Sunday tidbits: Ank sits

Greetings from Shea, where I won’t mind if I never cover another game. Hurry up, Citi Field!

* Rick Ankiel is out of the starting lineup with an abdominal strain, which he sustained last night. Not much word on the severity yet, whether he could pinch-hit or anything like that.

* I haven’t gotten a final word on Chris Carpenter’s bullpen session today, but by all accounts, it’s a formality. He’s starting Wednesday.

* The weather is OK for now, but the reports are that it could be hit-and-miss all afternoon. Something popping up here or there.

* TLR reiterated today that he thinks that both Isringhausen and Franklin are “distracted” by questions about roles and whatnot. I asked him what could be done, and he said talk it through with them. Derrick Goold followed by asking whether a flat-out declaration might accomplish that, and TLR made one.

“When Franklin’s fresh, he’s the guy that gets the ninth inning. We’ll try to keep him as fresh as we can. He’s the best guy we have for that role.”

-M.

57 Comments

Is Franklin REALLY the “best guy we have for that role?”

I think not. I definitely can tell they are distracted by the whole set-up man / closer role debacle. But it is one created by the two of them. Mostly Izzy. He wants to be the closer, then he can’t handle it and wants a break. Then after he felt confident again, he wanted to close again. All the while Ryan Franklin was doing an excellent job. But after Izzy failed time again in the closer role, I think it started to get in Franklins head about just how hard the 9th can be. That’s when he started to struggle as well.
For Izzy I think it’s only as hard as he makes it. He truly possesses the stuff to be a shut down closer. I just think his skin is too thin, which makes it hard for him to fully concentrate on every pitch. One thing TLR was right about is he is too concerned about the result rather than just go out there and execute. It seems simple…just do what you do and let the rest fall into place. But, of course, it’s not that simple. Perhaps good, consistant leadership is what they need…TLR

There’s some serious bullpen issues goin on and everyone knows. It’s been the story for unsuccessful seasons in years past. I don’t think it’s the fact that the bullpen or the closers aren’t up to par anymore, it’s just the fact that almost all of our starters don’t even get past the 6th or 7th inning…..in any game!!! And most of these bullpen guys are having to pitch every game or every other game against the same teams in a stretch of 3 or four games that have already seen their stuff and it’s fresh in their minds. That’s why they’re getting shelled night after night. I doubt putting in fresh AAA meat is gonna make it any better either. I put it to you….How does one solve this problem? I know TLR and Duncan loveto use the bullpen, but seriously the Cardinals have not had a CG kind of starter for years outside of Carpenter and even still Carp more often than not doesn’t go the distance in any game. There needs to be a delicate balance and use of the bullpen. Right now it’s called, “The starters stink for 5 and then we have to bring in rubber arms to save his butt, only to lose precious games in the middle of the season” What can ya do? Anybody?

I’m bothered by the Marte/Yankees deal. Where we ever in the hunt? Clearly, reinforcements wouldn’t hurt.

–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

I think that Franklin was doing his best when he was there, and Izzy was on the DL. Maybe he felt extra pressure having to not only close games, but compete for the role with Izzy as well.

A quick count on IP over the last week or so of games revealed the starters going 5.5 a game. That rate’ll run down the best of pens…….The price is obviously high, but the plus side is that all the rookie arms are gaining invaluable experience, baptism by fire……Franklin’s demeanor suggests he could and would pitch in any relief role asked of him without whining. Team player.

Matt, any word about Clemment? I haven’t seen a word about him in print for awhile.

