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.



Gameday has it listed as Loshe batting 9th. It’s got to be their error, right? TLR has been doing it all spring, so there’s no reason he’d change now right?

Definitely a mistake. I’ll try to find somebody and let them know. Thanks.

Actually looks like it’s good now.

Thanks M!

Saturday afternoon….Has Reyes finally found his niche as the Cards next closer? Super job again today in relief.

That’s a winner! My dad said that Izzy hadn’t allowed an earned run all year and said that he might jinx him. He sure did. Can’t believe we’re 9-3 – better than I expected. GO BIRDOS!

I wanted to talk with you again about the two hole in the lineup. In a previous conversation you and another poster had convinced me that you don’t want a bunter or contact hitter in that spot. My reasoning for wanting that type of hitter came from an old school style of ball. One person said that was a myth that Ozzie bunted a lot in the 2 hole, but I remember watching him bunt a lot. Anyways the other day Thompson bunted to squeeze home the first run of the game, and Hrabosky made the comment that scoring first allows the pitcher to relax a bit and gives him the confidence and leeway to challenge hitters a bit more. Now I know it was the pitcher at bat there, but it seems to me that the same principle would apply in the first inning with the 2nd batter up. When the leadoff hitter gets on you make sure to get him in scoring position with one out for your big hitters 3,4 and 5. If you manage to score at least that run, you give you pitcher the breathing room he may need to challenge hitters from the get go (granted he should anyway, but with a lead it’s easier). And if a pitcher knows during pregame armup that he doesn’t have his best stuff, getting the early lead can be all the difference in the world for his approach to hitters.
What do you think, Dude?

armup…HA! warmup.

Why can’t LaRussa give the big bats the day off when there’s NOT a pitcher on the mound coming back from injury?You know he’s not goning to be very confident. You KNOW his stuff isn’t gonna be super sharp. It’s his SEASON DEBUT!!!! Give Pujols and Glaus the day off when Wainwright is pitching! Or Wellemeyer or Looper!!! NOT freakin’ Pineiro coming off the DL! Come on! And when Mulder and Carp and Clement are throwing their first game after injury, PLEASE TLR, put in the strongest possible lineup!!! Those guys can rest other days.

I hate to agree with TLR two times in a month, but I see the point since we have an off day tomorrow. Gives him additional rest. Not throwing Glaus in there in the 9th for Rico, though, is absolutely beyond me.

Thing is, slforre…TLR had already said he was going to give Pujols the day off at times this year immediately before a scheduled day off for the team…effectively giving him (and his elbow) 2 days off in a row…plus, the series against the Brewers in St. Louis is already shaping up to be a pretty big series, so TLR wants his big bats fresh and ready to go for that series. I’ll give a game in SF if it means a series win against the Brewers.


Your story about the Cards vs. Brewers says the Cards are tied for first place…but the standings say they are in first by a half game over the Brewers…

I kinda agree with the decision to sit Pujols yesterday. I wish AP could play everyday, but it isn’t possible with that elbow of his. Plus with extra innings the game before, I think the timing is right. I’d rather see him in the lineup for 3 games against the Brewers than 4 games against the Giants.

OK. So sit Pujols, but not Pujols AND Glaus. I’m just saying give the guy on the mound as much support as possible when it’s a guy coming off injury.

I think that was just TLR trying to stack the lineup with as many left handed hitters as possible, since Lincecum has a huge R/L split. So if you look at it that way, then he was.

Yeah, that’s true. I sometimes forget that TLR plays that lefty/righty matchup religiously. I personally don’t put a lot of stock in splits and other meaningless stats. It’s just a refection of what you’ve done in the past. Past doesn’t dictate future. I know, I know. Stats are good indicators, but
I personally don’t put as much stock in them as many do. And that’s ok. That’s each person’s perogative. So all I’m saying is that I understand his reasoning. I just don’t agree with the basis of the decision.

“Your Honor…as evidence of the significance of a lefty/righty matchup, I submit………….Chris Duncan.”

I know. There are PLENTY of examples. But I’m still not a believer in playing it every time. The other day Chris Duncan got an rbi hit against a lefty.

That’s a guy that I hope starts defying his previous stats more than anyone. He needs to start hitting left handers and hit them well.

You are right matto. It would be nice to see him hit lefties better and more consistantly, but it’s not gonna happen if he sits every time a lefty starter is on the mound.

Anybody else sick of Barton not playing? I understand he won’t be an everyday guy on this club, but every other day would be preferred.

not as long as Skip is doing what he’s doing…I like Barton… a lot…but not more than Ank or Skip or Dunc the way they’re producing right now…

I hear you Zoop. What else does the guy need to do to prove he deserves to be playing? Then again, with how well Schumaker has been doing as our leadoff man and Duncan is coming around and Ludwick has been on fire and we all know Ankiel will rarely sit a game, where does he play? I like the situation we are in. We haven’t had this luxury in a while.

