And so we’ve reached the end of exhibition season. When next I blog, it will be from Great American Ball Park, site of the Cardinals’ season opener. Trust me when I tell you I’m far from the only one who’s ready for games that count.
We got an absolutely gorgeous afternoon for a ballgame in downtown Minneapolis today, even if the Cardinals played a little, well, less than razor-sharp.
I addressed the situations with the various injured and recuperating Cardinals on the site today, so head over there to check that out. But of course there’s stuff left over, so here are your tidbits.
* TLR acknowledged they’ll handle Jaime Garcia differently from how they’ll handle the veteran pitchers on the staff, but unsurprisingly didn’t lay out any real specifics. There certainly will be no “Jaime Rules” regarding his use, but they will look to protect the youngster some.
“I think you have to establish that if you get into a couple jams where you might leave Wainwright in there, he’s got to establish that,” La Russa said. “For one thing, you can’t burn the bullpen. So the first time the bases are loaded, we’re not going to get him.”
However, when a follow-up was asked about the balance between having Garcia learn to pitch out of trouble and making sure not to push him too hard, this was the intriguing response:
“This is the big leagues. You try to win the game. this is not a developmental league.”
* The Cardinals have yet to decide when Garcia’s first start will be. He’ll either pitch on Saturday or Sunday in Milwaukee, with Chris Carpenter getting the other of those two games. TLR said it’s not a matter of rest for Carpenter. Instead, it comes down to matchups later in the month, and the club deciding who it wants on which series as April goes along.
* Neither Ryan Franklin nor TLR expressed much concern over Franklin’s outing on Saturday. Franklin was charged with three runs, all unearned, and the truth is, he just wasn’t hit that hard. Franklin threw strikes all spring, not walking a single batter, though his strikeout rate was pretty low.
Asked about Franklin’s showing today, TLR said:
“[Doggone] boopers. One ball hit hard. That’s what I make of Franklin.”
That’s all the baseball. Now for the music, with a second day of Minnesota playlists. Seriously, how many communities have provided more than Minneapolis/St. Paul? It’s amazing.
Prince, “Sign O’ The Times”
The Time, “Jungle Love”
Information Society, “Walking Away”
Jayhawks, “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”
Semisonic, “Singing In My Sleep”