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 MLB.com 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.
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