September 2009

Wednesday lineups; tidbits to follow

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

Reds lineup:
1. Stubbs CF
2. Janish SS
3. Votto 1B
4. Phillips 2B
5. Rolen 3B
6. Bruce RF
7. Nix LF
8. Hanigan C
9. Arroyo P

Tuesday late-night tidbits

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

Greetings from Cincinnati, where the long road trip is almost over. Most of the newsy stuff, I covered over at the main site, so head over there for updates on Troy Glaus (here, available), Brendan Ryan (could play Wednesday) and Yadier Molina (could play before the series is out).

* The St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame announced its first class of inductees on Tuesday, and unsurprisingly there are a few Cardinals. Stan Musial, Jack Buck, Whitey Herzog, Red Schoendienst, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson and Ozzie Smith are all in the first class, and Musial was the only unanimous selection from any sport. An “old-timers class” will also include Rogers Hornsby, Frankie Frisch and Joe Medwick. The hall also announced that its inaugural “Sports Performer of the Year” award will go to Albert Pujols for his 2008 MVP campaign.

* TLR said on Tuesday afternoon that he doesn’t intend to back off his starting pitchers at all over the final few days. He feels they’re all in good shape and in most cases they’ve been able to get an extra day here and there. He also revealed what was not a secret at all, that Pineiro will in fact go in Game 3. The only question is Game 4, with Carpenter and Wainwright already lined up for 1-2.

* Had a couple of firsts on Tuesday night: David Freese’s first big-league homer (and it was smoked) and Matt Pagnozzi’s first big league game. By the way, if you want to follow Pagnozzi on Twitter, he’s at @MattPagnozzi. Other tweeting Cardinals include @BlakeHawksworth and @Todalion, though the latter (Todd Wellemeyer) doesn’t appear to tweet anymore.

To honor the club’s time on the road (I was fortunate enough to go home for 20 hours, which was nice), here’s an on-the-road playlist…

Willie Nelson, “On the Road Again”
Black Crowes, “Wiser Time”
Bruce Springsteen, “Thunder Road”
U2, “Where the Streets Have No Name”
Metallica, “Wherever I May Roam”

-M.

Tuesday lineups; tidbits to follow

The Cardinals are currently holding a playoffs-related meeting, so the clubhouse remains closed for a little while longer. In the meantime, here are the lineups:

Cardinals vs RHP Homer Bailey:
1. Schumaker 2B
2. Lugo SS
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Rasmus CF
6. Ludwick RF
7. DeRosa 3B
8. LaRue C
9. Pineiro P

Reds lineup:
1. Taveras CF
2. Janish SS
3. Votto 1B
4. Phillips 2B
5. Rolen 3B
6. Bruce RF
7. Balentien LF
8. Hernandez C
9. Bailey P

-M.

Ryan is OK

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

Brendan Ryan took a pitch off of his right index finger on a bunt attempt on Sunday, but there’s every reason to think he’ll be able to play on Tuesday night in Cincinnati.

The pitch from Jorge De La Rosa caught Ryan on the fingernail, and he had visible bruising at the spot of the impact. But he expressed little worry about the situation. Ryan has missed time recently due to discomfort in his left pinkie finger, but this appears to be a less serious situation.

“It just got me on the fingertip,” Ryan said. “I didn’t even have a choice. I was out before I even said anything.”

Said manager Tony La Russa: “I think he’ll be all right for Tuesday.”

Sunday lineup: Holliday, Molina out

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

Odd looking lineup today against LHP Jorge De La Rosa. Explanations below:

1. Lugo, 2B
2. Ryan, SS
3. Pujols, 1B
4. Ludwick, LF
5. DeRosa, RF
6. Freese, 3B
7. LaRue, C
8. T.Greene, CF
9. Lohse, P

* Matt Holliday is sick and not in the lineup. A few guys have been dealing with illness in the clubhouse for a good while now, and it seems to have hit Holliday. He was in the clubhouse this morning, so it’s not so severe that he stayed back at the hotel or anything. But TLR said last night that he was getting weaker as the game went on, and Holliday is not in today.

* Yadier Molina is still sore after taking a ball off his left knee last night. Tuesday is a possibility for Molina’s return, but far from a certainty. That’s obviously why LaRue is starting.

