Archive for the ‘ Tidbits ’ Category

Saturday tidbits: Holliday and more

Greetings from another beautiful night by the Bay, though it’s shaping up to be a bit chilly.

* As noted in an earlier post, Matt Holliday said this afternoon that he’s available to pinch-hit tonight and expects to play tomorrow. A little earlier in the afternoon, TLR referred to it more as a 50-50 proposition, but that was before Holliday’s workout. I fully expect him to be in there.

* Ryan Theriot is sitting in part because TLR wanted to get Tyler Greene two games in a row, and partly because Theriot is 3-for-20 against Matt Cain.

* Most of the bullpen is available tonight. Miguel Batista, Jason Motte, Trever Miller and Ryan Franklin are all available. Mitchell Boggs and Brian Tallet are maybes. Augenstein is off limits.

* I was told that Lastings Milledge, recently designated for assignment by the White Sox, doesn’t have much appeal to the Cardinals. He is a right-handed hitting outfielder, but he’s not really a center fielder.

And, finally, the playlist. More Bay Area goodness.
Faith No More, “Midlife Crisis”
Metallica, “Damage, Inc.”
Rancid, “Old Friend”
The Donnas, “Hot Pants”
Green Day, “When I Come Around”


Friday tidbits: Holliday, Greene and more

Hello from what, for my money, is the best ballpark in America.

* Matt Holliday worked out pretty extensively this morning, and sounded like he hopes to play Sunday. TLR sounded less enthusiastic about that possibility but didn’t rule it out. There’s something going up on the site about this very topic as I write though, so be sure to check it out for more details.

* Tyler Greene got his first start of the year today, but it might not be his last this series. There’s a possibility he’ll play on Sunday against  Barry Zito.

* Meanwhile David Freese is playing today and will play Sunday, but could also go Saturday as well. That would mark his first time playing three straight this year, something TLR has said they don’t intend to do much in the early going. If it’s not Freese tomorrow night, it would be Descalso at 3B against Matt Cain.

* The Cardinals will stay on rotation in Phoenix, going with Kyle McClellan on Monday and Chris Carpenter on Tuesday, rather than moving Carpenter up to his fifth day and bumping McClellan back.

* Tomorrow’s game will start at 9:05 p.m. CT, not the 8:05 time originally listed. The Giants will receive their World Series rings prior to the game.

And, finally, the playlist is a Bay Area special (but no Train):
Sly and the Family Stone, “Dance to the Music”
Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son”
Big Brother and the Holding Company, “Piece of My Heart”
Jefferson Airplane, “Somebody to Love”
Grateful Dead, “Truckin'”


Wednesday tidbits: Punto, Holliday, Boggs, Greene, etc

* Nick Punto will be headed to Florida when the Cardinals leave town for the West Coast. He’ll work out with the extended Spring Training folks for a few days, and could start playing EST games as soon as Monday.

* Matt Holliday continues to get closer. He ran on the field today and took some swings.

* Mitchell Boggs warmed up last night and would have come in the game in the 8th if the pitcher’s spot had come up in the bottom of the seventh. TLR said he’d still prefer to get Boggs one or two more low-leverage outings before really throwing him in the fire, but if the games don’t allow that, then the games don’t allow it.

* Tyler Greene will likely get a start over the weekend in San Francisco. He would play 2B against either Jonathan Sanchez on Friday or Barry Zito on Sunday. Greene is the only Cardinal hitter who has not started a game.

* ESPN announced that former Cardinal Mark Mulder will be doing some work on Baseball Tonight.

* Though TLR said yesterday that David Freese could have started today, in the end it was Daniel Descalso who got the call at 3B. The plan all along has been for Freese to play two out of three in the early going, so this isn’t a setback but rather just a case of staying with the plan.

And, finally, the playlist:
Letters to Cleo, “From Under the Dust”
New Order, “Elegia”
The Knife, “Neverland”
Nina Gordon, “Horses in the City”
R.E.M., “Gardening At Night”


Tuesday tidbits: No DL for Holliday

Greetings from Busch Stadium on an absolutely gorgeous day. There are almost no clouds in the sky, the temperature reads 63 degrees on the signs in the bullpens and it appears we’re in for a very nice evening for baseball. And now on with the tidbits…

* Matt Holliday will not, for now, go on the disabled list. The club expects that he will be back before 15 days are up, and in fact more than a day or two before 15 days are up. So they’re going to play short in the interim. Holliday has done some running and throwing, and could swing a bat tomorrow.

* Gerald Laird is in for Yadier Molina, but it’s a scheduled day off for Molina. He suffered no significant ill effects from being jammed on a pitch last night.

* TLR said that there are no longer any real plans to go to 13 pitchers for the road trip. That idea was pretty much scuttled when Holliday became unavailable.

* The rotation has been announced for the start of the road trip, and it’s as expected. They’ll just roll the guys over: Westbrook on Friday against Jonathan Sanchez, Garcia against Matt Cain on Saturday and Lohse against Barry Zito on Sunday.

