Friday tidbits: Ank still not that close
* Rick Ankiel is progressing slowly in his recovery from the longest-lingering of his injuries from that crash against the Busch Stadium outfield wall. The issue remains some soreness in his left oblique, and while Ankiel has not taken a step back, he’s still not ready to return to the active roster.
“I was talking to him, and it pretty much comes down to when the discomfort is totally gone,” manager Tony La Russa said. “And it’s still there today. So I really have no idea. I think there’s a chance it’s going to be around for a while.”
La Russa acknowledged that it’s possible that Ryan Ludwick could return before Ankiel. The club fully expects Ludwick, who has a strained right hamstring, to be activated the day he is eligible, which is Friday, May 29.
It’s even possible at this point that Ankiel may need to go out on a Minor League rehab assignment before he’s activated. The Cardinals do not expect Ludwick to go on a rehab, but he will likely participate in some sort of game simulation next week.
* La Russa insists that today’s day off for Yadier Molina is simply a day off after an intense week of games. He’s very down on any suggestion of a personal-catcher relationship, despite the fact that Todd Wellemeyer has had more success pitching to Jason LaRue than to Molina.
“When that happens, that to me is a sign of weakness in a pitcher,” La Russa said. “Greg Maddux did it, [but] he did it because he wanted to control the game.”
* The ‘I’ in the Big Mac Land sign is still out tonght. There’s a sign hanging from it, though, that reads:
Ouch! my “I”
Today, a playlist for a sunny, lovely, early-summer day:
Presidents of the USA, “Peaches”
Rolling Stones, “She’s So Cold” (been on a big Stones kick lately)
Material Issue, “She’s Going Through My Head”
Bruce Springsteen, “Darlington County”
Better Than Ezra, “Good”