Opening Day lineup

TLR unveiled the Monday lineup this afternoon. It’s as follows:

1. Brendan Ryan, 2B
2. Rick Ankiel, CF
3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Khalil Greene, SS
5. Ryan Ludwick, RF
6. Yadier Molina, C
7. Chris Duncan, LF
8. Brian Barden, 3B
9. Adam Wainwright, P

Let the conversation begin…

-M.

48 Comments

It wouldn’t be a LaRussa lineup if he went with the lineup you would expect, let alone like.

The tinkering means he is a baseball genius.

So is Ryan starting because of Schumaker’s lack of ability to hit lefties?

Yes, Ryan gets the start at second over Schumaker because of his struggles against the lefties. As for Barden starting over Freese, I’m sure it’s alot of the same reason. With LaRussa, you’ll often see a dramatic change in the lineup against southpaws. Greene hitting cleanup is interesting, althought he was very impressive this spring. I like Duncan hitting seventh. That’s the benefit of having multiple RBI guys in the lineup, TLR can have one hit further down.

I still don’t know why Duncan is starting he’s terrible against lefties. 196 avg. against them compared to .282 avg against RH pitchers.

I’m very confused over Barden playing over Freese, especially when they’re both RH hitters, and Freese hit .386 to Barden’s .192 in Spring Training.

It really seemed like Freese had the spot wrapped up, so it leads me to believe that he’s not 100%.

I can see why Duncan gets the nod against lefties. Rasmus, also being a leftie, leaves TLR with no real right hand option. I think He would rather see Duncan out there in case Rasmus struggles. If he puts the kid out there and he struggles it could get in his head. Good call to save him for a chance when he will most likely succeed.

I don’t like this lineup for 2 obvious reasons:

1): Brenden Ryan is not a 2nd baseman by trade, his favorite position is SS. Why not playing Joe Thurston (a true 2nd baseman with more pop and better defensive skills at the position)?

2) Brian Barden (438obp/545slg/386avg) should leadoff as he gets on base at a much higher percentage than Benden Ryan (268/325/250). The table setter is very important and I don’t understand why Brenden Byan leads off and play defense at 2nd base. What is the use of his speed if he neither gets on base nor play good 2nd base defense as he is not a true 2nd baseman by trade?

3) IMO, the ideal opening day line up should be:

B Barden (3b)
R Ankel
A. Pujols
K Greene
R Ludwick
Y Molina
C Duncan
J Thurston (2b)
A Wainwright

If you’re going to start a LHH against Maholm at 2B, Schumaker is the guy. Thurston doesn’t really make sense.

-M.

Khalil Greene is batting cleanup? Really? Really? That’s mind-blowing for me after seeing what he did last year at San Diego.

where is skip?

Maybe TLR is starting Ryan and Barden to protect Schumaker, Freese, and Thurston – all better hitters – from bad weather injury?

BL

Mr. Leach, agreed on Schumaker @ 2b to replace Thurston for offensive purpose (to see if Skip can hit against the southpaws this year and he may surprise us), but for defensive purpose, is Thurston a better option @2b than Schumaker and Ryan? Starting Ryan @2b makes no sense as his OBP is horrible (offensively speaking) and he is not a true 2b (defensively speaking).

Also, do you think Barden is a better option to leadoff with his 438obp/545slg/386avg than Ryan (268/325/250)? as Barden can get on base at a much higher percentage than Brenden. Against southpaws, I like Barden as a leadoff hitter for his on base capabilities.

A classic TLR lineup.

Maybe the game will start and have to be canceled due to bad weather like last year, forcing Pittsburgh to start a righty. That would be nice.
-KB
BaseballYakker.com

anyone joining me tonight at http://www.LiveBaseballChat.com for the season opener at 8pm?

Cheers,
Dean

There’s probably several reasons for this lineup that none of us could understand at first.

I can understand Greene at 4th cuz he has the hot bat out of spring training. Ryan had a better offensive spring than Barden so i can understand him batting 1st. Barden was brought up at 3B, it is his natural position, and Barden at 3B, Ryan at 2B is better defensively than the other way around. Remember Ryan is a utility player on this team, and with Greene as our main SS (not being a revolving door like last year) Ryan is going to see alot more time at 2B, especially if Greene’s offense stays hot.

