April 2008

Monday afternoon tidbits: Leadoff Lud

* Ryan Ludwick is your leadoff hitter tonight. TLR’s explanation, essentially, is that with Ludwick in and Schumaker out, he preferred not to move everybody else around. So instead he just moved one guy rather than several guys.

* Izturis is back in the lineup, batting ninth, with Ryan not in the starting nine.

* Jocketty held court with the local media; I’ll have a story on that.

* STL lineup: Ludwick RF, Ankiel CF, Pujols 1B, Duncan LF, Glaus 3B, Molina C, Kennedy 2B, Wellemeyer P, Izturis SS

* CIN lineup: Patterson CF, Keppinger SS, Griffey RF, Phillips 2B, Dunn LF, Encarnacion 3B, Votto 1B, Bako C, Arroyo P


Won't somebody please think of the children?

A few Minor League lines presented without comment. Just guys I’ve noticed from reading the box scores and game reports. Unfortunately, with no notebooks anymore, there is no more “Baby ‘Birds,” though we do have a daily Minor League report on the site (look on the bottom left of the page for the link).

Quad Cities: Pete Kozma, with a 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, SB game on Sunday, is now at .341/.421/.500 for the year. He has 11 walks against 15 Ks.

Palm Beach: Daryl Jones is at .322/.394/.492 with a couple of triples and three steals in four tries. He’s still only 20.

Springfield: Jaime Garcia does it again, with a 6  2  2  1  4  7 line for the win on Sunday. He has a 2.17 ERA, 36 Ks, 13 walks and NO homers in 29 innings.

Springfield: Jon Jay, the official prospect of Bird Land, had ANOTHER multihit game this afternoon to bring him to 326/394/517 on the year. In his last nine games, he’s 18-for-36 with five XBH and four walks. Yowza.

Springfield: Clayton Mortensen had a rough one, allowing five runs in four innings, but still is having a fine year. In five starts, he has a 3.86 ERA in 25 2/3 innings, 21 Ks, 6 walks, 1 homer allowed and a 2.24 groundout/flyout ratio. Not bad for pitching at Double-A in his first full pro season.

Springfield: Shane Robinson, a personal favorite of mine since he was a star at Florida State, is off to a terrific and surprising start. He’s hitting .423 in 71 at-bats, but what really stands out is that he has 9 XBH for a .183 isolated slugging. Robinson was a terrific on-base guy in college, but if he doesn’t show at least a little power, he’ll never draw any walks.

Memphis: David Freese has to be the most encouraging guy in the early going, hitting .288/.321/.525 so far. The 23 Ks vs 4 BB isn’t too great, but you have to like the 10 XBH in 80 at-bats.


Friday afternoon tidbits: Izturis works out

Greetings, all. Recharged after a couple days off, plus seeing Jimmy Buffett last night at whatever they call Riverport these days. Here are the tidbits:

* Izturis took BP and infield today, and is getting closer. He still looks like he’s not at game speed yet, to my eyes, but he’s getting there.

* We are about to get one heck of a storm here at Busch Stadium, though the radar makes it look like at least the thing will pass quickly. But the tarp is out and the sky is going very, very dark.

* TLR on closing, from his pregame session this afternoon: “There are no easy saves, I don’t care what the computer guys say. That old [bunk] about anybody can save a three-run lead in the ninth is one of the dumbest analytical comments that a guy that, sabermetricians, whatever they call themselves, can say. Getting three outs in the ninth is tough. It’s the last three outs. Just think about the psychological burden.”

* Mulder is taking the mound any minute now for Springfield. Here’s a link to the boxscore, and from there you can also get gameday and a live audio broadcast.


Don't see that every day

FWIW, here’s how I would have negotiated the bizarre circumstance the Cardinals find themselves in at the moment.

With Cesar Izturis hurt, and Brian Barton, Adam Kennedy and Chris Duncan already out of the game, the Cardinals have exactly eight position players — Molina, LaRue, Pujols, Glaus, Miles, Schumaker, Ankiel, Ludwick.

