Tuesday afternoon tidbits: Skip sits

Very strange sight here — gray skies over downtown San Diego. I don’t think the game is in any jeopardy, but it’s definitely a bit jarring. Anyway, here are this afternoon’s tidbits:

* The starting outfield is Duncan LF, Ludwick CF, Barton RF. H’s going with a mostly righty-heavy lineup because Maddux has a pronounced reverse split this year. Also, Schumaker is dealing with a minor left heel problem. He insists it’s nothing.

* Ankiel is again not playing; TLR said probably the weekend for him.

* I saw some speculation in places about Carpenter. According to Barry Weinberg (via Brian Bartow), Carp threw a bullpen yesterday and felt good, and will throw a sim game on Monday (i.e., 6 days from now).

* Ryker Kile, Darryl Kile’s son, paid a visit to the park today and particularly sought out Pujols, who was of course glad to welcome him.

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

* SD lineup: Gerut CF, Iguchi 2B, Giles RF, Gonzalez 1B, Kouzmanoff 3B, Greene SS, Hairston LF, Carlin C, Maddux P.

-M.

25 Comments

How old is ryker now? And how is the rest of DK’s family doing, almost 6 years after?

that is so crazy that it’s been that long, but cards nation loves DK and of course the little guy!

Not to bash on Brian Barton, because he’s showed signs that he can be a good player, and I believe someday he will be. But as of lately he’s been struggling, and I don’t think he makes a good leadoff hitter. Why not give Kennedy a chance at batting leadoff? Oh, and I have a batting order I’d like to see, can you let me know your opinions on it? RF-Skip Schumaker, 3B-Troy Glaus, 1B-Albert Pujols, LF-Ryan Ludwick, CF-Rick Ankiel, C-Yadier Molina, 2B-Adam Kennedy, Pitcher’s spot, SS-Cesar Izturis. The reason I like this lineup is because Troy Glaus has only homered twice, and I think he’ll get some better pitches to hit if he’s batting in front of Pujols, and may even find his power swing there. Not to mention, he’s got a pretty decent On Base Percentage. Sorry, I know this doesn’t belong here, but I don’t know where else to post it.

Problem with that one crazy is that TLR has emphatically rejected the idea of Glaus in the #2 spot.

Speaking of the #2 spot, Kennedy was batting there for a while and we were winning and he was doing so well in that spot and then we moved him…why? And Miles hit so well there as well and they were getting on in front of El Hombre. Isn’t that the point of the #2 spot? To force them to pitch to Pujols? The lineup I would like to see is Skip, Kennedy/Miles, Pujols, Ludwick, Ankiel, Glaus, Yadi, Pitcher, Ryan/Izturis.

Which brings me to another point: Why are we not playing Brendan Ryan at all. He is playing above expectations, which I didn’t think was possible, and Izturis is batting at expectations, which wasn’t very good to begin with. Is Ryan’s fielding that much worse that his batting does not make up for it? It just make much sense to me.

I am sure TLR has good reasons for doing what he does, I just don’t see it. Can anyone else explain what his reasoning might be?

Funny, Izturis hitting above .250 to me seems like it is above expectations. Iz2 is also playing very well at SS, and I think Ryan’s best quality right now is that he can play all over the infield. My guess is that he could supplement at 2nd base tonight.

Izturis is hitting above .300 with better defense than Ryan this month…no reason to play Ryan…

but…according to Matt’s story, Ryan could get the start tonight…

Matthew’s mom here – shameless plug department. The book is in stock at Amazon as of today!

Yay!

Ryker would be about 6, I think. He was a small baby when DK died. Kannon [and twin Sierra] are around 11, I believe.

nosteroids, u make a great point about kennedy in the #2 hole. he was doing great and i think it makes our whole lineup better to hit glaus 6th instead of 5th and move yadi to 7th. It makes the bottom of the lineup a little scarier to pitch to, and kennedy can excel in the 2 hole seeing better pitches. i think its a great idea, and would love to see that lineup for atleast a week to see how it goes….

Kevin,

You make a good point. I didn’t realize that Izturis was batting above .300 for the month of May. I guess I am just so used to seeing such a low batting average and figuring on an automatic out when he comes to the plate and am pleasantly surprised when he actually gets a hit, that I don’t realize that he has been coming around.

However, even so, I would expect Ryan to get more than maybe one start a week, especially since he can play the whole field. Ryan is the shortstop of our future, not Izturis. Shouldn’t we give him a chance to grow into that position?

The thing with Kennedy, though, is that he’s in a pretty deep slump right now — hitting about .170 on the month. I don’t think you want to be maximizing his ABs at this point, which putting him in the 2 spot obviously would do.

I do love Glaus in the 2 hole, but TLR dismissed it because he doesn’t like Glaus’ lack of speed in that spot. I think there’s SOMETHING to be said for that, because I think you really want to avoid double plays in the 2 spot. But I still think he’s a good fit there with the way that he’s hitting — getting on base a lot but not all that much power (oddly).

And as for the SS issue, I’d just note that on the year, Izturis has been a better offensive player (273, 371 OBP, 339 SLG) than Ryan (310/344/345). Not saying that will continue, but for now, Izturis is getting the job done.

-M.