* David Freese may play tomorrow, which wouldn’t seem all that newsworthy except that it would be three straight games — something La Russa suggested was unlikely to happen much in the first couple months of the season.

And, finally, the playlist. It’s a themed one, all Nirvana in honor of the 17th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death.

“Come As You Are”
“Heart Shaped Box”
“Where Did You Sleep Last Night”


Monday tidbits: Holliday speaks

* A clearly still recovering Matt Holliday spoke to reporters in the clubhouse on Monday afternoon. Though his spirits were good and his sense of humor was certainly intact, it was not at all hard to tell that Holliday had undergone a medical procedure recently. He should be fine before long, but he had the look and sound of someone recuperating.

Holliday told us that he has asked the club to keep him off the disabled list if at all possible, and as of now he has not been DL’d. He’s hoping to accompany the Cardinals on their upcoming western road trip. I’ll have a story on all of this on the site before too terribly long.

* Jaime Garcia was named co-Player of the Week in the National League along with Starlin Castro for his shutout yesterday.

* Nick Punto continues to come along well. He participated in pretty much all of the afternoon work, and said he’s feeling quite good. Once he’s cleared to play, he’ll still need a bit of time on a Minor League rehab, since he’s taken exactly zero at-bats against anybody other than his teammates all spring.

* It’s not the nicest day at the ballpark — the sign in the bullpen currently reads 46 degrees — but there’s no rain, the sun is threatening to poke through in a few places and it appears we’re going to get a game in.

* Mitchell Boggs is likely not live tonight if they can avoid it, and ideally TLR would prefer not to use Jason Motte either. But Motte is more in play than Boggs.

* The Cardinals still have yet to announce their starters for the weekend in San Francisco, but the best guess is they’ll just roll everybody over, so it would be Westbrook on Friday, Garcia on Saturday and Lohse on Sunday.

* Gerald Laird will likely get a start either tomorrow or Wednesday, which would leave Tyler Greene as the only non-pitcher on the roster not to start a game.

* As I noted in the lineup post, the pitcher is back in the No. 9 hole today. TLR explained that one factor in that decision is the availability of a hitter who is a good fit to hit seventh. He wouldn’t mind hitting Schumaker ninth, he said. But that would leave Yadier Molina batting seventh, and La Russa has been consistent in expressing his desire to have a faster runner than Molina in front of the pitcher’s spot.

And, finally, the playlist:
Cold War Kids, “Royal Blue”
Radiohead, “Lotus Flower”
R.E.M., “Discoverer”
Telekinesis, “Please Ask For Help”
Buffalo Tom, “Guilty Girls”


Saturday tidbits: Holliday follow-up and an anniversary

It’s shaping up to be a gorgeous day in downtown St. Louis. Already into the 60s, and only a few clouds.

* The Cardinals are going to wait until Monday or Tuesday before deciding whether to place Matt Holliday on the DL. And yes, per TLR, it’s a question of whether they make a move, not when or what exactly the move will be. There’s still some hope that Holliday could be back in under 15 days, and if they felt confident that would be the case, it’s no guarantee that they’d make a move.

* In the interim,  both the 4 spot and left field will be something of a job share. As you saw in today’s lineup, Allen Craig is playing left field while David Freese is batting fourth. Craig and Jon Jay will likely split time in left field. As for the cleanup spot, it looks like Freese against lefties and Lance Berkman against right-handers.

* Today is the 10th anniversary of Albert Pujols’ Major League debut. I’ll have a story on the site about it a little later today, so do be sure to come back and check it out. Should be a nifty little package.

And, finally, the playlist:

Soul Coughing, “Soundtrack to Mary”
Belly, “Feed the Tree”
Cake, “When You Sleep”
Violent Femmes, “Prove My Love”
R.E.M., “Exhuming McCarthy”


Opening Day tidbits: Lohse, Freese and more

Happy Opening Day, y’all. It’s shaping up to be a pretty nice day. Looking like we’ll crack 50 degrees by first pitch, and we’ve only got a few clouds at the moment. Considering what yesterday morning looked like, that sounds awfully decent.


* Kyle Lohse had a rough outing yesterday in his last game of the spring, a Minor League game against the Mets’ Triple-A Buffalo affiliate. He allowed six earned runs on 11 hits, with four strikeouts and one walk. Lohse said the line was not a lie; it was a rough one for him. But between a stiff wind and the strange circumstances (all of his teammates, of course, had already left town), Lohse said he wasn’t worried about it.


* David Freese will likely play today and Saturday with Daniel Descalso playing Sunday, but TLR sounds more and more like that “2 out of 3” prediction for Freese will end up being conservative.


* According to TLR, Matt Holliday and Brian Tallet are both unrestricted and good to go after dealing with nagging injuries.


* I was asked to pass this along, and it seems like a worthy cause so I am happy to: Budweiser has launched a “Here’s To The Heroes” program at MLB games this year. For every homer hit in a Major League game this year, Bud will donate $100 to Folds of Honor, which provides educational scholarships for children and spouses of military men and women killed or disabled in the line of duty.