I’d have left Pujols at 1B, because his elbow is more important than this game — no matter how much they’ve put into getting a win today. I’d have put LaRue at 3B, where he’s played four games in his big league career, Glaus at SS and left Miles at 2B.

What about y’all?


Tuesday morning tidbits: Please, Albert, don't hurt 'em!

Got some scattershot blogging for you today, including some sermonizing to come at the end. So be warned.

* Ryan Ludwick and Brian Barton start in the outfield, Rick Ankiel and Chris Duncan sit. Ludwick is cleaning up vs the LHP, with Glaus in the five spot. I brought up the notion of maybe giving Glaus a look in the 2 spot, and TLR said it was not under consideration and almost certainly will not be.

* Albert Pujols did something truly amazing before the game. Standing flat-footed very close to home plate, he tossed a ball up in the air, took a hack — and hit it off the main video board in center field. His teammates roared, everybody’s jaws dropped, it was really remarkable.

* If you haven’t looked at Jaime Garcia’s game from last night, you might not want to. Garcia pitched an eight-inning complete game for Springfield, allowed one run and it was unearned, struck out 10 — and took the loss. Gah! One wonders how much longer Garcia will be at Springfield; he’s been outstanding thus far.

* Welcome to MLBlogging, Anthony Castrovince! Anthony does an excellent job covering the Indians, and I’m sure he’ll do an excellent job blogging as well.

* STL lineup: Schumaker CF, Barton LF, Pujols 1B, Ludwick RF, Glaus 3B, LaRue C, Miles 2B, Lohse P, Izturis SS

* MIL lineup: Weeks 2B, Counsell SS, Braun LF, Fielder 1B, Hart RF, Hall 3B, Gross CF, Parra P, Kendall C

* Today’s playlist (you may notice a theme):
R.E.M., “Fall On Me”
Dramarama, “What Are We Gonna Do?”
Joni Mitchell, “Big Yellow Taxi”
Cake, “Long Line of Cars”
Jack Johnson, “The Three Rs”

And finally, the preaching. The Mrs. and I are trying really hard to be more conscious of the effects of what we do in our daily lives, and we’ve made a few small changes. I’m only going to ask you to try to do things that I’m also trying to do. It seems fair. But here are five changes I’ve made, that I’d ask of any of you. If you have suggestions, by all means offer ’em up. The point is not to pat myself on the back, but to show that there are all kinds of things that can be done, and hopefully, like I said, you’ll offer some good suggestions too.

* Avoid getting bags at stores if you only have an item or two. Just carry it. We also got some reusable grocery bags; they’re both good.

* I’m not going to tell you what kind of car to drive, but you can change HOW you drive. I have. If you’re not in a hurry, drop your speed on the highway a little bit. The speed limit is 55 on the interstate on my way to work. I now go 55-57 instead of 63-65. It saves gas (and money!).

* Replace your lightbulbs when they burn out with the long-life, more efficient ones.

* Use reusable cups when you get coffee, and reusable water bottles for water.

* And for Pete’s sake, just turn the lights off when you leave a room!

These are all things that I know can be done without causing any hassle or hardship in one’s life, because we’re doing ’em. Give me five more. A small culture change is better than none at all.



Springer in, Washington out

Move announced this afternoon: Russ Springer activated, Rico Washington optioned. Have to figure they won’t stay at 13 pitchers for long, but that’s where they are now.


Mazel Tov, it's a celebration, (friends)!

A big, bright happy birthday to my mom today!


Alive and kicking

Your faithful correspondent has been shamed into getting back on the blogging train after a week of laziness. I’m actually off this weekend, so I prolly won’t be blogging again until Monday from Milwaukee, but I didn’t want to have a total oh-fer.

Thoughts/notes/etc from today…

* I was surprised, a bit, that Ludwick wasn’t in the lineup today over Chris Duncan. So of course Duncan homers and doubles against Matt Cain. Shows you what I know.

