Saturday afternoon tidbits, tons of 'em

Lots of bits of news to bring you this afternoon from sunny Fenway.

* Molina is out today. He said he feels the same as he did yesterday, but he did not do as well in the imPACT screening today as he did yesterday. So he is on the bench. TLR said he could pinch-hit if needed.

* Still waiting to hear on Izturis, who is meeting with Dr. Paletta today. It seems likely that they will make a move if only to keep from being so short-handed. Per TLR and other sources as well, they would NOT call up a middle infielder if they make a move tomorrow — instead the expected callup would be Nick Stavinoha.

* Wellemeyer threw a bullpen today and said it went very well. He will throw a light bullpen on Tuesday after the off day, and will be slotted in the rotation either Thursday in Detroit or Friday in KC.

* TLR professed significant optimism regarding Pujols, who will join the team to work out in Detroit. There seems to be a real hope that he could be activated when he’s eligible, which would be Thursday in Detroit.

* It’s an open question as to who will pitch the ninth if they have a lead today. TLR mentioned several candidates — Springer, McClellan, Perez and possibly Isringhausen — but said he does not plan to funnel it to any one pitcher. More a play-it-as-it-goes kind of thing.

* Clement’s line last night was bad (six runs in three innings). And unlike with Mulder the day before, there was no mitigating it. TLR: “I don’t think it was a plus outing, from what I heard.”

* Miles at 2B and Kennedy at DH, as was the plan yesterday before Molina was semi-scratched. TLR said it’s not simply a matter of preferring Miles defensively. Quote: “One guy is fresher. I mean, they’re both fresh, but Miles needs the playing time.”

-M.

 

40 Comments

I have a question M. What exactly is the imPACT test that Molina took? What does it entail?

The Cards’ depth chart has Ludwick in left and Schumaker in right; they’re playing that way at Fenway, but generally it’s been the opposite. What’s the strategy there?

The amount of ground is different in Fenway than in other parks.

Yep, correct.

As for the imPACT testing, I don’t know that I could sum it up in any succinct manner. It’s a series of tests they use to check neurological function. I think if you google imPACT concussion testing, you’ll find a lot of good info.

-M.

It sounds like Mulder is going to get a start with the big club very soon. I’m confused, while he has had some solid starts for AA he is getting rocked still at AAA, what on earth makes the team think he is going to succeed in the Majors right now? Is this just a matter of the cards saying let’s see if you still have it and if you don’t then at least we can’t say we didn’t try? Mulder used to be such a good pitcher, and I’d hate to see us just throw him out there to get knocked around again.

It is a good thing that they brought Parisi back up. If they hadn’t, they might still be playing one of the most exciting games of the year, but he saw that it was over quickly, which only proves what I have been saying all along. These pitchers that they keep bringing up and sending down like yo-yos don’t have the talent to pitch in the majors and they better hurry up and try to make some trades before the Cubs run away and hide. The wild card is still a possibility, but not if they don’t go out and get someone to help hit and pitch.

I think it is too early for the Cards to make any big trades.
They should wait to see who recovers from the DL & how well they recover before making trades. In other words,
evaluate what they have first. If Mulder, Carp and Clement and Thompson are all ok, the Cards can then trade from strength to get an impact bat. Johnson and Kinney are done for this year. There will be a lot of teams looking for pitching help come the end of July.
But I do think another big bat is needed, preferably a LH. Ankiel and Duncan are just not doing enough.

Are you saying that if they have a shot at Sabathia, they shouldn’t jump at it because it is too early and we should wait and see who comes off the DL? Do you really think that Mulder or Clement will help this year? You say “big” trades. Are you talking one player or multi-player trade? I think either one would would be acceptable. As you say Ankiel and others are not going to get the job done, so I don’t think there is a neucleus to destroy. With the exception of Pulhols and Molina, I see no one who I would not trade to better the club and that wouldn’ take much!

Sabathia is a guy that won’t be dealt before July 31 unless the indians are given an entire farm systems worth of top prospects.