* Also from the asked to pass it along category, the Jack Buck CD from the Baseball Voices collection is now available online. If you go to the various places you can buy CDs online and search for Jack Buck, you should be able to find it.


And, finally, the playlist. And it’s exactly one song, on loop in my head all day. The greatest baseball song ever written:

“Talkin’ Softball” (from Maine to San Diego…)



Wednesday workout tidbits, and Opening Day lineup

First, the lineup for tomorrow:

1. Theriot SS
2. Rasmus CF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Berkman RF
6. Freese 3B
7. Molina C
8. Schumaker 2B
9. Carpenter P


As for the tidbits…


* Brian Tallet should be fully available tomorrow.


* Same goes for Matt Holliday. TLR said he had no real concerns about Holliday’s sore right big toe, and Holliday participated fully.


* Bryan Augenstein is wearing No. 22. He wore No. 44 in Arizona, but that’s taken by Miguel Batista, and he said that 22 is also a tribute to his high school pitching coach, George Estock, who passed away last fall. Estock wore 22 for the Braves in his only big league season, 1951.


* Kyle McClellan will have some kind of throw on Friday in advance of his first game, which will be Tuesday at home against the Pirates. He does not expect to face hitters, but he’ll get some work.


* TLR wasn’t giving much away about anything going forward. He did say that Daniel Descalso will be his primary backup option at 3B, ahead of Tyler Greene or Allen Craig. But he didn’t give any indication of how he intends to use Lance Berkman — i.e. whether or not he feels Berkman will require preventative days off in the early going.


And, finally, the playlist:

Material Issue, “International Pop Overthrow”
Dead Milkmen, “Punk Rock Girl”
Everclear, “Queen Of The Air”
Rancid, “Roots Radicals”
Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Knock Me Down”



Sunday tidbits and lineup: Packing up

Greetings from my last day at camp. I’m northbound tomorrow, and the team will be out the day after that. They’re packing up the second truck, and it’s hitting the highway within the next hour or so. We’re definitely reaching the end.

* Speaking of the end, the weather is looking quite dicey for Tuesday’s game in Springfield. As a result, TLR sounded today very much like he expects Jaime Garcia to make his start that day in Jupiter against the Marlins, instead of at Hammons Field. As for other contingency plans, they’re yet to be made. But be sure, that’s one of the main items on the club’s agenda right now.

* With Miguel Batista on the team, the Cardinals are basically down to one roster question: Bryan Augenstein, Fernando Salas and Eduardo Sanchez for the last bullpen spot. TLR acknowledged that while part of the consideration is taking the best pitcher, another element will be the role that pitcher can fill. I.e., Augenstein, as a long man, has at least something of an advantage.

* TLR indicated that cuts could be made today.

* The manager said that he doesn’t expect anything too funky in his Opening Day lineup — that means Ryan Theriot leading off, Skip Schumaker somewhere down around 6th or 7th and likely Colby Rasmus batting second.

* Here’s the lineup for this afternoon against the Mets:

1. Rasmus CF (yep, that’s correct)
2. Craig RF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Freese 3B
6. Laird C
7. Descalso 2B
8. Greene SS
9. McClellan P
And, finally, the playlist:

The Rolling Stones, “The Last Time”
Daft Punk, “One More Time”
U2, “Last Night On Earth”
Toy Matinee, “Last Plane Out”
Jeff Buckley, “Last Goodbye”


Saturday camp tidbits: Bullpen, bullpen, bullpen!

This is my second-to-last day in camp. We’ll have tidbits tomorrow, then I head back to StL on Monday and rejoin the club in Springfield on Tuesday. Then a Wednesday workout, and Opening Day, y’all. It’s coming quickly.

* TLR said they were encouraged by how Brian Tallet is doing today. Still a bit of a vague situation, but it sounds like things are better than expected. Tallet has some groin soreness.

* While it’s unlikely that the Cardinals will take 13 pitchers north to open the season, TLR sounded as though they might go to 13 soon after. The Cards have a 10-games-in-10-days road trip after their opening homestand, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see them add an eighth reliever for that trip.

* I asked this morning whether one option for dealing with some bullpen worries was to stretch Franklin out for 4-5 outs more often this year, and was told that’s not really in the picture.

* The manager also said he thinks there’s a good chance they’ll have the 25-man roster settled before they go to Springfield.

* Speaking of Springfield, it’ll pretty much be a skeleton crew playing the other game that day. The Cardinals do have a game in Jupiter on Tuesday in addition to the Springfield game, but unless the weather is really miserable up north, it will be all Minor Leaguers for the game here at Roger Dean.

* Couple of notes from the back fields yesterday: Shelby Miller pitched four innings for Palm Beach against Jupiter, allowing one run, one hit and one walk and striking out six. Zack Cox, also playing for Palm Beach, went 2-for-3 with a home run.

And, finally, the playlist:

Aimee Mann, “Red Vines”
Buffalo Tom, “Kitchen Door”
Velocity Girl, “Lose Something”
The Hold Steady, “First Night”
The Beatles, “Golden Slumbers”