Let’s be perfectly honest, Izzy’s days as a closer are gone and Franklin has proven time and time again that he is a very good setup man and not the solution for the ninth inning either! It’s time MO makes a move that actually matters outside of just letting go of Anthony Reyes just to do it. I don’t care if it’s Fuentes, Sherill or whoever but something needs to be done to assure that we don’t take a late inning lead into 3 out of 4 games against the Brewers and lose them all ever again, This is his job, to put the best players on the team and when obvious weaknesses show themselves, to get the club some help! We have mulitple games left against the Brewers and the Cubs and it’s time to show if we plan on being in the race or falling out of it. I don’t care what starting pitchers come back if we can’t hold a lead in the 9th…and PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT PUTTING WAINRIGHT IN THE CLOSERS ROLE! He proved he could do it in 2006 but now has proven he is a true ACE you don’t take an ACE and make him a Closer unless an injury dictates it…PERIOD!

One quick stat…Starters are 41-24…..Relievers = 25 BLOWN SAVES (Pathetic)….Oh how the division SHOULD look if only we could find someone that could do the job. If you just cut them in half we have 14 more wins and that is still a ton of blown saves. Which means we should be running away with this division already. Sorry Cardinal Starters..You have done your job and deserve better!

I agree for the most part, slata…but the Cardinals starters haven’t exactly been stellar for the recent month(s), either.

I agree…all the more reason that when Carp and Wainright come back they stay in the rotation..Find relief help elsewhere..it is definitely out there to find, if they are willing to pull the trigger to bring in a proven player and give up a kid that they hope will produce one day.

Since Rasmus can’t be traded right now, who do we give up? I’d think that Mather, Stavinoah and possibly Boggs would be our biggest trade chips.

LaRussa is stuck on adding a bat and not a reliever. Izzy is through as a stopper. We need one.

Truth be told, we need both. A (middle infield) bat and a reliever/closer.

Franklin is the best guy to blow a save and have every Cardinal fan predict it.

We have a lot of trading chips it all depends on the acquisition. If LaRussa is dead set on a bat and EVERYONE knows we need a closer, then put something big together…Try Bryan Anderson, Mather, Boggs-or-Garcia, Shumacher, and either Wellemeyer, Looper or Piniero for Fuentes and Holliday. To get Holliday it is gonna take a hell of a package and I don’t think Skip deserves to be on the bench which will happen in a Holliday, Ank, and Ludwick lineup and it sounds like to get Fuentes they want starters…give up one of ours since we will have an abudance of them with the return of Carp and Wain, and one of our young guys…then open up the pocket books and keep them long term. Izzy is a pending free agent so his big salary goes away and some of those dollars go to Fuentes, with a big contract for Holliday shortly after. Obviously something that wouldn’t happen but something that “if” I was in Mo’s shoes would throw out there and see if the Rockies bit. Any thoughts?

We don’t necessarily need a middle infield bat by the way..we just need a bat. There isn’t a whole lot of middle infield protection for Albert out there in the game that is going to be available.

Well I wouldn’t expect they’d want Wellemeyer due to walks and Coors Field. I’d throw Anderson, Boggs, Pineiro, and Schumaker (plus cash probably) out there for Fuentes and Holliday. It could work.

My only problem with it is Schumaker has become a pretty good leadoff man, and I’d hate to spoil that. The leadoff man is pretty important. Although, MAYBE, Aaron Miles could do it.

Let’s be truthfully honest love him or hate him we all know MO is no Jock! Mo is a penny pincher. Why is the organization playing games in 2010 when we should be trying to win in 2008? I honestly don’t look for the Cards to make a trade. I would settle for Burnett and move Well or Loop to the pen.

I agree…everytime I hear MO say I won’t sacrifice 09-10 for this year I just want to scream. No one is asking him to give up Rasmus, Anderson and Boggs for Ryan Theriot….We want him to help this team. We are losing a BIG contract in Izzy after this year so we can do Fuentes with possiby Perez waiting in the wings, and Holliday is out there, they can’t sign him and anyone that doesn’t drool over Pujols and Holliday back to back doesn’t have a pulse, and yes I would part with Rasmus in a second if it meant I was getting a young PROVEN Holliday instead of staying with a hope and a dream. Remember when Reyes was our can’t miss top prospect?? How did that work out for us. There is a difference between “Proven All-Star” and a Prospect with “big upside”, I think Rasmus will eventually be good but who knows when that will be, and I love Shumacher just as much as the next guy which is why I include him in this deal because he deserves to start, but NO ONE starts Shumacher over Holliday, Ank, and Ludwick…excuse me I’m drooling again….

