March 2009

Friday tidbits: Taking the whole team to Kissimmee

Glorious weather has returned to Jupiter, so huzzah for that.

* The Cardinals played an intrasquad game this morning inside the stadium in order to get at-bats and innings for some players. A team “managed” by Memphis skipper Chris Maloney defeated Springfield manager Pop Warner’s club, 3-1.

On Maloney’s team: Brendan Ryan, Tyler Greene (single, steal, some nice defense at SS), Brett Wallace (RBI groundout), Allen Craig (RBI single, walk, nice defense at 1B), Brian Barton, Bryan Anderson, Steve Hill and Matt Pagnozzi (sweet catch and an assist from left field). Pitchers were Brad Furnish and Hyang-Nam Choi

On Warner’s team: Jarrett Hoffpauir (double, run), Brian Barden, Jon Jay (RBI single), Nick Stavinoha, David Freese (playing 1B and playing “under control”), Joe Thurston, Tony Cruz (single, walk) and Justin Knoedler. Trey Hearne and Justin Fiske pitched.

* TLR said he expects to have today’s lineup in each of the next two games, including the long haul up to Kissimmee tomorrow. Seven of these nine guys will almost certainly be in the Opening Day lineup — the only exceptions being LaRue, and one of Duncan or Rasmus.

* Mitchell Boggs is slated for a return to game action today.

* Come back later this afternoon for the newest roster projection.

Today’s playlist:
Counting Crows: “Angels of the Silences”
Soul Coughing: “Soft Serve”
Blur: “There’s No Other Way”
Depeche Mode: “Precious”
New Order: “Krafty”


Cardinals sign D.Reyes

For the second consecutive year, the
Cardinals have addressed a need after the start of Spring Training. St. Louis
signed Dennys Reyes to a two-year contract on Thursday, adding left-handed
depth to its bullpen and likely ending a wide-open race for the second
left-handed spot in the relief corps.

“Every time that we’ve seen him, especially as a
specialist, he’s made left-handers look silly,” manager Tony La Russa
said. “And he can pitch to right-handers. I didn’t see him last year, but
the reports we had are good.”

Reyes, 31, will pitch for Mexico in the World Baseball
Classic and will not report to Cardinals camp until the Mexican team is
eliminated from the tournament. Mexico begins play on Sunday against Australia
in Mexico City.

Over a 12-year Major League career, Reyes has done just about
everything, from making 40 starts to collecting two saves. Recently, though,
he’s been a specialist. He made 75 appearances for Minnesota in 2008 but
pitched just 46 1/3 innings, posting a 2.33 ERA with 39 strikeouts, 15 walks
and four home runs. Left-handers hit .202 against him with a .250 on-base
percentage and a .287 slugging percentage.

For his career, Reyes has a 32-32 record and 4.28 ERA in 535
appearances. He has recorded 583 strikeouts and 356 walks in 646 innings.
Left-handers have a composite line of .237/.330/.340 against him over the
course of his career.


Thursday afternoon tidbits: Busy day

The scribes’ morning session with TLR lasted more than 20 minutes; it’s as though we didn’t see him for a week, rather than a couple of days. But there was plenty to talk about.

* Brendan Ryan has been cleared to play and may well appear in this afternoon’s game. At any rate, he should be on the field soon. Brian Barden is also cleared, according to TLR.

* David Freese, however, is still coming along slowly. They’re not sure when exactly he will be available.

* Five Cardinals players are available on loan to the Dominican team today: Joe Thurston, Allen Craig, Tony Cruz, Fernando Salas and Justin Fiske. Evidently the DR team is a bit short on bodies, and they’ll be in a hurry to get everything wrapped up and make it to the airport.

* The first round of cuts could come as early as Sunday.

* TLR said today that Wallace never really had a chance to make the club. He’s not ready to play defense in the Majors. Quote: “He signed last summer. This is a great break for him to come to big league camp and see what the big leagues are like. There are a lot of guys on the pecking order for at-bats that mean something for our club in ’09. He’s not on that.”

