June 2009

DeRosa injures wrist

ST. LOUIS –  Three games into his Cardinals career, Mark DeRosa is hurt. He and the club are just hoping it’s not too serious.

DeRosa injured his left wrist on a swing in the fourth inning of St. Louis’ 6-3 loss to San Francisco on Tuesday night. He remained in the game for one more inning, but removed himself before taking another at-bat. He is expected to be re-examined on Wednesday.

“I took a swing there my second at-bat and felt a little tweak in my left wrist,” DeRosa said. “I went in to hit off the tee after coming in from playing the field, and it just didn’t feel right. I felt like I should come out of the game and get it looked at.”

Pitcher Chris Carpenter was removed for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth. When the sixth inning started, reliever Josh Kinney slotted into DeRosa’s spot in the batting order as part of a double-switch. Neither DeRosa nor manager Tony La Russa had any diagnosis beyond discomfort in the joint. DeRosa said he had never had an injury in that area before, so he did not know exactly what to make of it.

“I have no idea,” he said. “There are so many small bones and stuff in the wrist. I don’t know. But I didn’t want to go out there and push it and find myself not being able to play for a little bit.”

After taking Randy Johnson’s first pitch of the at-bat for a ball, DeRosa swung and missed at a changeup from Johnson, at which point he felt pain. He finished the at-bat, fouling off two pitches and hitting one of them extremely hard into the seats down the third-base line.

“I was able to gut through it,” he said. “It didn’t hinder my swing at all. But it was something that was progressively getting a little more uncomfortable as I stayed in the game.”
 

Pujols outdoes even himself

When Albert Pujols does something even he has never done before, you know it’s special.

Pujols cranked his 29th and 30th home runs of the year on Tuesday night against the Giants, the 32nd time in Major League history a player has reached 30 homers before the All-Star break. The last player to do so was Alex Rodriguez, who had exactly 30 at the break in 2007. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s also the 10th time in history a player has hit his 30th home run before July 1, and the first since 2001, when Barry Bonds and Luis Gonzalez both did so.

The only previous players with 30 home runs before June 1 were Bonds, Gonzalez, Sammy Sosa, Ken Griffey Jr., Mark McGwire and Babe Ruth.

Additionally, with 14 home runs in June, Pujols equaled a personal best for a single month. He had 14 in April of 2006. And he drove in his 33rd, 34th and 35th runs of June, setting a new personal mark. He had 33 RBIs in May of 2006.

Pujols has now hit at least 30 home runs in each of his nine Major League seasons, extending his own personal record to start a career.

It is Pujols’ seventh multi-homer game of 2009 and the 30th of his big league career.

Tuesday tidbits: Molina, Rasmus

Belated tidbits. I’m working on some national stuff for another night, which means game coverage is again in the capable hands of associate reporter B.J. Rains. Check out his blog at BJRains.MLBlogs.com.

* Yadier Molina is back in the lineup after sitting out a couple of days due to a bruised thigh, which he suffered in a collision with Michael Cuddyer on Saturday.

* Colby Rasmus is considered playable after missing some time with a hiatal hernia (which, for those concerned, is drastically different from a sports hernia). However, with lefty Randy Johnson on the mound for the Giants, Rasmus will sit out another night.

* The lineup looked a bit odd today, with Mark DeRosa at third while Joe Thurston is in the outfield, and Tyler Greene at second base while Brendan Ryan is at short. According to TLR, in both cases it has to do with regular roles. He expects DeRosa to play a lot at third, and Ryan to play a lot at short, so he wanted to minimize the disruption to those two guys. It seems to me the better defensive lineup might have DeRo in the outfield and Thurston at 3B, and Greene at SS with Ryan at 2B, but that is the reasoning.

* Additionally, DeRosa is in the 2 spot tonight because he’s had a hard time against Johnson. Normally he’ll hit fourth against lefties, but Johnson is not a good matchup for him so he’s in the 2 spot instead.

