troy Glaus stayed back due to some mild back stiffness. He’s participating in batting practice here, so it’s nothing too severe, but they elected not to subject him to seven hours of sitting on a bus.

* Pineiro is throwing in the Triple-A game at 1 pm ET, and I’ll be there for that.

Not a lot else going on. The bus left at 7:30, and I’m not trekking to Fort Myers, so unless anything big is shaking here in Jupiter, it could be a fairly quiet day.


Roster projection, sixth guess

Lot of stuff up here today, so please do make sure you read down the page at all of the various entries.

The hitting side of this is pretty well set. Pitching is getting doggone close.

Starting pitchers (5)
Adam Wainwright
Todd Wellemeyer
Brad Thompson
Braden Looper
Kyle Lohse

Relief pitchers (7)
Jason Isringhausen
Russ Springer
Ryan Franklin
Kyle McClellan
Kelvin Jimenez
Randy Flores
Ron Villone

Catchers (2)
Yadier Molina
Jason LaRue

Infielders (6)
Albert Pujols
Adam Kennedy
Cesar Izturis
Troy Glaus
Aaron Miles
Brendan Ryan (D’Angelo Jimenez if Ryan is hurt)

Outfielders (5)
Rick Ankiel
Chris Duncan
Ryan Ludwick
Skip Schumaker
Brian Barton

Today’s playlist:
Albert Hammond Jr., "Hard to Live in the City"
Weezer, "The Good Life"
Presidents of the USA, "We Are Not Going to Make It"
Modest Mouse, "Gravity Rides Everything"
Counting Crows, "Have You Seen Me Lately"


Saturday afternoon camp tidbits: rotation set

* The first week’s rotation appears to be settled. It will of course be Wainwright on March 31 for the opener, but after that it’s a little different than most of us had been figuring. Todd Wellemeyer will go in game 2, April 2 against the Rockies, and Brad Thompson will pitch Game 3 against the Rox. Braden Looper will start the opening game against Washington, with Wainwright on regular rest on Saturday April 5 against Washington. Kyle Lohse will make his debut on April 6.

They want Lohse to get one more tuneup rather than going right into Major League games after two games. So after his Thursday start down here in Florida, he’ll do some kind of work on Tuesday, April 1 before debuting April 6.

* Brendan Ryan got good news — and a cortisone shot. They found nothing wrong with the bones in the area of his injury, and he’s confident that the shot and some rest will get him set. He’s hoping to work out on Tuesday and play on Wednesday, though that’s no guarantee.

* More on Rasmus being up — not only did he want to give Ankiel and Schumaker a day off, but Brian Barton was held out because he’s dealing with a little hamstring soreness. He’s considered day-to-day at this point.


Saturday morning camp tidbits

If you’re here looking for the Mark Mulder update, please follow this link — or just look down the page a little bit.

* Brendan Ryan is pretty much spending the day getting checked out medically. Not sure if we’ll know something today, or if it will be tomorrow.

* From today’s medical report: Tyler Johnson got an injection in his shoulder yesterday and will not throw until at least Monday, when he’ll be re-examined.

* Colby Rasmus is not only with the big league club, as he was yesterday and as often happens with Minor Leaguers. He’s actually in the lineup. TLR just said he wanted to get Schumaker and Ankiel a day off, but it definitely jumps out a little. I’m still not making too much of it, but I’m a little curious.


Mulder faces hitters

Mark Mulder just threw 30 pitches to Minor League hitters, simulating at-bats. Allen Craig, Daniel Descalso and Oliver Marmol stood in and simulated a total of 10 at-bats. Mulder was a bit erratic in the first half of the session, then settled in and got the ball down a lot more in the second half.

One ball fell in for a "hit," one bat was broken, one admiring obscenity was uttered by an observing teammate and at least 16 of the pitches were strikes.

More later…