I think you’re right. I don’t really see them making any trades, especially with the way Mo has been talking about “sticking with the plan we had from Day 1″. I also agree with you in saying that we should be trying to win games now, too, not in the future. I’m not saying sell the farm, but we certainaly have tradeable players. Extra outfielders to go along with an already youthful big league outfield. We have a great young catcher that won’t see playing time in St. Louis anytime soon, unless he’s willing to be a backup for at least a couple years . We also have a couple starting pitchers we could afford to part with. Plus if I’m not mistaken Edmonds’ contract will be off the books after this year, as well as Izzy if he’s not resigned. So my question is, what’s the problem?

Here is the problem…our top management says they have payroll flexibility and will have even more after big contracts fall off this year and instead of going and getting help for now they will continue to penny pinch in one of the top 3 baseball towns in America and give us “Carp and Wainright” are huge trade deadline type acquisitions…AGREED, but it doesn’t mean anything if we don’t have a bullpen that they consistently give a lead to hold too. I think the problem with our top management is they aren’t looking at the BIG Picture. I can appreciate them wanting to go younger and all that. But you can only go so young and there comes a point when you have an abundance of talent with nowhere to put them. This is a good thing because other teams see that and will give you there best talent to get it!! I’m no Einstein but I’m really failing to see the problem here!

Difficult problem right now: What outfield abundance? Barton on rehab assignment because the organization would rather have Nick or Mather up here…Nick and Mather are BOTH up here…Rasmus is injured in AAA…Dunc is injured…Ank is injured…the organization doesn’t know the severity of either Dunc or Ank, yet…

Bottom line, we don’t have an excess of outfielders to trade with right now and still remain in contention…and MLB teams are leary of trading for guys that are currently injured anyway…

Those guys will heal. We still have an abundance of outfielders. Stavinoha, Mather, Ludwick, Schumaker, Ankiel, Barton, Duncan…if we were to get somebody like Holliday, then it wouldn’t hurt us to trade one or two of them.

Exactly you beat me too it…Stavinoha, Mather, Rasmus have all proven they can crush the ball in the minors which is why they are “prospects” and need consistant playing time in the Majors which at least Mather and Stavinoha won’t get here. While Duncan has tremendous power he is a defensive and against any lefty liablility so he is at best a 4th outfielder, while Barton is a flashy player at times but not a starter. Not to mention……Avg, HR, RBI, OBP, SLG

Skip Shumaker- .303, 6, 33, .365, .423
Rick Ankiel- .282, 22, 59, .347, .543
Ryan Ludwick- .287, 23, 70, .366, .581
(Which one do you feel comfortable telling to take a seat?)

Add all this together even with the “MINOR” bumps and bruises that some of them have and you have “DEPTH”

I wonder if MO ever reads these blogs ha, to get a little pulse of his fans and what they think…that would be cool…especially since we are having intelligent conversations..at least in the Cardinals Blogs.. well most of us are :)

Hooray!! Franklin is back as a setup man where he belongs..GULP Izzy is closing again…..

Well…let’s hope somebody walked up to Izzy, kicked him in the pills, and told him to man up!! He still has the arm and the stuff to be a dominant closer. He just needs to develop thicker skin. I don’t agree with the short memory thing. You need to remember failures, so as not to repeat them. The trick is not to dwell on it. You find your mistake, learn from it, and move on!

Think we’ll need a closer tonight? I do.