Anks has played close to, if not above, gold glove level defense this year, and has decent numbers for a 2nd year position guy.

If healthy, Mulder and Clement would be a big boost, as big a boost as trading for another arm. We have enough time, especially with Mulder, to determine if a trade for another arm is absolutely necessary, but I don’t know that it is at this point.

My main concern really is either middle infield or middle relief. I think the relief situation can be dealt with as people come off of the DL, but the middle infield is where we could use a bit of an offensive upgrade.

I am saying I would not trade for Sabathia or anybody now.
What if Cards trade quality for him, then Carp, Mulder, Clement and Thompson all come back healthy? Who gets dumped? Can the Cards afford all those players?
As to Ankiel, I expected a higher average. Yes, his defense has been excellent. Duncan has not hit and his defense is average at best.
A middle infielder with some pop would be great. But I don’t know who might be available and affordable.
Yes, Pujols and Molina are probably the only untouchables, right now. That could change depending on the health of the injured pitchers. I would think Carp is untouchable.

You do know that Milwaukee is just 2 games behind the Cardinals in the wild card, don’t you, and you know that they are going to go after Sabathia, too, right? If they, or any other National league team, including the Cubs, get him, it won’t make any difference whether the Cardinals keep all of their top prospects or not. It won’t make a difference for 4 or 5 years anyway and I can’t see waiting that long when you have a chance to make the playoffs this year. I guess you are a lot younger than I am. I don’t have that long to wait for another winner. I believe there are more reasons to go for it this year than to wait. You never know what is going to happen to any of those top prospects in the future. By the way, you seem to be a pretty knowledgeable baseball fan. Maybe you can tell me why the Cardinals have to keep Barton on the big league club? He really can’t hit worth a lick and he is no more than adequate on defense, so why not bring up Rasmus and send him down. Rasmus could do no worse and they could put Ankiel in right.

Barton was a rule 5 draft pick, from Cleveland. Cards got him for $50,000. If they do not keep him on the 25-man roster for the season he has to be offered back to Cleveland for $25,000. I guess based on his pretty good spring, he beat out Juan Gonzalez, the Cards elected to keep him. But he has slipped a lot. I wonder how much of that is due to limited playing time. Some guys just do better when they play regularly. I think he has potential.
I still think the big need is an impact bat. Just look at the KC series. The pitching was very good but Cards did not hit and got swept.

Here’s the best piece of Cardinals’ news I’ve seen in a while, Izzy may have lost his 4-seamer, changeup, slider, etc., but at least he hasn’t lost his ingenuity. Remember the giant bullpen fans he originally put in Old Busch? This easilty trumps that:

http://www.sportsbybrooks.com/cards-better-keep-eye-on-larussa-around-this-18427

Not trade for Sabathia because we “might” get Mulder, Clement and Thompson….First do you actually see this happening?? Mulder is getting Rocked at AAA, Clement has been sent to the pen to “strenghthen” his arm, and Thompson definitely isn’t a top of the rotation starter no matter how healthy he is. I would love to see the Cards go after a big time pitcher and maybe even a Matt Holliday, we have brought up a lot of players that have proven they can play, some just aren’t ready but they are good prospects to be traded. While the Cards are playing very well still we are going to have to do something to keep up with the Cubs and stay ahead of the Brewers. Like it or not the Cubs have an amazing team this year and we can’t just let them run away without putting up a fight.

I agree that a move needs to be made for a pitcher, but I don’t see the need to rush it. There’s plenty of time for the deadline, and like JDun said, most teams would need pitching help come July. I read on the PD site that a sprained finger like Waino’s can lead to a DL stint of at least a month or more. That sends up a red flag to me that if he isn’t healthy by the break, we may need to make a trade sooner than later for a pitcher. Besides CC, who seems to be on everyone’s radar, what other starter is available? Mo learned from Jocketty, a master of picking up people on the trade market that most didn’t realize was available, so I trust in his abilities until he shows otherwise.