* TLR said some things today about how it’s not guaranteed that Brendan Ryan won’t be optioned once he’s healthy, but honestly… there’s pretty much no way he’s not on the roster once his rehab finishes.

* When Russ Springer is activated on Monday, my guess is that Thompson will be optioned, but I wouldn’t bet the house on it.

* From the Minors… Pete Kozma hit his first home run tonight, but he also started at 3B. Not sure what to make of that; I’ll try to find out what’s up. Hugo Castellanos started for Memphis tonight, evidently because Joe Rogers is on the DL.

* Highly, highly, highly recommend the new Stones live album. It’s the best live thing they’ve put out since I don’t know what — maybe Still Life, way back in 82. It sounds like the band I heard do some truly killer shows in 1998-99 and 2002, not the band I heard that sounded tired and bored in 2006. If you like the Stones, pick it up. I’m dying to see the movie.


Friday afternoon tidbits: Looper on Tuesday

It’s an absolutely spectacular day by the Bay. Wish y’all were here.

* They’ll roll the starters over after the off day, rather than bringing Wainwright back on short rest. It will be Looper on Tuesday and Wainwright on Wednesday.

* Ankiel gets a day off, with an outfield of Barton-Schumaker-Ludwick.

* Brad Thompson is listed as available in the bullpen as of tonight, though they’d prefer to wait another day to use him.

* TLR declined to reveal who they’ll send out to make room for Pineiro on Sunday, but he said it will not be McClellan. So while he won’t say it, that makes it pretty clear that it will be Jimenez.

* STL lineup: Schumaker CF, Barton LF, Pujols 1B, Glaus 3B, Ludwick RF, Molina C, Miles 2B, Lohse P, Izturis SS.

* SF lineup: Lewis LF, Davis CF, Winn RF, Durham 2B, Castillo 3B, Aurilia 1B, Holm C, Bocock SS, Zito P.


Thursday afternoon tidbits: Pineiro starting Sunday – UPDATED AGAIN

Greetings from my favorite ballpark in America, the absolutely perfect AT&T Park. Even a long and bumpy day of flights couldn’t ruin a day that includes a burrito from Taqueria Cancun, a cup of Intelligentsia Coffee and a game at this gem of a ballpark.

Even so, it’ll be nice to sleep in tomorrow…

Anyway, the tidbits.

* Joel Pineiro will start Sunday’s game against the Giants, and Brad Thompson will go to the bullpen. Thompson COULD be listed as an available reliever as soon as tomorrow. I’d have to figure that when Pineiro is activated, Kelvin Jimenez will be optioned, but that’s not based on anyone actually telling me anything.

* Mark Mulder pitched today, not last night, and did very well. Unofficially, he pitched five innings with one hit and no walks. That may not be EXACT, but if not, it’s very close. He’ll go Tuesday for Palm Beach, per John Mozeliak.

* Brendan Ryan will likely play in an extended spring training game within the next couple of days, but it is not completely certain yet. Ryan DID appear in an extended spring game today, playing five innings and getting two plate appearances.

* The bullpen is VERY thin tonight. Reyes is unavailable, and TLR says that both Franklin and Isringhausen are as well, with Flores not available for more than a batter or two. I’m inclined to believe that if they have a chance to win, you might well see Franklin and Izzy, but we’ll see.

* Still working on getting a Mulder update — should have something very soon.

* Tomorrow’s lineup will include Barton and Ludwick against Barry Zito, and my guess is he might choose tomorrow night to give Ankiel his first night off of the year. Best guess at a Friday starting outfield: Barton LF, Schumaker CF, Ludwick RF.

* STL lineup: Schumaker RF, Duncan LF, Pujols 1B, Ankiel CF, Glaus 3B, Molina C, Kennedy 2B, Wainwright P, Izturis SS

* SF lineup: Lewis LF, Rowand CF, Winn RF, Molina C, Durham 2B, Castillo 3B, Aurilia 1B, Bocock SS, Correia P.