A-Men to pdub and nosteroids! I have been ranting and raving for months about getting and keeping Miles or Kennedy into the 2-hole. I think even Izturis would do better there than a power bat. I’ve heard all the arguments for a power bat in the that part of the lineup; it supposedly gives that hitter more good pitches to hit; it’s supposed to help put runners on ahead of Pujols; it’s supposed to improve our chances of scoring first. But it has not worked. And to the contrary, the opposite HAS worked. As nosteroids and pdub pointed out. And yet we don’t continue to do what seems to have worked better. That I don’t get.
As I have argued before the power bat in the two hole negates RBI chances for Pujols, when in fact that 2-hole hitter hits well. The counter argument I have heard is,”Who cares who drives in the runs?” Well, that’s not the issue. The issue is that the number two hitter is NOT the best hitter on the team. The number three hitter is, and you want him to have as many of those oppurtunities as possible since he has the best chance of capitalizing.
The leadoff hitter gets on, the number two hitter gets him into scoring position at least (which would better be served by a contact hitter who will not strike out or swing for the fences), and the three hitter drives him in. If the two hitter gets an extra-base hit, great! But it’s not necessary as long as he at least gets him over or takes a pitch or two to allow for the possibility of a steal attempt.
I’m sure there are those who disagree, so let’s hear it. Just, please, be civil about it.

M, I’d argue that the reason Kennedy is slumping is BECAUSE he was removed from the two hole.

Then again, hitting in front of AP should be the cure to most slumps. Not sure if Kennedy’s would, because it is so deep, but perhaps it’s worth another shot. I know he was hitting well in that spot earlier in the season.

I think the top thing with the number 2 spot is OBP, not necessarily power or even contact. I’d rather him get on instead of moving the runner over with a bunt or ground out. I dont see the point of using outs in the early stages of the game when you want to build a lead as big as possible as early as possible.

See…this whole 2 spot thing…there are a couple different ways to look at it…either you put a slumping hitter there to HELP him (you know…the whole “hitting in front of Pujols thing”), or you put a hot hitter there to maximize the pop in the top of the order…especially if you’re trying some front-end protection for Pujols…

Thing is, if we were running a conventional lineup out there with the 9th spot being taken up by the pitcher, I could probably see the “put a slumping hitter there” perspective a bit more…but with the “second leadoff man” strategy in full swing and Izturis hitting 9th, you need an RBI guy in the 2 hole…one who is NOT in a huge slump. The two guys in front of him are the ones that are supposed to be getting on base…

Having said that, I was a BIG advocate of Kennedy in the 2 spot when he was hitting well…base hits…knows what to do with the bat in front of Pujols…AND was getting it done…

Right now, though…you can’t afford to put a slumping hitter there…that part of your order is supposed to be the best…putting a slumping hitter there to help him out is just throwing an at-bat away…

I DO like the idea of Glaus there…but I like the idea of him in the 5 or 6 spot more…truth be told, Ank is probably the best (to me) in the two hole…speed, power, intimidation, etc….

…but cut out the “barton in the two hole” stuff…he’s slumping…badly…wasted spot in the lineup if you put a guy in front of Pujols that doesn’t know what to do with the pitches he sees…I don’t have a problem with a new/young hitter (like Ank and Dunc last year), but they need to know what they’re doing up there…Barton looks lost right now…

OH! And…for MATT…I am officially eating crow as we speak…you were 100% right on Izturis…his defense has been great…his bat has been hot…and, yes, even knowing his bat will cool a bit and level out for the season, you are totally right…he’s getting it done…

Honestly, I’ve been VERY concerned with how “young” (to steal TLR’s term) Ryan plays at times this year…I still like the guy a lot…but there is just no reason to make the change from Izturis (barring a good, impact bat in the middle of the infield kind of trade) while we are in the race…

Sorry for all the skepticism early on, Matt!

I see how some people were suggesting batting Molina 7th before the 8th spot (pitchers) spot in the lineup. The only problem I see with that is that you want to put someone speedy on in front of the pitcher, that way it reduces the chances of a double play there. I like Glaus hitting number 2, because it seems that when he does hit, they’re extra base hits, and he’s got a high obp, and you want someone who knows how to get on in front of Pujols.

But I also see that Glaus doesn’t have a lot of speed and may ground into a double play.

Heh…

Well, I’m not going to pretend I am, or ever was, a die-hard Izturis guy. The only point I tried to make, and I’ll ALWAYS make it, is not to read too much into a few at-bats or innings. Especially a few Spring Training at-bats or innings.

-M.

The argument that Glaus hits extra-base hits when he does get hits is exactly the reason you don’t want him in front of Pujols. It only opens up first base for the pitcher to walk him. And while Ludwick has been on fire lately, can he continue all season to make them pay for putting Pujols on in front of him?

Kennedy will come out of this slump and probably quicker coming from the seven spot to the two spot. Think about it, are there more opposite spots in the Cardinals’ order than the the 2 and 7. One spot you will get plenty to hit as they really don’t want to put you on in front of Pujols and the other you’re guaranteed nearly nothing to hit as they would rather pitch the pitcher.

Also, while Kennedy is slumping, Miles is not. And when he gets starts, there is no reason we should be keeping him out of the two spot. Any thoughts?

I like Miles/Kennedy in the 2 spot when they are hitting (as Miles has been)…

But I think you could also say the extra base hits for Glaus (specifically doubles) could be a good reason to have him in front of Albert…a double means you are instantly in scoring position in front of your best RBI hitters…and if a leadoff guy is on, he is going to end up at third at least…with one or no outs, it would still be tough to walk Albert and load the bases…

Also, I am a firm believer in the aggressive play philosophy as opposed to the conservative play philosophy when it comes to runners/hitters in front of Pujols…

If we configure our lineup or make hitting decisions based on the concept of leaving first base occupied so they won’t walk Albert, then we’re letting the other team dictate the game. If our clean-up guy can’t get the job done behind Pujols (which Luddy has been), then our approach should be to find a new clean up guy…our approach should never be to forego an opportunity to put a guy in scoring position in front of Pujols/Ludwick/Ank/Duncan just because they will walk Pujols…

Is there a photo of them? i havent seen them in so long they probably look a lot like darryl. :-)

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