I really wish that all of the pitchers on the DL would get healthy and be able to come back, but I am going to be realistic. I think that they just shut Mulder down again. I am a Cardinal fan of 62 years, so I don’t want to look on the dark side of things, but I would be very, very surprised if any of them make it back to where they could be effective and help the team win this year, including Carpenter. I only hope I am wrong, but if there is a chance to get someone who could help them win this year, I say go for it. I am Rick Ankiel”s biggest fan and I hope he will learn to take the outside pitch to left field and lay off the low changeup. He is great defensely, much better than I ever thought he was going to be, but I can’t think of a team that ever won a championship with a center fielder that hit .200 and unless he starts to get some multiple hit games, that is where he is headed. I agree on the middle infielder who can hit. They need one desperately, but as we said, they will have to give up someone in order to get someone. Can you please tell me who the great prospects are that the Cardinals have in their minor leagues, because I don’t think they have that many, unfortunately? The ones that they have brought up certainly don’t fit the “great” catagory!!

dkgoldens,
You said you can’t think of a team that ever won a championship with a center fielder that hit .200. Rick is currently batting .285. In 2006, Jim Edmonds hit .257 for the year. Rick’s not that far off of Jim Edmonds’ 2006 stats, and the Cardinals won that year. Let’s do some comparisons, shall we? Jim Edmonds had a total of 350 AB in 2006, so I will be moving it down to 175 to be fair (same with all the other stats). Ank’s at 172 AB right now.

Edmonds – 2006
175 AB
26 Runs
45 Hits
9 2B
0 3B
10 HR
35 RBI
26 BB
50 SO

Ankiel – 2008
172 AB
31 Runs
49 Hits
8 2B
1 3B
12 HR
32 RBI
25 BB
55 SO

Looks like Ankiel is actually performing close to or better than Jim Edmonds’ 2006 season. I bet his numbers will improve as he becomes more patient at the plate.

I don’t know what numbers you got for ankiel but he is only hitting .251 in 235 ABs with 12 HR and 32 rbi. But you are right that he is hitting at the same level that Edmonds has in the most recent past. I’d also like to point out that Ankiel has had a couple of rough injuries, and this is still just his second year as a position player. I’m confident that he will turn things around.

Brian, I’m sorry but all those numbers mean diddley squat. First of all, Jimmy wasn’t the only CF in 06, and as I recall the part timers did pretty well at the plate. So for a real comparison you need to take the combined BA of all the guys that contributed at CF in 06, then compare it to what Anks does this year…which obviously can’t be done til the end of the year. I really wish people (and I’m not targeting you brian) would stop pulling up partial stats and comparing them to another player in another year, that are in totally different situations. Again, Brian, it’s not just you. MANY baseball fans of all teams do this. Politicians do this. The media does this. The biggest problem with stats is, you can usually find some somewhere that will back up your argument, in almost any case. I get both sides of your arguments brian and dk. Right now, though, I don’t think anybody can “win” that argument.

on the lighter side, I had a college professor that said much the same about stats. He compared stats to a bikini.
What they reveal is interesting but what they conceal is vital. LOL

That’s an old baseball axiom actually.

I like that jdun! I hadn’t heard that before, but that is an great analogy! And fun to think about too. Ha ha ha!

I’m a Barton supporter. He hasn’t had a chance to play regularly, but is at the .250 level, holding his own as a regular pinch hitter and stiill a rookie. The Cards play a lot of teams who have veteran OF’s who are not delvering any more. Barton hit very well this spring when he was getting more AB’s. Based on what he showed in the spring plus his outstanding speed gives him a lot of potential m my book. I will not suggest he IS the next Lou Brock or Rickey Henderson, but who knows?? The potential is there. If the team goes back to carrying only 4 OF’s, Barton might get a little more playing time but Ludwick and Shumacher are having such good years that they have turned into everyday players.

slforre, that’s fair enough. We will all see how it turns out at the end of the season. Then we can determine how Ankiel’s performance matches up. Of course, we’ll have to include the stats from all center-fielders used during the 2008 season.