* De La Rosa has a huge left/right split, which explains a couple of the moves — Lugo, for example. As for the outfield, this was the explanation. If Holliday had been well enough to play, he would have started in the outfield with DeRosa, and Ludwick in center. With Holliday a no-go, they needed another right-hander to play in the outfield, so they went with Greene. TLR said he simply didn’t like the idea of starting either of the LHH center fielders against De La Rosa.

-M.

Friday tidbits: Ryan, Rasmus, Molina

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

Greetings from Denver. This is a truly wonderful city, and it’s an absolutely gorgeous night. 64 degrees at first pitch, a few clouds… fantastic.

* Brendan Ryan is back in the lineup, and said that his sore left pinkie finger is in fact feeling better. He said it was explained to him that the club liked the idea of giving him two days off plus Thursday off day in order to recover.

* Colby Rasmus bats in the fifth spot tonight. TLR didn’t give up a lot about the reasoning behind the decision, except to note that COL has a lot of RH relievers right now and this may make it a little more challenging to pitch the middle of the order.

* The skipper said he doesn’t plan to begin resting Yadier Molina a lot more once the Cardinals clinch. He noted, instead, that he’s already begun easing off Molina a little bit, giving him to recent days off. 2-out-of-3 looks like a pretty reasonable ratio to expect over the final three series, maybe a touch more, probably not less.

* A stat from STATS Inc that I received in my inbox today: “No team has scored first more often than the St. Louis Cardinals. They have scored the first run in an MLB-leading 90 games in 2009. Their opponents have paid for giving up the first run of the game, as the Cardinals are 69-21 when scoring first. Their .767 winning percentage in those games ranks second only to the .787 winning percentage of the Colorado Rockies, who are 59-16 when getting the first run.”

Today’s playlist:
Pearl Jam, “Unthought Known”
U2, “Until the End of the World”
Dramarama, “Until the Next Time”
Cure, “Untitled”
Garbage, “Untouchable”

(My iPod ended up on the U’s today. Started playing. Good songs kept coming up. Didn’t mess with it.)

-M.

Postseason roster eligibility

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

One topic that always generates lots of questions at this time of year is postseason roster eligibility. So I asked assistant general manager John Abbamondi this week, and he gave me a rundown. Here’s how it works.

* The pool for eligible players is as follows: the 25 players on a team’s active roster on Aug. 31, and any players on the disabled list that day (the bereavement list is also covered, but in the Cardinals’ case and most cases it’s just the active roster and the DL).

For the Cardinals’ that’s 28 players: the 25 who were on the active roster that day, plus Troy Glaus, Todd Wellemeyer and Kyle Lohse. That happens to be everyone who was on the roster before today’s callups from Triple-A.

One catch: those players must remain on the roster or DL continuously from Aug. 31 through the end of the regular season. That’s rarely an issue, though. Hard to think of a scenario when that qualification would eliminate someone. But it’s there.

* The only way that changes is if one of those players from the pool is physically unable to play in a postseason round. If that’s the case, that player may be replaced with any player who was in the organization on Aug. 31.

* The old pitcher-player breakdown rule simply doesn’t exist anymore. In past years, the pitcher-player ratio that you had on Aug. 31 had to be the same as you had in October. That no longer applies.

Hope this helps clarify some things.
-M.

Wednesday tidbits: Ryan, callups, Pujols, clinch plans

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

Greetings from what could be clinch night at Minute Maid Park.

* Brendan Ryan was out again tonight. He’s still dealing with stiffness and soreness in the pinkie finger on his left hand, a result of a slide about a week ago. Ryan feels he’s playable, but TLR sees no reason to push him.

* Four callups arrived today: David Freese, Tyler Greene, Josh Kinney and Matt Pagnozzi. Don’t expect any of them to see a great deal of playing time. TLR made it very clear that priority one, once the Cardinals clinch, is to get ready for the playoffs. So the callups’ primary purpose will be to aid in that. The problem is that with two off days between now and next Sunday, there’s not an overwhelming need to give rests to the regulars. So they’ll get an at-bat/inning here and there, but the opportunities will be limited.