Maybe he needed the title of closer, maybe he is too focused on 300 saves and not the save that’s right in front of him. Hopefully tomorrow we have a save opp and he goes 1-2-3, but this is the only way to find out if he truly is the right man for the job.

hehe….Dudes…I know we have an abundance of outfielders…but RIGHT NOW, we do NOT…and RIGHT NOW is important because the trade deadline is 2 days away…why is that important? Because it’s difficult to trade injured players AND it’s difficult to trade non-injured players if the guys who would replace them for the next week or two are injured…sure, we could replace them with any random outfielder on the market or in AAA…but we need a quality guy if we are going to stay in contention while waiting for our other guys to heal…Therefore…for the next couple weeks, we do NOT have an abundance of outfielders.

I know you know these things, Kevin. I just don’t see it that way. None of those guys are seriously injured, and it may be harder to trade injured players but it’s not out of the question. It’s not impossible. The Cards acquired Carp while injured, and Matt Clement, and I’m sure it’s happened before with other teams. I’m just saying that we AND management should not be looking at it like it’s not a feasible possibility, cause I think it is. If management is not interested in winning this year, then they can let Tony throw anybody out in right field until injured players return. I mean, come on. He put AP at 2nd this year. He has put Edmonds at first in the past. I’m sure he could talk Jason LaRue into patrolling RF for a week or so, Luddy in left, and whoever isn’t traded in CF (Schumaker maybe).

Nothing is out of the questions when your talking about just minor injuries especially if the players that are coming back have proven they can play and didn’t have to have any surgery to come back.

Clement and Carp were both free agent signings not traded. Comparing those aquisitions to what we could do at the deadline is like apples to oranges.

What was with the Reyes trade? Should have dumped him when he was worth something. We could have at least used him as a third or fourth chip in a trade. I would have put Duncan, Thompson, Reyes and Rasmus up to the Rockies for Fuentes and Holliday. Yeah I said Rasmus! Clubs want him so let them have him. It’s easier to find a power hitter in your farm system than a closer or good reliever. WE NEED HELP or we are out of this thing.

True, ’nuff, slforre…I guess I still believe the front office does want to win this year…just maybe not as badly as TLR (but then, who does?).

I guess it just feels like a pretty slippery position to be in right now…in danger of slipping farther back in the standings and possibly making it very improbable that we could recover in time and yet thinking of putting ourselves in a position where we would be temporarily filling a hole in the outfield with random AAA players that aren’t productive because we aren’t fully healed and we traded some of our players.

It doesn’t seem to me that the front office cares AT ALL about this year. We have enough bargaining chips that we could bring in some proven help without completely selling the farm. BOTTOM LINE!!! Right now, they’re not doing anything. Unless they’re lying to M and the rest of us.
Matto, I get what you’re saying except for the whole apples to oranges thing. I don’t think it’s nearly that far off. To me the bottom line is…we acquired players while injured, therefore injured players are not untradable.

yeah…if the Cards don’t make a trade by the deadline, I won’t be devastated…but I’ve heard a rumor here and there of a possible trade the Cardinals would make that could signal a “throw in the towel” mentality…THAT would piss me off…

And you’d think it would make Tony a little irritated too. As you said, he wants to win more than anybody. That is one of his few attributes that I admire.Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
As for a move by the trade deadline, I wouldn’t be devastated either, just because I’ve seen moves made after it that worked out for us. BUT I don’t trust Mo or any of the rest of Cards management to do anything like that. So I think I would feel quite marose about the rest of the year if they don’t do SOMETHING.

Dude…slforre…I think Mo is giving Izzy a 2 week trial period…if he can handle the closer role, Waino will be a starter when he comes back in 2 weeks…if not, Waino will be the closer when he comes back…does Izzy get DFA’ed or buried in middle relief then?

I think the only way a team trades for an injured player is if he is part of a deal as a PTBNL. I honestly don’t think you can trade someone when on the DL.

