Monday tidbits: Thurston going west, Greene south

It’s a hazy, humid day in downtown St. Louis, but after this morning’s storm, it at least looks like we’re going to get a game started. The forecast looks nice for the afternoon, with the next round of storms evidently holding off till tonight. So that’s nice.

Here are the tidbits, with a major assist from associate reporter B.J. Rains:

* When the Cardinals head to Florida after the game this afternoon, Joe Thurston will fly west to be with his pregnant wife. It’s expected that doctors will induce labor in California tomorrow, and Thurston will get on a plane Wednesday evening in order to join the team in Florida on Thursday.

* Khalil Greene, meanwhile, is making a shorter trip. Greene is headed south to Memphis, where he will begin a Minor League rehabilitation assignment for the Cards’ Triple-A affiliate. He is on the disabled list due to social anxiety disorder.

* TLR did not sound all that inclined toward any imminent promotion for Joe Mather. “He’s got work to do there,” the manager said when Mather’s name was brought up. Mather is clearly coming around, going 8-for-20 with four XBH in June.

* Blake Hawksworth is probably available to pitch again tomorrow, but not today.

* Tyler Greene is at third base. TLR on the infield configuration, with Schumaker at 2B, Ryan at SS and Greene at 3B: “He played it in Spring Training. When these guys play, I think evidently that’s the better combination, to play him at third. He fits third base better than Brendan does. But Brendan could do it too if he had to.”

* The pitcher is back to the 8th spot after a one-day experiment the other way. Quote: “I go back to what I think normally is the thing to do. When you’re trying to get people on base ahead of Albert, I don’t know who would argue that Brendan Ryan doesn’t have a better chance to get on base than Thompson.”

* The Cardinals worked out two Draft prospects this morning. With John Mozeliak and members of the scouting department looking on, Indiana junior catcher Josh Phegley and Notre Dame junior outfielder/infielder A.J. Pollock.

According to the scouting reports, Phegley is an offense-first catcher with legitimate hitting skills, but some question his future as a catcher. He was named first-team all-Big 10 this year and batter 344/456/633 with 17 home runs in 221 at-bats.

Per that same source, Pollock is “one of the better pure college hitters” in this year’s Draft but doesn’t have much power and doesn’t project to have much down the road. He was converted from shortstop to the outfield and is still learning but is believed to have potential to be a quality flycatcher. He put up a 365/443/610 line for the Irish this year with 21 steals in 25 attempts.

Today’s playlist:
Pet Shop Boys: “Suburbia”
Mute Math, “Spotlight”
Cold War Kids, “Hang Me Up to Dry”
Keane, “Spiraling”
Elefant, “Misfit”



It is it likely that the sudden popularity of Hawksworth, Jess Todd and Thompson might be owed to their being showcased prior to making a trade?

Another PATHETIC Display by the Cards today…Throw all the excuses out the window we didn’t run into a HOT Rockies Team, we didn’t run into a bunch of pitchers that were pitching well we played the Cellar Dwellars of the NL East 4 games at HOME and looked like a bunch of BUMS!!! I feel sorry for anyone that takes the mound right now for this offense as they have to throw a shutout just to have a chance at a decision!! This organization better do something for this offense or were gonna be in trouble in a hurry!! The loss of a true 3rd basemen, the non-move to solidify the infield..(Khalil is not a move) and the Crap we are getting from Ankiel/Duncan is starting to catch up to this team! Let’s Go MO show us you can/will do something to help your team when they obviously need it!

Then it didn’t work out very well for the Cards. Hawksworth Struggled, Thompson did too, and Todd never pitched. Or if he did I missed it.

I’ll say what I said a few days back, but now with more conviction: it seems to me that the Cardinals swing at the first pitch more than any team I watch or listen to. We listened to the whole game Friday night – driving from mid-MI to Philly and the whole Sunday afternoon game driving back… it feels like we never make the opponents pitcher throw strikes, we never take a few to find the guys arm slot, we never take a few just to get a sense of the pitches we’re likely to see throughout an at-bat or across the course of a game… this stuff is the batting coach’s responsibility… but I also think its TLR constantly changing the order around and everyone, but Albert, feeling the need to produce – in a big way – today or they’ll be out of the line up tomorrow.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know its about makin’ ’em tough and keepin’ ’em all on their toes and assuring a lack of complacency and establishing the importance of every player being ready every day… but, jeez, that makes sense with a team of veterans and established players, it makes no sense to combine it with a batting coach who either doesn’t tell or can’t get his players to take a few pitches (especially when there are men on base, darn it!) and a whole raft of inexperienced or recently-recovered (and-not-all-that-established-anyway players.
I believe we have the talent to compete but we may not have the rest of the conditions necessary.

They look pathetic. I COULD NOT believe they called for a pitch-out and they had the runner dead to rights EXCEPT nobody covered second—worse than most Little League teams I’ve coached. The hitting is nonexistent. I just hope to god that this is NOT their normal level of play (Albert and Yadier excepted because they are the only two players that actually look like professionals). Duncan and Ankiel couldn’t hit an off-speed pitch if their lives depended on it and I’m REALLY sick of watching Duncan take a called third strike and act like the umpire doesn’t know up from down. I could see carrying him and his pathetic excuse for defense if he proved he could hit but for he last month he has looked as bad if not worse with the bat as with the glove. It is excruciating to watch them on the field (I really can’t say play because whatever it is they are doing it isn’t playing baseball.)

The Ankiel, Ludwick, Duncan outfield keeps Rasmus from getting consistent AB. As the only one with steals speed, which he is not using, the crowded situation helps no one. His inconsistent AB prevent him from finding the groove.

Atkins from CO may become available for one of the four and solve 3B. His numbers now are awful, but he is a much better 2nd half guy. If Duncan goes, Atkins can spell Pujols at 1B.

Rasmus needs to play. The Cards need to see if he has the 5 tool stuff.

The excess OF can solve the 3B problem with the right move.

We could use a major revival in south Florida… STAT!

How come Tony doesn’t have Brendan Ryan in the leadoff spot and have Schumaker in the two hole? Ryan has shown that he can handle hitting first, he takes more pitches than when he’s at the bottom of the order and Skip gets on base at a reasonable clip too. Rasmus is starting to produce and seems like he could be moved to the fifth spot in the lineup. Maybe it would kick start some of the other power guys in the if they are moved down in the order a bit. Just throwing ideas out there. Go Cards!

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