Friday tidbits: Ryan, K.Greene, Boggs, Stavinoha, bullpen

It’s another gorgeous night at Busch Stadium. The scoreboard in the bullpen reads 80 degrees at 6:46 pm, and that’s about as nice as you can ask for in St. Louis in late July. Great stuff.

* For those who missed it, the non-waiver Trade Deadline passed without the Cardinals making another move. Of course, they’ve already made three since late June, so it’s not like they stood pat all along.

* Brendan Ryan did not stretch with the team today and he’s definitely out for several days. The club is still calling his injury a bruise, but it’s a nasty bruise and he’s got plenty of swelling. He’s quite certainly out for the weekend, and the New York series is no guarantee. However, they’re not placing him on the disabled list yet.

“It seems like the 3-5 days would be very optimistic,” John Mozeliak said this afternoon.

It’s hard to envision Ryan even coming off the bench for at least the immediate future.

“Lot of pain last night,” said manager Tony La Russa. “We’ll see how quickly the swelling is reduced. But he’s limited. He’s not going to play the weekend, and Monday, that’s four days there. so we’ll see.”

* Balancing that out, however, is the strong likelihood that Khalil Greene will be activated tomorrow. Greene talked at length with associate reporter B.J. Rains today, so look for a story about him tonight. But suffice to say it appears that Saturday is his day for activation. Greene was on the field working out with the Cards this afternoon.

“He feels great and he’s going to work out with us,” TLR said. “He’s in great spirits and he played very well in Memphis.”

* It’s likely that when Greene is activated, he’ll take the place of Mitchell Boggs. The right-hander will be sent out following his start tonight, regardless of how he pitches. That’s because the Cardinals don’t need a fifth starter again until Aug. 11, which is of course 11 days away.

So Boggs can be sent out, make a start at Memphis, and be recalled if he’s the choice the next time around.

“The reality,” La Russa said, “is we don’t need the fifth spot again for [11] days. I hope he pitches a shutout, but he probably is here today and gone tomorrow. He’ll be back later.”

* To make room for Boggs today, Nick Stavinoha was optioned to Triple-A Memphis. There’s a good chance Stavinoha will be back before rosters expand on Sept. 1, but for now he’s headed back down I-55.

“You work every day to try and get one opportunity and one chance to help the team out,” Stavinoha said, “so I’ll just go down and keep my sights set on the role I have and do my job down there and hopefully come back up and do it here.”

* The bullpen is definitely stretched tonight. Ryan Franklin could conceivably be available, but they’d much prefer not to use him. If he pitches tonight, he’s probably down for the rest of the weekend. Hawksworth remains off-limits for at least one more day, and maybe till Sunday. McClellan is likely not an option, either. Brad Thompson and Todd Wellemeyer are the “protection” tonight — i.e., the guys who would be available to soak up some innings if need be.

For tonight’s playlist, a nod to Houston:
King’s X, “It’s Love” (had no idea they were from Houston)
Beyonce, “Crazy In Love”
ZZ Top, “La Grange”
Robert Earl Keen, “Shades of Gray”
Lyle Lovett, “Nobody Knows Me”



Greatest ZZ Top son EVER….

er, song…

It’s a joy to see the Cards daily lineup settle down. After the constant juggling all year, the guys can now be comfortable when they come to work for a change. Wish the club could have found a bit more pitching help, the Bullpen is really thin on quality arms. Reyes can’t be relied on, personal problems may be hurting him and Welly just doesn’t fit the bill at all, lots of other teams already gave up on him as a reliever. Wish he could gegain last year’s form in time to help the team again this fall as a starter. Might be good for him to do some work in Memphis or Springfield.

I think when Brendan Ryan comes back, Khail Greene will make a good bench player/pinch hitter. Mitchell Boggs needs to be sent back anyway. I think Blake Hawksworth deserves one start after what he did in extra innings the other night vs. LA. Nick Stavinoha needs to be recalled because he came through with a lot of clutch hits and was our best pinch hitter. He played vs. lefties and pinch for Ankiel or Rasmus if a lefty came in to face them in a game. If you do bring Boggs back up, put him in the bullpen. We need help there as much as we can get.

I have a question pertaining to pitching. Does Ben Sheets intend to try tomake a comeback this year, and if so, will STL try to sign him?

Here’s my take on the Boggs start last night,
1. Who would you rather have throwing in the 5th spot? Wellemeyer, Thompson, Boggs, Hawksworth, or Walters…
yes Blake H. had a great outing in relief the other night, but he’s had some rough ones too, and you KNEW that when Welle came in it was inevitable he was going to lose, he has no zip on his fastball high 80’s compared to mid 90’s, and frisbee sliders who say hit meeeeee! Thompson is a long man who can spot start on occassion, wears down though. Walters needs some refining, so does Boggs. But my point is Boggs has a major league fastball(93-95), and for whatever reason he abandoned it last night for the breaking ball, still he only allowed 2 runs!! He walked 5 and hit a guy, but his ERA is 3.29, better than all those guys listed, plus the Cards win his starts!

2. I think watching TLR when other guys pitch compared to Boggs, that Boggs has no room for error. Wellemeyer gets start after start of poor quality, Thompson faded in his last couple, and Walters just needs more time to develop some confidence in his secondary pitches. This is a huge factor with all the Cardinals young guys though not just the pitchers….

3. I would rather have a guy like Boggs who can groom into that 5th spot in the majors than AAA, the learning curve is way different, and he in my opinion having watched all of them pitch this season, he’s the best of the bunch. Let the guy settle in and pitch every 5th day and not look over his shoulder

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