Today’s playlist, round two of Bay Area tunes:
Counting Crows, “Angels of the Silences”
Cake, “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” (Sacramento, but that’s pretty close)
Primus, “Tommy the Cat”
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, “In Like the Rose”
The Donnas: “Hot Pants”
(wonder if I can do four of these?)

-M.

Tuesday lineup; tidbits to follow

Lineup vs. LHP Randy Johnson:

1. Brendan Ryan SS
2. Mark DeRosa 3B
3. Albert Pujols 1B
4. Ryan Ludwick RF
5. Yadier Molina C
6. Rick Ankiel CF
7. Tyler Greene 2B
8. Chris Carpenter P
9. Joe Thurston LF

-M.

Monday tidbits: Molina, Ryan, Mortensen, Greene – UPDATED

Very nice day at Busch Stadium today, will probably drop into the 80s by first pitch, clear and some breeze.

* One late update: Colby Rasmus is sitting due to a hiatal hernia. He’s likely to return to the active lineup on Wednesday.

* Yadier Molina is out again today due to a bruised right thigh. He sustained the injury on Saturday in a collision with Michael Cuddyer at home plate. Molina is likely to return to the lineup on Tuesday.

TLR comment:

“He’s still sore. He’s better than he was yesterday, and it would be a push to play him. We’re in the last two weeks of the first half. there’s no reason to do that. I expect he’ll play tomorrow.

“He got blasted right there in that muscle, and the muscle was really bruised to where he was having trouble yesterday squatting. Today he’s a little bit better but it’s still a push.”

* As already reported, Khalil Greene has been placed on the disabled list due to social anxiety disorder. Clayton Mortensen’s contract was purchased from Triple-A Memphis. Mortensen is present and available to pitch. He’s wearing No. 54.

* Brendan Ryan is back in the lineup after missing three days due to wrist soreness. He had a cortisone shot on Friday, and after the usual three days’ downtime, he’s back in there. TLR said he doesn’t expect that Ryan will be limited or restricted in how he can be used.

* Albert Pujols continues to hold a commanding lead at first base in All-Star balloting, and Yadier Molina is in the lead at catcher.

Today’s playlist, a Bay Area special:
Sly and the Family Stone, “I Want to Take You Higher”
Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody to Love”
Faith No More, “Midlife Crisis”
Rancid, “Roots Radicals”
Metallica, “Disposable Heroes”

-M.

Monday transaction and lineup

Clayton Mortensen is on the active roster, and Khalil Greene is on the disabled list.

Brendan Ryan is back in the lineup, but Yadier Molina is still out.

Tonight’s lineup vs RHP Tim Lincecum:
1. Skip Schumaker 2B
2. Mark DeRosa 3B
3. Albert Pujols 1B
4. Ryan Ludwick RF
5. Chris Duncan LF
6. Rick Ankiel CF
7. Jason LaRue C
8. Brad Thompson P
9. Brendan Ryan SS

-M.

Sunday tidbits, redux

Some more tidbits…

* A little more on DeRosa and Khalil Greene. Here’s La Russa’s comment:

“[DeRosa] is very versatile. So if Khalil goes crazy, we’ll play him someplace else. But at this time, with Khalil struggling… But Khalil can play short too. There are two different things. One is Mark and one is Khalil, and they can both play at the same time. I know Mark’s going to play. Khalil needs to get going.

“There’s definitely a way for both guys to play in the same lineup. They’re separate. I think DeRosa’s going to play. I expect him to play well. But Khalil’s trying to get his game back. If he gets his game back, he’s going to play a lot. If he doesn’t, he’s not going to play as much.”

* TLR said that he hoped putting K.Greene in the 2-spot today would help him get going. But he also said that if Molina were available today, Ludwick would likely have hit second today.