Thurston is a lefty hitting infielder, he probably will get less starts against leftys than skip will (i’m sure skip will start against less talented lefty starters, Malcolm is a pretty good lefty for the pirates)

Remember Wainwright is a good hitting pitcher so having Barden bat before him isn’t a bad idea (instead of the pitcher 8th)

The main weakpoint with this team is the abundance of lefty batters in both the outfield and infield, i’d expect when Glaus comes back, Thurston might be sent down to cut down the # of leftys, and if any OF gets injured, Mather will most likely be the first called up.

ummmmm let see wasnt most of luddy success last year due in part of batting behind albert now you take that away from him how well is he expected to do batting behind khalil but i guess TLR has a won a bagillion games in the bigs and i have won zero so i hope it works out

TLR is a genius just ask him he will tell you. Still cant figure out how he gets that ego through the clubhouse door.

TLR is a genius just ask him he will tell you. Still cant figure out how he gets that ego through the clubhouse door.

i love it!! Not a game has played and apparently there were a lot of people at Spring Training that saw much more then LaRussa, which hey apparently he doesn’t hate Ryan. Why don’t we let the Hall of Fame Manager put who he feels is the best lineup for this particular game on the field and see how he does. He did afterall lead them to 86 wins without his Ace all year and his #2 for a good portion of it, I think he has earned at least that.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Brian Barden but I was hoping Scott Freese would get 3B on Opening Day. But other than that, it’s a great lineup.

take it easy lets play a game first. khalil greene will be fine he hit 27 hrs a couple years ago while playing at petco park . granted he stuggled last year , but he had alot of pressure with the big contract and not to mention he and gonzalez were the only two guys that were capable of producing. he has good work ethic and attitude ( check his resume at clemson), i think he’s a perfect fit and plus his first game is against pitt the team he watched growing up, hopefully he’ll get out front and never look back. our main concern will be resigning at years end .

Once again, Tony is overthinking the game/lineup. If you are going to let Freese make the team, then let him play. If he is going to be our next big third baseman then he is going to have to hit lefties. Same thing with Duncan starting, let Rasmus start in center and move Ankiel over. The club wanted youth (because the team is cheap), and now Tony won’t let the kids play. Stick with the gameplan and don’t overthink it.

As a Padres fan, after what I saw from Khalil last year, I never thought he would bat cleanup. But I know that he was pretty darn good during spring training.
http://hyunyoung.mlblogs.com

A thought on maybe why Barden is starting instead of Freese: The Cardinals don’t have a lot of days off early in the season. LaRussa likes to keep his starters from getting worn down, which means we are likely to see a lot of games early in the season in which our regular starting 8 aren’t all out there. So why not begin with the first game of the season?

Remember guys, it’s just 1 game in April against the Pirates out of 162 regular season games. LaRussa’s job is not to win 1 game in April, but rather to maximize the number of wins out of 162 games, and overemphasizing 1 game in April may not be the best way to do that, even if that 1 game happens to be the first one.

I don’t think any line-up TLR puts out there is going to be good enough. They need a real second baseman. The only thing good in this line up is Pujols Ludwick Yad Ank and Wainwright.

I don’t think any line-up TLR puts out there is going to be good enough. They need a real second baseman. The only thing good in this line up is Pujols Ludwick Yad Ank and Wainwright.

I have no problem with TLR’s lineup. I’d love to see David Freese start too and if the weather was going to be better, I’m sure we would, but on a cold, cold day the body tightens up and TLR needs to protect Freese’s achillies tendon. We can’t afford to lose him already. As much as I hate to say it, this is a smart move on Tony’s part.
Go Cardinals!!!!!

TLR is probably a better manager than any of us. Here are some observations – 1) He likes to put players in positions where they can succeed. It’s good for the player and the team. 2) He likes to experiment and find out what will work. The earlier in the season you can do that, the better off you are. So, you have opening day with your best pitcher starting against the Pirates, a relatively weak team. What better time to experiment a little? It isn’t whether or not this particular lineup works, it is about what TLR can learn about his players by using it, and he does it in a situation where he will still have good odds of winning due to the matchup.

It is amazing how being a fan can blind people who are nornally intelligent. If TLR doesnt have overwhelming talent he is just a below average manager, not only that but between him and “Dunc” they have ruined more arms than anyone in the game of baseball. Not to mention that he condone Mcgwire, Canseco, Weiss, Giambi and Tejadas use of steriods.

It seems to me, iwill@earthlink, that you are not intelligent. Just a below-average manager? How about all the nobodys who have come to the Cardinals and suddenly had enormous success? Perhaps its not his teams having above-average players but him getting above-average production out of mid-level players, or even molding them into above-average. Tony Womack, Abraham Nunez, Aaron Miles, John Mabry (round 3), Ryan Ludwick, etc. Not to mention between he and “Dunc” the pitchers – Woody Williams, Chris Carpenter, Andy Benes (round 2), Todd Stottlemeyer, Todd Wellemeyer, Jeff Weaver, Jeff Suppan, Braden Looper (starter), Kent Bottenfield, Jason Simontacchi.