As far as deadline moves, if we do something to get either a reliever or a bat, I’ll consider it a win.

hehe…are we all just staring at our computers today, waiting for trade news? :)

All my usual Cardinals sites are slow today…

I think you’re right. We ARE all waiting for news. I don’t know about izzy. If he falters again, I don’t know what happens.
I don’t see any reason you “can’t trade someone on the DL.” You gotta look at the injury, not just the fact that the player is on the DL. If it’s a minor injury, with a brief recovery time, and the player is a proven quantity, then why wouldn’t another team look at it. Of course that player won’t be the centerpiece, but still can be a part of a trade.

I think you’re right. We ARE all waiting for news. I don’t know about izzy. If he falters again, I don’t know what happens.
I don’t see any reason you “can’t trade someone on the DL.” You gotta look at the injury, not just the fact that the player is on the DL. If it’s a minor injury, with a brief recovery time, and the player is a proven quantity, then why wouldn’t another team look at it. Of course that player won’t be the centerpiece, but still can be a part of a trade.

Tex has been traded by the Braves, fairly cheaply IMO. Does this change our market? Probably not. But I heard Olney on Sportscenter say something about the Cards and Washburn. What do you guys think of that?

By “can’t” I meant “against the rules” SLF. I think it might be at least.

That could work. If Jared Washburn slots in as 4th starter, maybe Looper or Wellemeyer could move to the pen to help there.Still would like another bat, but I’m not convinved we NEED it.

Another bat isn’t a top priority of course, but it would be nice to have. One trade piece I’m wondering about is a guy that’s got 20 HRs down in the minors. Anyone think that we could pull off a trade with Phelps as a piece?

Maybe as an add-on piece…but Phelps doesn’t look like a major league starter to me…remember, a portion of those homers are in AA…he was signed to kind of be an insurance policy for Pujols, I think…? He’s got good power, I just don’t see him developing much further than he has…and I think the 20 HRs translates into 10 – 15 at the MLB level for him…in a full season…maybe…and that’s with 500+ at bats…which I don’t think he’ll get.

1st base has become too much of a premium position at this level.

I’ve been fairly impressed with the play of the Cardinals the past two nights. 20 runs in two games against the Braves at Turner Field is quite a feat, regardless of who is pitching. The bullpen, although giving up a couple late inning runs and getting into a few jams, appears to be better than they have been.

I’m in Chicago this week for training, so I haven’t been able to watch the Cardinals games, but I monitor Gameday while watching the Cubs-Brewers series. It’s been hard knowing who to root for. On one hand, I want the Cardinals to get closer to the lead in the division. On the other hand, I want the Cardinals in the driver’s seat for the wild card. Needless to say, the Cubs are looking like a playoff team right now and the Brewers are not. Let’s hope that translates into a playoff berth for the Cards. By the way, the Cardinals only have two more games against the Brewers, so every game we gain on them is important.

Man I am so excited about tonight… I am very very nervous at the same time. Good luck Carp!!! I know all of us in here are rooting for you. This has the potential to be a huge step forward for the Cards. I just hope there isnt a 5 pitches to start the game and oops i just hurt myself moment again… Anyway good luck to all of us for not having a heart attack before the game!! lol Go Cards!!

I’m buying tequila…and antidepressants…lots of them…just in case…

different topic.
Let’s give Mo some credit for the Rolen trade.
Rolen has a .254 avg, 6 HR and 31 RBI in 82 games and his shoulder is bothering him again.
Glaus has a .273 avg. 18 HR and 71 RBI and has played in 107 games. And his defense has been good.

As for the pen. The future looks bright. Perez, Jimenez, Perdoma(from Cleveland), Johnson if healthy next year,
McClellan and Kinney. Not bad as most of the current pen has seen their best years.

Lets not mark K-Mac for the pen in 2009 just yet folks. I could see an Adam Wainwright approach with him. I’d like to see him starting soon.

I like K-Mac for the closer role… That way he can go out there and snap his breaking stuff as hard as possible, and fire it in there instead of holding back to go more innings… Just my thought for the future… I am an Izzy fan for now… trying hard to be loyal….

I’d still rather put Perez or Jimenez in the closer role than K-Mac. I think K-Mac would be a pretty good starter.

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