* Rick Ankiel is in at DH. TLR said he could play if need be as he recovers from a sore Achilles’, but as long as they have the DH, this is a good way to use it.

* TLR did not expect Pujols to pinch-hit in this game.

Today’s playlist, all mid-to-late period U2 in honor of the new record:
“Until the End of the World”
“Dirty Day”
“Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me”


Back in the saddle: Thursday lineup

Back from a couple of nice off days. Here’s today’s lineup vs the DR…

1. Schumaker 2B
2. Mather 3B
3. Ankiel DH
4. Ludwick RF
5. Duncan 1B
6. K.Greene SS
7. Jay LF
8. LaRue C
9. Rasmus CF


Monday camp tidbits: Not-so-tearful reunion

Hello from a bright, sunny, cool day in Jupiter. It’s been a bit of a circus here today.

* Adam Kennedy made the trip from Port Charlotte, and led off the game with a bloop single to center. Told of the continuing contention that the Cardinals didn’t think he’d be OK with a competitive situation at 2B, Kennedy said, “I think we all know that’s not true.”

* Joe Thurston is playing LF today. TLR: “Dunc’s been playing a lot, Ludwick’s been playing a lot, so there’s a spot open. And he can play the outfield, I think. So he gets a chance. And he needs some playing time.”

* Gen. Hal Moore, of “We Were Soldiers” fame, visited the Cardinals and spoke to the team at 11:45 a.m. He was joined by Maj. Jim Gant, a recent recipient of the Silver Star for heroism in Iraq.

* Mitchell Boggs threw a live BP session today and, depending on how he comes through it, it’s conceivable that his next time facing hitters could be in a game. They’re not going to rush him, but it’s possible.

* Team Dominicana arrived today. It was quite a sight as all the stars rolled in, Alex Rodriguez in his Maybach and others in their luxury rides with entourages and all. Very rock-star vibe. They’ll be working out on the back fields this afternoon, and they play the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium tomorrow.

Today’s playlist:
Wilco: “Outtasite (Outta Mind)”
XTC: “Senses Working Overtime”
Primal Scream: “Jailbird”
Dinosaur Jr: “The Wagon”
Jesus and Mary Chain: “Far Gone and Out”



Sunday morning lineup and tidbits: Oquendo leaves

Good morning to all, and I hope wherever you are, the weather isn’t hitting you too badly today.

* Today is Yadier Molina’s last game before heading over to work with Team Puerto Rico for the World Baseball Classic. Jose Oquendo headed over this morning. In Oquendo’s stead, Joe Pettini will coach third base.

* The weather here is a bit dicey. The forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms this afternoon, and it sounds like they’re already getting doused on the other side of the state. Would be great if we could just go ahead and start this thing early, but that’s not going to happen. We’ll see if a full game gets played.

* Chris Carpenter is in fact going to caddy for Adam Wainwright at the Honda Classic Pro-Am this week. He made a point to say that he’ll carry the bag on his left shoulder.

* Royce Ring threw a bullpen session this morning. Not sure exactly what that was about, but I’ll ask him in a little while. I’m guessing it’s related to the fact that he pitched a day earlier than expected.

* Today’s lineup: 1.Schumaker 2B — 2.Stavinoha DH — 3.Ludwick RF — 4.Duncan 1B — 5.Molina C — 6.KGreene SS — 7.Rasmus CF — 8.Mather 3B — 9.Barton LF

* Shameless plug: I’ll be on KMOX with Ron Jacober at about 10:20 am CT (ie, in just a few minutes). It’s going to be a semi-regular gig as the season goes on, and I’m looking forward to it.

Today’s playlist:
Depeche Mode, “Shake the Disease”
Foo Fighters, “Everlong”
LCD Soundsystem: “All My Friends”
REM: “Lotus”
The White Stripes: “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”