I appreciate your response, but you better check your facts. Ankiel is not hitting .285. After last nite, I’m sure he is under .250 and I’m not in any way putting him down. Like I have said, I am his biggest fan and want to see him do well, but again you can’t have a center fielder hitting below the Mendosa line and the other two outfielders that you have to platoon not doing well either. It looked like Ludwig was going to continue to hit, but he has tailed off considerablely and when Pulhols comes back the Cards are going to have absolutely no one to protect him. I really believe that if we are going to stay in the race, we will have to trade for a pitcher and a big bat. Where they will come from, I don’t know, but if we don’t get them, we will not make the playoffs. The pitchers have done a terrific job this year and I would hate to see their years wasted by the GM not going after someone to help them. The Brewers are only 1.5 games back and killing the ball and I really look for that to continue because they have some terrific hitters and it’s going to be tough for the Cardinal hitters to keep up because I just don’t think they are as talented as the Brewers hitters. Brian, I hope you are not thinking that I am argueing with you, cause I’m not. You have all of the Stats, but you are wrong on thinking that you can compare Ankiel and Edmonds. It just won’t work and I wish it would. We have sort of lived a charmed life so far and the players have done a tremendous job this year, but I just don’t think they can continue to play this way for the entire year. They are going to need some help.

slforre, I agree with everything you said, you can’t go by stats, cause it just won’t work. You can take a 250 hitter who hits in the clutch and drives in runners that on on base with a 250 hitter that doesn’t and the one who doesn’t drive in the runs isn’t going to make it.

slata4, you have said exactly what I wanted to say and you said it much better than I could have said, and you are right on!! Wish you weren’t, but you are!!

The problem is that there isn’t a lot on the trade market other than Holliday and Sabathia. Holliday may be traded sooner than the deadline, but I doubt it will be more than a few days before.

You do NOT build a team “defensively”…and by that, I mean you don’t go after a player just because another team in your division “might” get him…just because the Brewers and Cubs might go after C.C. does not mean we should. It’s not just that C.C. is a lot of money…it’s that we don’t know if we NEED him or not…we have too many question marks in our starting rotation (and DL’ed pitchers) to know what we have.

It’s important to define question marks when discussing “question marks”…you either have question marks because you have players that are no good and therefore create a hole in your team…OR…you have question marks because you don’t know what you have due to either small sample size or injuries. Assuming Waino and Carp come back this year healthy and ready to go, your rotation looks like this: Wainwright, Lohse, Looper, Wellemeyer, and Carpenter…and that assumes you throw out Piniero, which is not a wise assumption to make right now…AND…it assumes Mulder can’t come back.

Right now, our needs would be a left-handed reliever and a possible impact bat at the middle infield positions…a starting pitcher, as of what we know right now, is not our priority, and it shouldn’t be. You may be too old to wait for another championship, but you don’t give away the next 10 – 15 years of prospects to MAYBE make an expensive playoff run this year.

It’s just not smart.

dk…please…seriously…”pujols”…GAH!

Ok…sorry, guys…been out for a few days…catching up…hence the multiple small posts…

first of all…the “MendoZa” line is .200…Ank is still more than 50 points away from the Mendoza line…and you don’t predict or “project out” a batting average the same way you do home runs or RBIs…a batting average is, in itself, a type of projection…therefore, Ank is projecting, currently, at .251…period. This idea that Ank is going to finish the season at .200 or under is ridiculous…look at his Triple A stats…his average is a bit below that, which makes sense.

Regardless, however, of those facts…Ank is not our “on-base” guy…he is a power hitter…plain and simple…and right now, he could easily finish with 30 HRs or more. Wanting him to hit for high average is misguided and is not his role on this team. Now, wanting him to hit for more RBIs is well-placed…he DOES need to show a bit more there…the guy hits too many solo shots…but that is also greatly influenced by the guys in front and behind him (on-base and threat/protection).