As for the guys who didn’t get called up, TLR pointed to both 40-man roster considerations (neither Allen Craig nor Royce Ring is on the 40) as well as opportunity. He just didn’t think either guy would get enough work to justify bringing them in.

Personally, I’d have liked to see them make an opportunity for Craig, who ideally will have a role on the 2010 team. But I don’t make the decisions. Obviously.

* A day after he was removed as a precaution due to a “jammed” wrist, Albert Pujols was back in the lineup as expected.

* If the Cardinals somehow clinch the division tomorrow night, which is possible, the club has no special plans. If both St. Louis and Chicago win tonight, or if they both lose, the magic number will be one. The Cubs play tomorrow night in San Francisco, so in a case like that, a Cubs loss against the Giants would salt away the division.

However, TLR and a couple of players said there are no plans for a group outing or anything like that if the number is one.

“We’re going to take a day off,” the manager said, “and not worry about it. … It happened to us [in Oakland] in ’92. We clinched during an off day. it’s not worth messing with guys’ plans. It’s better at the ballpark. We’d do it after the game Friday.”

Today’s playlist:
Electronic, “Idiot Country”
Radiohead, “My Iron Lung”
Aimee Mann, “You Could Make a Killing”
Buffalo Tom, “Rules”
Everclear, “The Twistinside”

-M.

Wednesday lineups; tidbits to follow

Cardinals lineup vs RHP Bud Norris:
1. Schumaker 2B
2. Rasmus CF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Ludwick RF
6. DeRosa 3B
7. Molina C
8. Lugo SS
9. Smoltz P

Astros lineup:
1. Bourn CF
2. Tejada SS
3. Berkman 1B
4. Lee LF
5. Blum 3B
6. Pence RF
7. Matsui 2B
8. Towles C
9. Norris P

Tuesday late night tidbits: Pujols, Molina, rotation, McClellan, Glaus, Ryan, Ludwick

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

When you wait till the end of the night, it means even more tidbitty goodness. If you’re reading this in the morning, well, I hope in the words of Walter Sobchak, you’re “enjoying your coffee.”

* Albert Pujols “jammed” his wrist on a tag play in the seventh inning on Tuesday night, which is why he was removed from the game. However, TLR and Pujols both played it down, and Pujols was in fine spirits in the clubhouse after the game.

TLR said “he’s good to go.” It will be surprising if Pujols is not in the lineup on Wednesday.

* Yadier Molina took a pitch off his right index finger while he was catching in the first, but obviously he stayed in the game and was fine.

* The rotation for this weekend in Colorado will be as follows: Carpenter on Friday, Wainwright on Saturday, Lohse on Sunday. That was pretty well figured, but TLR didn’t confirm it until today. Pineiro said that he will go on Tuesday in the series opener in Cincinnati.

* The optimism level regarding Troy Glaus seems to be very low. John Mozeliak acknowledged this afternoon that Glaus’ injury is not typically a quick-healing kind of deal, and said the club expects to have a better read this weekend on whether Glaus will play again this season.

* TLR was cagey as to why Brendan Ryan didn’t start tonight, basically saying Ryan needed a day and this was the right day. He seemed to indicate that he preferred Lugo offensively against Yorman Bazardo, but honestly he just didn’t give much up — despite several questions. “Manager’s decision,” as Jimy Williams was so fond of saying.

Even so, PLEASE don’t go all conspiracy-theory on this one. I expect to see Ryan back in there tomorrow.

* The skipper also said that after a couple of missed executions by Ryan Ludwick in recent days, he wanted to give Ludwick a mental break — and that that mental break might even last through Wednesday.

* I was supposed to participate in this, but, well, I’ll be honest — I flaked. So I at least want to pass a link along to the most recent project by the United Cardinal Bloggers. It’s their Top 7 Prospects project. These folks all do some cool stuff, so give it a look.

* If you want to read about news from earlier in the day/night, please do. My Wagner Mateo story can be found here, and the call-ups can be found here.

And, finally, a playlist:

“After Midnight,” Eric Clapton
“In the Midnight Hour,” Wilson Pickett
“Living After Midnight,” The Donnas (yes, I prefer their cover)
“Midnight Rambler,” Rolling Stones
“Prove It All Night,” Bruce Springsteen

-M.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 20,957 other followers