I Think The Perfect Line up for today is…

2B- Brian Barden
CF- Rick Ankiel
1B- Albert Pujols
RF- Ryan Ludwick
SS- Khalil Greene
C- Yadier Molina
3B- David Freese
LF- Colby Rasmus
SP- Adam Wainwright

but I think we can win… Lets Go For the tittle forget the wild card!!

Wainwright will no Doubt bat 8th with Barden or Ryan 9th

I just want to know if LaRussa is drunk again….

I can’t believe all of the nitpicking with the lineup for one game! I’d like to say to several of the commenters that, when you win over 2,000 major league ballgames, you can come back and criticize TLR for his managerial decisions. Until then, you might just try trusting in the expertise of someone who has done so. Go Cards!

Sometimes, I think TLR can overthink things–last year, Ludwick had a career year hitting behind Albert and no doubt provided some extra support for Albert’s big year too. Why would you not stay with what has been a proven winning combo and dress up around them? TLR gets paid to do it and I don’t, so that’s likely what my opinion is worth–always believed that if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it…especially when it works.

I would like to see a manager encourage a player (Shumaker or Rasmus by putting them in the opening day line-up) rather than see him worry about 1 in 162. C’mon people Duncan, Ryan and Barden? Shumaker, Rasmus and Freese our are future not our past!

I would like to see a manager encourage a player (Shumaker or Rasmus by putting them in the opening day line-up) rather than see him worry about 1 in 162. C’mon people Duncan, Ryan and Barden? Shumaker, Rasmus and Freese our are future not our past!

It will definately be interesting today. I kind of understand not putting everyone out there… I would loved to have seen Skip at 2nd today, but we will all get that chance enough this season. Lets see how it pans out. I am kind of in agreement that why not use today when you have a dominate pitcher like Waino out there to see a couple of different things…

Tony is my boy, but Greene in the 4 spot? Then again he has two rings and I don’t.

Tony is my boy, but Greene in the 4 spot? Then again he has two rings so yeah…

i’m pretty sure the skip knows what he’s doing, so this is obviously, according to the numbers, the line up to go with. also, understand that most of these guys except for green, pujols, and yadi wont be in the game late, and the pirates wont have their starter out there long unless he’s pitching a career game. there’s something to be said having skip, colby, and freese all available on the bench for the right reliever/hitter matchup in the later innings.

i do imagine wainy will hit 8.

Here’s to Brian Barden!!! YAY!!!

I like the new cardinal lineup. Lets getr.to goen. GO CARDS

The argument that Ryan, Barden, and Duncan should not be starting because Schumaker, Rasmus, and Freese are our future doesn’t make a ton of sense. Ryan, Barden, and Duncan are all younger than Schumaker, and within a couple years of Freese in age. Rasmus is significantly younger, but Ankiel is older than all of them, and is likely to leave via free agency at the end of the season, but nobody’s complaining that he’s starting. You could argue that Ryan and Barden are never going to be more than bench players, but Duncan if he gets back to hitting like he did in ’06 could very well be starting for us for a long time to come. The point is that Ryan, Barden, and Duncan are all young players too, and who knows what the future might hold for them and the Cardinals? They may be as important to our future as Schumaker, Freese, and Rasmus. You never know.

The argument that Ryan, Barden, and Duncan should not be starting because Schumaker, Rasmus, and Freese are our future doesn’t make a ton of sense. Ryan, Barden, and Duncan are all younger than Schumaker, and within a couple years of Freese in age. Rasmus is significantly younger, but Ankiel is older than all of them, and is likely to leave via free agency at the end of the season, but nobody’s complaining that he’s starting. You could argue that Ryan and Barden are never going to be more than bench players, but Duncan if he gets back to hitting like he did in ’06 could very well be starting for us for a long time to come. The point is that Ryan, Barden, and Duncan are all young players too, and who knows what the future might hold for them and the Cardinals? They may be as important to our future as Schumaker, Freese, and Rasmus. You never know.

Well, the bullpen blows its first test. They couldn’t hold the lead for Wainwright. Not good at all. That’ll be the key for the Cardinals this season IMO, so that’s a very bad sign.

I’m not going to put too much into Motte’s first appearance since it was his first appearance and opening day and all that hype, but even a 200 mph fastball couldn’t of stopped that trainwreck….i wish him the best from here on out though…. for whatever that is worth.

Take a trip to your local crafts or art supply store and browse through the available scrapbooks.

– Immediate access to a gorgeous deck or patio outdoors also adds to the return. The
scratches, stains, blemishes and damaged parts of the table are hidden behind the mirror.

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