August 2009

Sunday tidbits: DeRosa, Boggs, Glaus, Stock, Wainwright

The Tidbits are belated today, but hopefully worth the wait.

* Mark DeRosa was held out of today’s lineup due to some soreness in his wrist. TLR spoke confidently about it after the game, though.

“He [DeRosa] said, ‘I could have played,’” La Russa said. “Barry [Weinberg, head athletic trainer] said this is a really good day [to rest him]. He’s got a little soreness, a little stiffness. Give him the day, take the off day tomorrow. He’ll play Tuesday.”

HOWEVER — if DeRosa is not in fact in there on Tuesday, don’t panic. He has pretty rough numbers (2-for-20, no XBH, 7 Ks) against Braden Looper, while Khalil Greene has hit Looper very well (4-for-12, 2 HR).

* Mitchell Boggs will start next Saturday in Pittsburgh.

* It appears very likely that Troy Glaus will be activated on Tuesday, when rosters can be expanded, but he may be the only one added to the roster that day. Memphis is in a pennant race and the bulk of the callups may wait until the Triple-A team is done.

* The Cards’ second-round Draft pick this year, Robert Stock, has been promoted from rookie-level Johnson City all the way to low Class A Quad Cities. I asked Jeff Luhnow about this today, and he said it’s largely because QC is still playing, while JC’s season is ending, and they want to get Stock all the work he can get. Still, it’s no coincidence that Stock is going where Shelby Miller is. Ideally, the two will be at QC together next year.

* Adam Wainwright will start Friday in Pittsburgh, and then the following Wednesday at the end of the road trip. After THAT, TLR said, Wainwright will get an extra day before his next start thanks to the Sept. 10 off day.

No playlist, since it’s already too late and time to get on home. G’night.

-M.

Saturday tidbits: Sim for Lohse, rehab for Wellemeyer, more

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

YoureNotaGolfer.MLBlogs.com

Twitter.com/MatthewHLeach

Two rehabbing Cardinals pitchers are getting much closer to being activated, though they’ll progress in quite different ways in the coming days.

Kyle Lohse will throw a simulated game sometime in the next few days in preparation for returning to the St. Louis rotation. As of now, the plan is that Lohse will not go on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment.

“He just needs to get back out there,” manager Tony La Russa said, “and we think he can get the work here and we can give some of our guys some extra swings.”

Lohse, who is sidelined with a left groin strain, is eligible to come off the disabled list in eight days, on Sunday, Sept. 6. That would be almost a perfect fit for the Cardinals, who have an off day on Monday and thus would next need a fifth starter one day earlier.

As for Wellemeyer, he told reporters on Saturday afternoon that he will soon head out on a rehab assignment. He’ll go to Nashville to pitch for Triple-A Memphis on Monday and Wednesday, buildup to a return to the active roster as a reliever.

“Probably 30-40 pitches both days,” Wellemeyer said. “Maybe 30 on Monday and 30 on Wednesday.”

In other Cardinals tidbits for Saturday…

* Jason LaRue gets the start in place of Yadier Molina. TLR had been looking for a day for Molina to get a breather, and he wants Molina catching pretty much all of the other four starters these days. So it’s Mitchell Boggs with LaRue again.

* The lineup features Brendan Ryan back in the No. 2 spot in the order, as Washington has a decent pair of LH relievers in Ron Villone and Sean Burnett. When that’s the case, Rasmus or Ankiel hits down in the order so as to split up the two LH hitters in the order.

* Today is photo day at Busch Stadium.

This afternoon’s playlist on an absolutely spectacular late-summer afternoon:
Stone Roses, “Fools Gold”
Bob Marley, “Waiting in Vain”
R.E.M., “Harborcoat”
Everclear, “Pale Green Stars”
The Libertines, “What Became of the Likely Lads”

-M.

Saturday lineups; tidbits to follow

Cardinals lineup vs RHP Craig Stammen:
1. Schumaker 2B
2. Ryan SS
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Ludwick RF
6. Rasmus CF
7. DeRosa 3B
8. LaRue C
9. Boggs RHP

Nationals lineup:
1. Harris CF
2. Guzman SS
3. Zimmerman 3B
4. Dunn 1B
5. Willingham LF
6. Dukes RF
7. Orr 2B
8. Nieves C
9. Stammen P

-M.

Friday tidbits: Lohse, Wellemeyer, Franklin, weather

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

YoureNotaGolfer.MLBlogs.com

Twitter.com/MatthewHLeach

Greetings from an overcast night at Busch Stadium.

