Wednesday afternoon tidbits: Duncan sore, sitting

* Chris Duncan is out today with a sore left hamstring. Evidently he felt it last night but played through it, but they’ve decided to be cautious and give him the day off.

* TLR says Franklin looks fine to him, though Franklin said last night he’s a little off.

* Glaus is batting fourth, with Ankiel fifth, because of Glaus’ numbers against Aaron Cook — 5-for-9 with 4 XBH.

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

* COL lineup: Taveras CF, Tulowitzki SS, Helton 1B, Holiday LF, Atkins 3B, Hawpe RF, Torrealba C, Nix 2B, Cook P.

-M.

8 Comments

Have you noticed any change in Franklin M? It seems to me that since he got that extension last year, he’s gone down hill.

If you’re suggesting what it sounds like, no, I don’t buy it at all. His effort, preparation, etc have not changed.

Also, FWIW, for the first 8 weeks after he signed the deal, he was still very good — from July 5, the day it was announced, through Aug. 31, Franklin had a 2.81 ERA, pitched 25 2/3 innings in 19 games and had 18 Ks against 6 BB.

-M.

So it was just last September that it started? My memory must just be a little foggy then. Meh, it happens with family problems at the same time.

The Baseball Prospectus guys had an interesting comment on Franklin last year: he had an unnaturally low “BABIP” (Batting Average on Balls In Play) that contributed to his success. They claim that that’s something a pitcher doesn’t have a great deal of control over — if the ball is in play (i.e., not a strikeout or a home run), it’s largely, although not entirely, a matter of luck whether it finds a hole or gets caught. By their analysis he had lots of good luck last year that he can’t be expected to repeat this year. I think they oversimplify, but they’ve got a point. We shouldn’t expect as much of Franklin this time around. Fortunately, the pen looks solid enough (knock on Woody Williams…) that we may not have to.

It’s absolutely true. BABIP is a great thing to watch, especially in a case like Franklin’s when a guy has an out-of-character year for better or worse.

-M.

Sorry to see Duncan hurting. Since he is out, I am hoping to see Barton start a game. He looked pretty good in his pinch role the other day. What are Barton’s chances of getting a start any time soon?

Not too great. He’ll start once in a while, but the truth is he appears to be No. 5 on the depth chart. TLR resisted that characterization when I presented it to him the other day, but from the usage patterns, I think it’s pretty clear.

-M.

My question regarding the outfield depth chart is this…if the organization brings up Rasmus prior to the 40 man expansion in September, and it is not due to injury, who is the odd man out? Won’t be Ank, can’t be Barton (assuming he doesn’t play his way out of a spot), and that leaves Dunc, Skip, and Ludwick. It doesn’t seem likely that one of them will be sent back down rather than traded, and each has a unique claim to a spot on the team.

So…because I am getting the feeling the organization wants to bring Rasmus up prior to September, who, in your opinion, would be the man up for a trade? Honestly, it seems like Skip would be the most likely to me…no matter how he plays….

Thanks!

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