Saturday camp tidbits: Gonzalez still out

* Juan Gonzalez is once again not on the travel roster. He underwent an MRI yesterday and they should know more today.

* Joel Pineiro will play a longer catch today and is building toward a bullpen, which should be sometime next week, either Monday or Wednesday.

* Brad Thompson, whose turn to pitch was tomorrow, is on the travel roster today. I didn’t get a chance to talk to TLR or Dunc before the bus left, but since nothing here is accidental, I’m deducing that this may be a significant sign.

* Kyle Lohse is wearing No. 26.



I think Gonzalez’s time is coming to an end for baseball. Is Thompson scheduled to get a start at all this spring? If he’s vying for a rotation spot, then it seems like he’d have to start sometime.

I must be thick… Why is it a sign that Brad is on the travel list?

The thought of Gonzalez as a nice novelty, kinda like TLR wanting to get Bonds. I say let this team get younger and we’ll get to see what will be the future of the team. I wonder if the Cards have ever explored a possible trade in Chris Duncan for an American League pitcher? I personally don’t see Duncan as ever being a “good” outfielder and he is much better served as a first baseman or DH. Oh well, it will probaly never happen while his daddy is the pitching coach here…


So, I’m finally getting excited about 2008 baseball. Yadi I think has to win the gold glove. I’m optimistic that albert will return to form now that he has more protection behind him (I am worried about that elbow though). I’m excited to watch wainwright, this guy’s ceiling is as high as anyone else’s in the majors. There are lots of reasons to be hopeful. Consider if carp comes back healthy, then you have potentially two aces. And the power in the lineup, it might be the most powerful lineup in the organization’s history. But I also realize all these things mean nothing if our pitchers don’t get healthy.

My guess about Brad is that he is now unofficially in the bullpen. Starters don’t usually travel with the team in spring training when it’s not their day to pitch. I think Brad is a casualty of the Kyle Lohse signing.

The real question for us “armchair managers” is whether or not Brad is the weakest of the starting candidates. I don’t know what to make of Reyes, and Wellemeyer seems best suited for three or four inning mop-up roles (high pitch counts, lots of walks, incredible knack for pitching out of trouble).

Is anybody concerned about Franklin? The saber folks have been pointing out that for 2007 his opposing batting average on balls put in play is unusually low, which suggests that he had a lot of good luck last year (we know it wasn’t good defense behind him). I’m rooting for him, but if he doesn’t fare well, maybe Kinney will return to his pre-surgery form.

I;ve been concerned about Franklin since he first signed with the team before last season. I just don’t know what to get from him.

I don’t see Franklin as anything to be too concerned about, not because he’s going to be as good as last year, but because he’s “fungible.” There are lots of guys out there — including many in the St. Louis minor-league system — with basically his skills. If he craters this year, replace him; it’s doable.

To me more of an issue is Chris Duncan’s continuing struggles. Sure, it would have been nice a year ago to trade him to some AL team that needed a DH, and get something in return that props up either starting pitching or (more likely) middle infield. But what can they get for him now? Branch Rickey’s aphorism about it being better to trade a guy one year too early than one year too late is looking all too relevant to Dunc.

I’ve never liked Franklin, the pitcher. Every time he takes the mound, I get anxious.

I guess I’m also worried about Franklin’s contract. He’s signed through 2009 w/ a club option for 2010. I think maybe Jocketty went a little nuts on the length of this contract. Since he doesn’t have options, what does his contract length do to our major league pitching roster if he flames out?

It is still early, and I’m definitely pulling for him to succeed. I think maybe the Lohse signing has me feeling too good, and I’m looking for something to go wrong.

Regarding Chris Duncan, he sure doesn’t seem very durable right now. Why are we pushing him? Ludwick is arguably as talented, and I think he’d fill in nicely if we let Duncan heal properly on the DL. Does Duncan still have options if he is healthy but still not hitting when camp breaks?

I say give Brendan Ryan the starting SS job. He can field, he’s hitting ~.250 at the moment and, hopefully, he’s the future. We don’t have a better veteran, play the newbie with real potential that’s what I say… and maybe have TLR apologize to Ozzie for treating him like cr&p for so long and have the best fielding shortstop in history (though Vizquel is close) work with him.

Wow…I just ready the article about Thompson’s scheduled start on Wednesday. I was way off, as it appears that he’s a legitimate rotation contender.

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