August 2010

Monday lineups

Lineups from PNC Park, where it’s overcast and we’ve had a little rain, but players from both teams are on the field and the tarp is not out…

Cardinals
1. Schumaker 2B
2. Jay CF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Lopez SS
6. Molina C
7. Feliz 3B
8. Craig RF
9. Lohse P
Pirates
1. McCutchen CF
2. Tabata LF
3. Walker 2B
4. Jones 1B
5. Alvarez 3B
6. Doumit C
7. Milledge RF
8. Cedeno SS
9. Ohlendorf P
-M.

Cox, Swagerty agree to deals

The Cardinals held serve, and that’s not a bad thing at all.
St. Louis completed deals with two top Draft picks in advance of Monday’s signing deadline, signing infielder Zack Cox and pitcher Jordan Swagerty, but could not complete an agreement with 12th-round pick (but perceived first-round talent) Austin Wilson. A club representative confirmed the agreements late Monday night.
Cox agreed to a Major League contract, which means that he will be added to the 40-man roster. He will report to the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, while Swagerty will be assigned to short-season Batavia.
Cox and Swagerty were both Draft-eligible sophomores. Wilson has a baseball scholarship waiting for him at Stanford. Thus, all three had significant leverage in negotiations.
The Cards’ two supplemental first-rounders, pitchers Seth Blair and Tyrell Jenkins, previously agreed to deals, and Jenkins has reported to rookie-level Johnson City. Blair signed for a bit over $750,000, while Jenkins received $1.3 million.
By signing Cox, even though they missed out on Wilson, the Cardinals have to consider the signing period to be something of a success. The club considered both Cox and Wilson, as well as Blair and Jenkins, to be first-round-caliber players, so bringing in a total of three such players is surely welcome. Bringing in Wilson to boot would have qualified as a “grand slam,” in the recent words of Jeff Luhnow, who serves as the Cardinals’ scouting director and farm director.
Cox was regarded by many experts as the most polished hitter in this year’s Draft. A left-handed hitting third baseman, he batted .429 for Arkansas in 2010 as the Razorbacks made it to the Super Regional round of the NCAA tournament. He hit nine home runs, drove in 48 runs and scored 67, and stole 11 bases in 12 tries. Cox slugged .609 for the Hogs this year.
Swagerty was the closer for Arizona State’s College World Series team in 2010 and a teammate of Blair with the Sun Devils. The right-hander was the 75th overall selection in the June Draft. He recorded 14 saves in 34 appearances for ASU, striking out 48 against 10 walks in 37 innings.

Cards, Jenkins reach deal

ST. LOUIS — The Cardinals announced on Friday that right-handed pitcher Tyrell Jenkins, their third selection in last June’s Draft, has agreed to a contract and will report to rookie-level Johnson City.
According to reports, Jenkins will receive $1.3 million, nearly twice the recommended slot for where he was selected. Jenkins was the 50th overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, taken in the supplemental first round. The Cardinals received the pick as compensation for the free-agent departure of Joel Pineiro.
Jenkins, who turned 18 last month, had a commitment to attend Baylor University, where along with baseball he was considered a prized recruit to play quarterback for the school’s football team. In high school in Henderson, Texas, he also lettered in basketball and ran some track. 
According to the Cardinals, Jenkins led Henderson High to its second-straight District 14 4A championship, and a 24-7 record. He was named a District 14 4A MVP each of his last two years, going 8-2 with a 2.33 ERA this season (54.0 IP, 34 H, 18 BB, 96 SO) while also batting .417.
The Cardinals still do not have deals with first-rounder Zack Cox, second-round pick Jordan Swagerty or 12th-round selection Austin Wilson, who is considered a first-round talent.

Note of the night/Stat of the day, August 11

So… that was an entertaining series, eh?

Note of the night: Matt Holliday did not return to Wednesday’s game after the rain delay. He was feeling some groin tightness, and the club decided it would have been unwise to push him on a very wet field.
“During the rain delay, he got something,” TLR said. “He wanted to go back out there, and then we saw the splashes and decided not to risk it. His legs were really getting tight.”
Holliday seemed entirely unconcerned about it, and said that he expects to play on Friday at home against the Cubs.
“With the wetness, it’s not smart to go out there and slip around,” he said.
Stat of the day: Over his last nine starts, Adam Wainwright is 7-1 with a 1.14 ERA, 51 strikeouts and 13 walks. In his last 12 starts, he has allowed no earned runs eight times.
Fun with double situational splits: Holliday is batting .370 with a .469 on-base percentage and a .630 slugging percentage with runners in scoring position since the All-Star break.
And, finally, the playlist:
Stone Roses, “Fools Gold”
Cure, “Never Enough”
New Order, “Shellshock”
Sisters of Mercy, “This Corrosion”
Nine Inch Nails, “Sin”
-M.

Motte to DL, Salas back again

ST. LOUIS — The Cardinals placed right-handed reliever Jason Motte on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday due to a shoulder injury and recalled right-hander Fernando Salas from Triple-A Memphis to take his roster spot.

In a release on Wednesday, the Cardinals referred to the injury as an “AC sprain” in Motte’s right shoulder. The disabled list move is retroactive to Tuesday.

Motte, 28, felt something amiss in his shoulder on Monday night, and underwent an MRI exam on Tuesday. However, he expressed little concern about the condition on Tuesday when he spoke with reporters.

In the Cardinals’ Monday night against game the Astros, Motte reported discomfort in his shoulder to the Cardinals’ training staff but not the coaching staff. He received heat on the joint after pitching the seventh inning, then came out to pitch the eighth.

In the eighth, though, he was not the same pitcher. Motte issued walks to the first two batters of the eighth, throwing balls on his last five pitches.

Motte has been an integral part of the Cardinals’ bullpen this season. He’s 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA, two saves, 42 strikeouts and 16 walks in 43 1/3 innings. He has the most appearances of any right-hander on the St. Louis staff.

Salas, 25, will be with the Major League club for the fifth time this season. In 10 appearances covering 11 2/3 innings, he has a 2.31 ERA, nine strikeouts and four walks.

-M.

Freese done for season

ST. LOUIS —  The Cardinals received very bad news on David Freese on Tuesday, learning that the rookie third baseman requires surgery to repair tendon damage in his troublesome right ankle. Freese will miss the remainder of the season.
Freese, 27, was a valuable member of the Cardinals’ offense when he was healthy, and it appeared he was close to a return to active duty. But while playing in a Minor League rehabilitation game at Double-A Springfield on Monday, he re-injured the ankle. He was removed from the game and returned to St. Louis. According to general manager John Mozeliak, it is a new injury in the same area as the one that landed him on the disabled list in the first place.
Following an examination on Tuesday, it was determined that Freese will need surgery.
That would be bad news for the Redbirds under any circumstances, but it’s doubly troubling in light of the trade the club made over the weekend. St. Louis sent outfielder Ryan Ludwick to the Padres in order to acquire pitcher Jake Westbrook from Cleveland, and Freese’s imminent return appeared that it would soften some of the blow to the offense from that deal. With Freese lost for the season, the pressure may increase on the team’s front office to make an upgrade to the offense.
Freese last played on June 27. He hit .296 with a .361 on-base percentage and a .404 slugging percentage this year. Felipe Lopez has been manning third base for the most part in his absence.
-M.
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