Also, Ank is playing at a gold glove level in center. He saves as many runs as he creates. Defense is easily overlooked in the game today…especially in a baseball world where the steriod era caused baseball fans to shift too much focus onto inflated HR stats…we must begin to refocus yet again and adjust to a baseball era that will place a premium on excellent defensive play on those many balls now staying in the ballpark. That’s where Ank comes into play.

Finally…let’s not forget Ank is in his first MLB season as a position player and hitter. That is no small thing at all. The guy is streaky…sure…we knew that…and it seems to be getting at least a little better. He MUST learn more about plate discipline and putting together smart/quality at-bats…we’ve seen flashes of that as well…especially that 17 pitch (I think) at bat earlier in the season and the fact that he is 4th on the team in walks (behind AP, Glaus, and Ludwick)…and he will get there, but he needs a season or two to learn. It’s much different at this level and at his position (as opposed to pitching).

I don’t understand how Ank-bashing is relevant…I know you’re not “down on” Ank, but the guy is getting the job done in multiple ways…defense, HRs, baserunning, etc….Everything else will improve over time…he’s already shown an uncanny ability to adjust, improve, and make changes at this level…why would we ever think plate discipline and batting average would be any different for this guy?

FYI – the .285 avg most likely came from looking at his 2007 numbers

oops…meant to say he is in his first FULL MLB season as a position player…not just first…

good to see you back Kevin.

Pujols and Matt Holliday? That would be awesome. I wonder what we would have to give up to get him.

Hey, you guys make it sound as tho I want Ankiel to fail and that just isn’t true. I want him to do well and want to see him play for many years as a Cardinal, but there is room for improvement in many areas, and I really believe he can make those improvments. When he does, he is going to be awesome. Nobody has said anything about who is going to be able to protect Pulhols when he comes back. It ain’t going to be Glaus or Ludwig and that is really where they need another big bat, someone like Holliday would be great. I don’t know who else is going to be available, but who we have is not going to be able to protect him. I would rather have CC than all of the question marks, kevinreyyn. Question marks can’t pitch. It is doubtful the way it is sounding whether any of the question marks are going to be able to help this years team. Everytime it looks like one of them is going to make a comeback, there is a setback and they are shut down, so you tell me, which would be better? I don’t hear anything about Wainright’s finger or how long it may keep him on the DL. Anyone know?

They;re looking for the break for Wainwrights return. Sprained fingers are worse than I thought they would be, apparently it’s like 5 weeks for a return.

Millions on C.C. may be better than the question marks we have now…that’s not the point. The point is that millions on C.C. may not be better than the young, cheap arms nearly ready to step into St. Louis’ rotation for the future. You give C.C. tons of money long term, that handicaps you. You rent him for tons of money or prospects this year…well, that just doesn’t make sense to me primarily because we don’t know what we have. Again, you’re confusing question marks that can’t pitch with question marks who can…we have pitchers…we have guys that have been able to step in…but what we don’t know is where we’re going to be in 2 months…that’s what I would like to see fleshed out a bit more before I commit a ton of money to C.C. I know, I know…the trade deadline and C.C. won’t wait that long…meaning we would have to rush a decision on C.C. either/both because we don’t want the Cubs or Brewers to get him and/or because we just don’t know what we will have in our rotation before long. That’s not how I would build my team…I want to know what I have before I deal for a huge contract guy like C.C.

As far as the Ankiel question, I’m not questioning your desire to see him succeed. I’m saying Ank is getting the job done…of course he can improve…and he needs to improve…but let’s not disqualify what he’s done this year…especially due to a low average. He’s not a .300 hitter…he will probably never be…but if he is a 30 + homer guy, that’s good enough…especially if he plays excellent defense and can hit 100 RBIs. My point is, I think your concern about Ank and/or our center field position is flawed. It’s just not a problem right now.

I think Anks made a big statement to your concerns last night. Not just 2 HRs, but a SF in a big spot. There’s no need to worry about Anks if he is healthy.

Villone and Flores are currently making a big statement regarding what this team REALLY needs…sheesh…

Yeah a lefty out of the pen would be really nice. Who’s available? Wagner?

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