* DeRosa will likely hit fourth a good bit against left-handed pitching. Against right-handers, the guess is he’ll slow somewhere in the 5-6 range, but he could also occasionally hit second or fourth.

* Mozeliak on Glaus today: “We’re hopeful by the end of this week we’ll have an idea if there will be any real opportunity for him to go out on rehab. And if so, we’ll try to get him going on that. But I’ve stated all along that we can’t wait forever.”

And, finally, a Minnesota playlist. Can hardly go wrong with this one…

Bob Dylan, “Tangled Up in Blue”
Prince, “Sign O’ The Times”
Replacements, “Alex Chilton”
Bob Mould, “See a Little Light”
The Hold Steady, “Yeah Sapphire”

-M.

Sunday quick tidbits and lineup: Wellemeyer, Molina, DeRosa, K.Greene, Ryan

Much cooler today. Some quick tidbits for you, and I’ll expand upon this a little later, after DeRosa’s news conference (which is scheduled for noon CT).

* Todd Wellemeyer is scheduled to start Thursday.

* Yadier Molina is somewhat sore after the collision at home plate yesterday, so Jason LaRue is starting in his place.

* Mark DeRosa is in left field, batting fourth.

* TLR’s take on K.Greene and DeRosa is basically that they’re not mutually exclusive, so if Greene gets hot, he can play his way into time at shortstop, or DeRosa could play more outfield, or some arrangement like that. What he didn’t say, but didn’t really need to say, is that despite that, it’s fairly clear that this will eat into Greene’s playing time some.

* With that said, against the lefty today, both Greene and DeRosa are in the lineup.

* TLR said they expect to go back to 13 pitchers soon.

* Brendan Ryan is available off the bench but really they want to wait another day before throwing him into any kind of significant duty. I wouldn’t expect to see him hit today.

Lineup vs LHP Francisco Liriano:
1. Schumaker 2B
2. K.Greene 3B
3. Pujols 1B
4. DeRosa LF
5. Ludwick RF
6. Ankiel CF
7. LaRue C
8. Pineiro P
9. T.Greene SS

-M.

Cardinals acquire DeRosa

The Cardinals upgraded their offense on Saturday night with the acquisition of Mark DeRosa from the Indians. Cleveland will receive right-handed reliever Chris Perez and a player to be named later.

DeRosa, 34, entered Saturday hitting .270 with a .342 on-base percentage and a .457 slugging percentage. He has largely played third base for the Indians and is expected to do the same in St. Louis, but his versatility is one of the traits that makes him appealing to the Cardinals. DeRosa bats right-handed, a welcome addition for a club that has struggled against left-handed pitching. He is in the final year of a three-year deal that pays him a guaranteed $5.5 million in 2009.

Perez, who turns 24 next month, is a hard thrower once believed to be the Cardinals’ closer of the future. In 29 appearances this year, he is 1-1 with a 4.18 ERA, 30 strikeouts, and 15 walks in 23 2/3 innings.

DeRosa will wear uniform No. 7 and is expected to join the Cardinals in time for their Sunday game at home against the Twins.

Saturday tidbits: Brendan Ryan and more

Fairly quiet, and very hot, morning at the ballpark today.

* The Cardinals did just about all their work inside this morning because of the weather. No stretch or batting practice on the field.

* Brendan Ryan is available to play defense today, but not to hit.

* TLR didn’t really offer much on the fact that neither Khalil Greene nor Ryan Ludwick is in the lineup today. Did note that Ludwick will play tomorrow against Liriano, but definitely was not in an explaining kind of mood.

* The Springfield Cardinals clinched the northern division of the Texas League on Friday, ensuring the second playoff appearance since that franchise came into existence in 2005.

Today’s playlist:
Guns N Roses, “Estranged”
Living Colour, “Broken Hearts”
Soundgarden, “Pretty Noose”
Dinosaur Jr., “Thumb”
Smashing Pumpkins, “Drown”

-M.

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