Monday tidbits: Lynn, Wainwright, and… a surprise?
Greetings from Houston, where it’s sweltering hot outside but comfortably air conditioned inside. It’s Star Wars Night at Minute Maid Park, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit curious to see how all that turns out.
Shameless plug: As of now, I’m scheduled to be back on MLB Network’s “The Rundown” again tomorrow afternoon. Subject to change, but looks likely. Usually it’s 2-3 segments between 2 and 4 p.m. CT, talking Cardinals.
As for the tidbits…
* Lance Lynn threw to hitters today for the first time since he was injured. He felt good and he looked pretty good from my seat in the press box.
However, it’s almost completely certain that this IS the endgame for Lynn. He can’t, by rule, be activated before the regular season ends, because he pitched on Aug. 9 and was placed on the 60-day disabled list. He could, by RULE, be activated for the NLCS if the Cardinals got there. But from various people I talked to today, that’s about a zero percent chance. They’re happy he’s gotten this far, and the focus is on making sure he’s healthy for 2012.
* Adam Wainwright continues progressing. He threw 40 pitches off a mound today, estimating that he was throwing at about 75 miles per hour. He’s still only throwing fastballs, not even changeups — never mind breaking balls. So even more than Lynn, there’s just no way he’s going to throw any competitive innings this year.
* Though Jason Motte has pitched each of the past two days and four out of five, TLR said Motte should be available tonight.
* TLR said that Dave Duncan may fly down to Houston on Wednesday to make a brief visit to the team. It’s uncertain whether he would be around if the Cardinals play beyond Wednesday.
* At the end of his pregame session today, TLR was asked if there was any way his starting rotation plans for this series could changed. He allowed that there is one scenario where they might. Asked if that scenario is a GOOD scenario, he granted that it is.
Asked one more followup, whether that good scenario is one that we have seen before, he said, “no commento.”
So, in short: he’s not going to go into details until it’s a reality. BUT it does seem there’s a possibility that if the Cardinals gain ground on the Braves today and tomorrow, then Wednesday’s starter could change. That is, if they’re actually UP by a game going into Wednesday, it’s conceivable that Carpenter would be held back from that game.
Personally, I think it makes a lot of sense, and it’s what I’d do if I were in the manager’s shoes, IF that situation comes up. If you do it, and you still have to go to a one-game playoff, Carpenter is available to pitch that game. And IF they make the playoffs, it wouldn’t matter whether Carpenter’s last regular-season game was Wednesday or Thursday. Either way, he’d be available for Game 3, and no sooner.
Again, TLR didn’t lay this all out himself. But it’s not all that difficult to put the pieces together and figure it out.
And, finally, the playlist…
The Horrible Crowes, “Behold the Hurricane”
Buffalo Tom, “Paper Knife”
Jason Isbell, “We’ve Met”
Greg Allman, “Just Another Rider”
Manchester Orchestra, “Simple Math”