* Kyle Lohse came through his bullpen session yesterday in very good shape, and he’s getting quite close to pitching in a game. It appears that early next week, he’ll go to Memphis, and after that he’ll rejoin the Cardinals rotation.

“Lohse is feeling really good,” TLR said. “He had an outstanding bullpen yesterday and I think he’s probably ready to pitch very soon.”

* Todd Wellemeyer threw a bullpen session today and is also progressing well. He likewise could go on a rehabilitation assignment in the coming days, but he’s probably a little further from a return to active duty than Lohse is.

TLR: “I think everything is on time for him, so I think he can go out pretty soon as well. … Kyle’s out 15 days. He can’t come back any sooner than that, unfortunately. In Todd’s case, it really is when he’s ready.

* In case you haven’t seen or heard it somewhere already, Ryan Franklin confirmed today that he’s very close to a contract extension. Check the story here.

* We got some rain downtown earlier today, and the skies are still threatening. But the forecast doesn’t look bad at all.

Tonight’s playlist:
Owl City, “Fireflies”
Modest Mouse, “Autumn Beds”
White Rabbits, “Percussion Gun”
Phoenix, “Lasso”
Metric, “Sick Muse”

-M.

Franklin confirms deal is close

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

YoureNotaGolfer.MLBlogs.com

Twitter.com/MatthewHLeach

Ryan Franklin confirmed on Friday that he is close to a contract extension with the club that will keep the reliever in a Cardinals uniform through the 2011 season.

“We’ve been talking for a couple months, and it’s getting pretty close,” Franklin said. “Both sides are going to be happy. My whole thing to be happy is to be able to maybe finish my career here. I’m not saying that I’m done after this, if we get this done, but it would be an awesome thing to be able to end my career here in St. Louis. To be close to home, it’s a great opportunity for me and my family.”

Franklin, 36, signed a one-year, $1-million deal with the Cardinals before the 2007 season hoping to compete for a start rotation spot. He spent ’07 instead as a reliever, and before that season was out, he agreed to a two-year deal for 2008-09 with a club option for 2010. He will now sign a two-year deal that will take him through 2011.

Under his current deal, Franklin split the ’08 season between pitching setup relief and closing for St. Louis before becoming the ninth-inning man very early in the ’09 season. He is enjoying the best year of his career.

Entering Friday night’s game, the right-hander has a 2-1 record, 34 saves in 36 chances, a 1.07 ERA, 33 strikeouts and 13 walks in 50 1/3 innings. He was named an All-Star for the first time in his career. An Oklahoma native and resident, he has made no secret of his fondness for pitching in St. Louis.

The Cardinals hold a 2010 contract option on Franklin, but that deal will be replaced by a new two-year contract. The imminent deal was first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and according to the paper, Franklin will receive approximately $6.5 million guaranteed over the next two seasons. The Cards’ option for 2010 is for $2.75 million with a buyout of $250,000.

“It’s a good fit for me,” Franklin said. “It’s a good fit for my family. They can get up here really easily from Oklahoma. It’s a good situation.”

Cards AFL contingent announced

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

ST. LOUIS — Emerging stars and rebounding prospects highlight the Cardinals’ contingent in this year’s Arizona Fall League. St. Louis will send eight players to the Surprise Rafters of the AFL.

The 18th annual Arizona Fall League season begins on October 13 and runs through Nov. 19 with the Rising Stars game on Nov. 7 and the Championship game set for Nov. 21. Every game can be followed live on Gameday on MLB.com and MLBFallBall.com.

Some of the names are already very familiar to many St. Louis fans: catcher Bryan Anderson has long been considered one of the organization’s better prospects, and right-hander Mike Parisi actually made it to the Majors in 2008.

Injuries slowed both players, though, and they’ll be looking to regain their form this fall. Parisi is recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery, while Anderson hasn’t played since July due to a shoulder injury.

Others have emerged this year. Second baseman Daniel Descalso has enjoyed a breakout year, putting up huge numbers at Double-A Springfield before slowing down a bit at Triple-A Memphis. He’ll hope to follow the path of Memphis teammate Tyler Greene, who put himself on the big club’s radar last year with a Springfield breakout, a taste of Memphis and a big fall campaign.

Likewise, outfielder Tyler Henley has exploded onto the scene this year with a big year at Springfield in his second full pro season. He’ll be hoping to build on that emergence and position himself to keep climbing up the ladder.