Mr. Leach,

I saw the update on Mulder and that is good news, however I was wondering about an update on Clement. I have not seen a story on his progress since I think you told us one back in Spring Training. What is his rehab looking like? I think like a lot of fans and I am one of them are kind of writing him off with the setbacks he has had so just curious. Secondly, any insight as to who goes to Memphis when Springer comes back. Logic says Mclellan but he has been lights out and LaRussa indicated it won’t be him which I hope is true cause I think he could be a tremendous asset for this team all year. Next logical candidate would be Reyes but he has been really really good too other than that one homer, but I don’t see another person that could go. Izzy and Franklin that would just be stupid for me to even think about them so I won’t. That leaves the 2 leftys which obviously that is not going to happen and Thompson. I just don’t see where you put Springer in this mix though he has to be he is making way too much money for a middle relief guy and not to be used.

Naturally if everybody is hitting good, you rotate them. You don’t just alienate one of them. Bart’s (or as I call him, Helmet, due to him losing his batting helmet every time he moves) hitting and fielding well enough, surely you could one one of the guys a day off to let him actually lose his helmet a few times in a FULL game for once.

What we’ve got here, sports fans, is trading time. With a potential glut of quality pitchers (pick two or three out of this lot (Thompson, Wellemeier, Springer, McClellan, Reyes, Villone, Pinero, Mulder) with most teams in the league for bullpen and starting help and there is bound to be some significant interest. Not to mention being able to throw a promising spare outfielder in to sweeten the deal… Either Duncan or Ludwick ( giving up Shumaker or Barton would be giving away the future, unless there was a franchise level player available in return).

I wish the Cards could keep them all but we just can’t and it doesn’t seem right to send them to languish in the minors when they could bring in a qualty player or two.


Hey, ALL…

I just got back from the Springfield Cardinals game where Brendan Ryan continued his rehab assignment…first…what an impressive win by Springfield…final score was 20 – 5 (was a shutout until some oddities in the ninth).

Second…Ryan looked VERY good…defensively and offensively. He went 4 for 6 with a solo HR and at least 1 double while hitting in the leadoff spot. He struck out once, but that was understandable…he was facing a relief pitcher who was throwing routinely at 100 mph or higher…seriously…and the stadium gun seemed pretty consistent all night, so I had no reason to doubt it. Ryan watched a third strike streak by at 100 mph.

Most of his hits were pretty legit, too…especially the HR…line drives and solid hit balls. His defensive range looked good, but you could tell he was making smart decisions to keep from reinjuring himself…there were a couple balls up the middle that he could have dove for but clearly thought better of it (especially in such a lop-sided game).

Before the game, I asked him how his ribs felt…he said, “They’re tight but they’re okay.” Overall…VERY encouraging game for Ryan…also, fyi – the weather was slightly cool with a cool breeze, but simply light jacket weather…I only mention it because TLR had mentioned seeing how Ryan’s ribs handled the cooler weather.

Finally…I had a great opportunity to watch Bryan Anderson…very good offensive game (including a HR that qualified everyone for free frozen custard – whoo hoo!). However, it is clear Anderson still needs to work on his defense…the most obvious difference between Anderson and a Yadier Molina is his blocking technique…instead of fully committing to the dirt like Yadi does (and let the ball hit him), Anderson tries to instinctively catch the balls in the dirt…the result is the proper blocking position but a slight “pull up” when the ball hits. It causes a few more past balls than is necessary.

Whew…well…that was longer than intended…but lots of fun!


Thanks for the first hand account of Ryan’s rehab at Springfield. That’s precisely why I read through the blog comments on M’s posts. I’m rooting for Brendan to return. Uncle Rico (as he’s known over a VEB) is showing why he’s a career minor leaguer – although I was very excited to see Washington get his shot in the show. Izturis is solid in the field, but man he’s a black hole at the plate. And 2nd Base (Kennedy/Miles) is just downright scary.

I hope Brendan gets many opportunities to start when he returns.

I completely agree with enola here and come time near the trading deadline I really think you will see a good trade, probably for an impact bat in the middle infield. It should be interesting to see where the Cardinals are at after the All-Star game when we have 9 starters and 5 quality outfielders. Should be a good place to be…

The only thing that might kill a blockbuster trade is some of those sore-armed starting pitchers failing to make a decent comeback. So far, their return (in top form) is all conjecture. Each of them will likely get 2 or 3 starts regardless of how well they do the first time out and could wind up setting the Cards back a few games if it doesn’t work out. That’s just the price of doing business.

While I certainly hope they all come back as good or better than before, one can’t forget last fall when Mulder tried (in my mind, prematurely) and wasn’t ready. This year will mark the second come-back attepts in the careers of Mulder and Carpenter and you can only go back to the well so many times. In addition, one begins to wonder if Matt Clement ever makes it back.

Thanks Kevin, sounds exciting. Looking forward to seeing him plugged in at 2B.

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