Wednesday camp tidbits: Looking at the lineup
Pleased to report that in 98 minutes, they’ll be playing ball. Here are the tidbits from this morning…
* Yadier Molina isn’t playing today because he’ll play the next three games. The Cardinals want to maximize the time he works with the scheduled starting rotation before he leaves to play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Thus, today, with Blake Hawksworth and a bunch of kids pitching, LaRue gets the call, and the next three days with Lohse, Wellemeyer and Carpenter, it’ll be Molina.
* TLR acknowledged that Mather’s status with the club is reflected in his new Major League number. He didn’t promise Mather a spot, but made it clear that “Joey Bombs” is in good shape. Key quote: “I think whether it’s third base or someplace [else], I think Joe’s got a chance to make our club.” It may sound wishy-washy, but it’s an endorsement.
* We talked a good bit in the morning session about the cleanup spot, and what TLR wants from there. It’s Ankiel today, and ideally he prefers to have a lefty there because in general he likes going L-R-L-R as much as possible. He didn’t rule out Ludwick or Duncan there, but also emphasized his long-held belief that he doesn’t want guys TRYING to hit for power. Money quote: “I project the cleanup hitter as a productive hitter that can get a clutch base hit. Power is something that, if you’ve got it, you’ve got it. If you hit 25 home runs and you hit .220, you can’t hit fourth. You can hit 35 home runs and hit .220 — that’s only 35 hits.”
Today’s themed playlist:
Pearl Jam, “Go”
Rolling Stones, “Start Me Up”
Handsome Boy Modeling School: “First… And Then”
R.E.M.: “Begin the Begin”
Drive-By Truckers: “Opening Act”