And then there are the two men who may be the top prospects in the organization, Springfield teammates Daryl Jones and Lance Lynn. Jones, an outfielder, played in the Futures Game this year but has been slowed by injury and will be looking to make up for some of that lost time. Lynn, a right-handed pitcher, has been a fast riser, reaching Double-A in his first full pro season. He’ll be tested in the hitter-friendly AFL.

Rounding out the Cardinals contingent are right-hander David Kopp, who has split the year between Class A Palm Beach and Springfield, and Palm Beach right-handed reliever Adam Reifer.

Sunday tidbits: Carpenter, lineup

It’s the last day of a long trip, and a spectacularly beautiful day in San Diego. One last plug before we go home: If you’re one of those fans who goes on a road trip or two each year, this is a trip not to miss. Make a week of it, come out to San Diego and L.A., see these two ballparks, eat some good food, get some good weather. It’s consistently the best trip of the year.

Which is not to say that I won’t be delighted to come home tomorrow.

* TLR confirmed that Chris Carpenter is the scheduled starter for Thursday’s game against Houston. He’ll stay on turn, rather than getting the extra day that Monday’s off day might have afforded. That will put John Smoltz on Friday against Washington and TBA — likely Mitchell Boggs — on Saturday.

* There was some notion among fans and in the press box that today might be a good “shock troops” day. With a day off tomorrow, a winning road trip and a split series already in the bag, and some guys having taken on heavy workloads, it seemed to make sense to give some guys — especially Pujols — a day off.

TLR was having none of it.

“I thought about it, but I don’t think that’s the best lineup for this situation,” he said. “We’ve got days off. It’s been cool. It’s not the kind of time when you’ve got guys that are tired. Guys are excited.

“We’ve got a chance, with a day off tomorrow, to have a hell of a road trip. You’ve got a day when balls are going to carry. I want Ludwick to play. I want Holliday to play. I want Albert to play.”

Today’s playlist is a Sunday-morning, moving-a-little-slowly-after-a-night-game kind of thing:
My Morning Jacket, “Off the Record”
Eagle-Eye Cherry, “Save Tonight”
R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe”
Incubus, “Drive”
Van Morrison, “These Dreams of You”

-M.

Sunday lineup; tidbits to follow

Lineup vs RHP Cesar Carrillo:

1. Schumaker 2B
2. Ryan SS
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Ludwick RF
6. Ankiel CF
7. DeRosa 3B
8. Molina C
9. Smoltz P

-M.

Saturday tidbits: Lohse, Boggs, Hawksworth, Wellemeyer, Ryan

* Kyle Lohse was placed on the 15-day disabled list today, and Mitchell Boggs was called up. Boggs is available to pitch in relief as soon as he is needed.

The Cardinals are still not committing to a starter for Lohse’s spot in the rotation, but signs point to Boggs. They remain hesitant to take Blake Hawksworth out of the bullpen.

* Todd Wellemeyer is coming along OK but has not begun throwing off a mound. FSN’s Jim Hayes reports that Wellemeyer will throw off a mound for the first time on Tuesday. TLR said he expects that Wellemeyer will need to go throw somewhere in the Minors before rejoining the big league pitching staff.

* The skipper also expounded a little more on last night’s baserunning hijinks at second. He said the sign from the dugout was “must run” — not exactly a steal, but both runners run as soon as the ball is headed to home plate. There are, he said, all sorts of shades of run signs, including “want you to run,” where the runner has the discretion if it doesn’t look smart, and a green light, where the runner is free to run. But this was “must run” — no discretion involved, except to make sure the pitcher is going to the plate.

Thus, in his mind, there was no doubt that it was Ryan’s mistake.

Tonight’s playlist:
Weezer, “The Good Life”
Jane’s Addiction, “Mountain Song”
Soundgarden, “Pretty Noose”
The Ting Tings, “That’s Not My Name”
Pinback, “Fortress”

-M.

Lohse out with apparent leg injury

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer

Follow me on Twitter.

SAN DIEGO –  Cardinals pitcher Kyle Lohse was removed from Friday night’s game against the Padres due to an apparent left leg injury.

Lohse singled with two outs in the fifth inning, but within his first few steps out of the batters’ box he was clearly limping. He reached for a spot high on his left leg.

Pitcher Joel Pineiro replaced Lohse as a pinch-runner while Dennys Reyes warmed up in the bullpen to take his place on the mound.

It’s just the latest in a season full of injuries and maladies for Lohse. He has dealt with several minor ailments, and spent 5 1/2 weeks on the disabled list in June and July due to a right forearm strain.

In four innings on Friday, Lohse allowed three runs on four hits. He struck out three and walked two.

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