Results tagged ‘ Albert Pujols ’

Monday workout day tidbits: Holliday, Pujols, Jackson, and lots more

It’s an absolutely perfect day in downtown St. Louis, and if the next two days are like this, we’re seriously in luck. Not a cloud visible, temperatures, in the mid-70s, just spectacular.

* The Cardinals are waiting to hear an update on Matt Holliday, and it could be any minute now. Holliday went to see a specialist to check on his ailing right hand. There still doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of optimism, but all opinions were guarded until the club gets the results of the latest exam.

* Albert Pujols is dealing with pain in both his left ankle and left heel, but neither is severe enough to keep him off the field. Per both TLR and John Mozeliak, nothing has really changed regarding Pujols’ status.

* TLR confirmed that, as expected, Edwin Jackson will start Game 4. Of course if there is a Game 5, Chris Carpenter will start it. That was the whole reason behind starting him on short rest in Game 2.

* Various Cardinals personnel downplayed the potential effect of shadows for Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s late-afternoon games. As of 4:10 or so today, both home plate and the pitchers’ mound were covered in shadow, with a band of light between them. As I write this, at about 5:20, the entire infield is covered in shadows. So if there are any problems, it should only be in the first hour or so of Game 3, and none in Game 4.

* Mozeliak said that he spoke briefly with someone in the Commissioner’s office on Sunday night regarding TLR’s in-game TV comments about home plate umpire Jerry Meals, but that he was merely asked if he knew what TLR had said. He has not heard from New York since then.

* TLR acknowledged that he could have a slightly different lineup for Cole Hamels than he did for Cliff Lee, but didn’t really divulge what that might entail. Hamels has a reverse platoon split this year, though, so that could be a factor.

* Kyle Lohse could be available to pitch in relief in Game 4.

And, finally, the playlist:
Sugar, “The Act We Act”
Nirvana, “Serve the Servants”
The Clash, “Spanish Bombs”
The Rolling Stones, “Live With Me”
Pearl Jam, “Mankind”

-M.

Cardinals on the… festivities

My friend and colleague Adam McCalvy has a blog post up with what the Brewers had to say tonight. And a little later at Cardinals.com and Brewers.com, there will be a longer story that covers the whole incident during the ninth inning tonight.

 

In the meantime, though, here are what the principal Cardinals had to say after the game:

 

TLR: “Rarely do I comment about another player, because it’s not appropriate. Milwaukee should comment about their players and we should comment about ours. But he [Nyjer Morgan] is having a good year for them, he’s a talented guy, but he’s close to the edge as far as creating problems and trouble. It takes away from the player that he’s been for them or wherever he’s been with his fuse being so short and actually looking for things to instigate. So I hope he gets a clue. And he probably is going to get upset, or somebody will, that I gave advice, but it’s the truth. It’s the truth. He could be the player he is without instigating.”

Carpenter: “I don’t know. I’m not going to go there. He’s a good player who plays with some serious talent. He just plays the game a different way.

(could you hear him talking?) “I didn’t know anything was going on until I heard Albert.”

(did you realize he’d thrown his chew at you?) “I didn’t see that until the replay.”

“I’m not concerned about it to be honest with you. … I’m not going to play his game. There’s a certain way to compete and a certain way not to compete. He competes hard but he does it in a different manner, which is unfortunate because it takes away from what kind of player he is. He is a really good player.”

(were you consciously staying out of it as the benches cleared?) “Well, the umpire came up and was like, ‘Don’t go in there.’ I didn’t really know what was going on, and then the umpire came in and was like, ‘Don’t go over there.’ I’m like, ‘I’m not going to waste my time with that.’ I’m just not going to waste my time with it.”

(was it hard to maintain or regain your focus?) “I was focused on what I was doing. I was focused on executing pitches and I’m not going to allow him to take me out of my game. He was yelling at me at second base. He was yelling at me down the line when he hit the double. The whole game he’s screaming and yelling, the whole game. I’m not going to allow it [getting distracted] to happen. I don’t know if that’s the way he plays, to try to get guys out of their game or what. But I’ve been around too long to allow that to happen, I can tell you that much.”

Pujols: “Last game of the series, of the season with those guys, we’ve been playing great [games] all year, and I have so much respect for those guys on the other side. They play the game hard every time and yeah, you’ve got about a month ago a couple of miscommunications, couple of guys getting hit by pitches, myself and Braun, but when that is over, you flip the page. I just got in the middle to make sure that Morgan didn’t jump on Carp. The last thing you want is our guy that’s trying a shutout game to lose his focus.

“I actually like that guy [Morgan]. I don’t mind having a guy like that on my team. He brings a lot of energy to the ballclub, and you want to have a guy like that. But sometimes I think he goes [a little overboard] and tries to put too much energy. I remember when he came up with Pittsburgh, the guy just played the game, played hard all the time, never talks. And now you wonder why he’s been on three different ballclubs the last year and a half, you know?”

(note: Pujols actually said “over the little board,” but obviously he meant “a little overboard.”)

(Carpenter said he was yelling all night) “Every time. every time. When he hit that double he was screaming. Yesterday he screamed, a couple days ago when he hit that… Which I don’t mind. Do whatever you want. But when you strike out like that and try to throw the chew the mound to our pitcher and yell, come on man. You need to be more professional than that.

“I’m nobody to judge, because I’ve made my mistakes sometimes so I’m not going to throw the first rock. Everybody’s got their own issues. all I have to worry about is myself, take care of myself. I don’t care what anybody else does in this game.”

-M.

Wednesday tidbits: Plenty of Pujols, plenty more

Some of this will be covered in more depth in Austin Laymance’s notebook, which will go on the site a bit later this evening. But in the meantime, a look at some of the various topics going on pregame today.

* Albert Pujols is, of course, in the lineup. TLR said he has no specific plan to get Pujols a rest day here or there, or to play him two and sit him one, or anything like that.

“Just talk to him,” the manager said. “Check him out all the time. During the game, after the game, next day.”

TLR also said that if Pujols is asked to go to the All-Star Game as an injury replacement for someone, he hopes Pujols accepts.

* Gerald Laird is scheduled to be back in StL tomorrow, but it’s still not a certainty. TLR sounded a bit hesitant to call up Laird after only two games worth of rehab. Still, it sounds like the most likely thing is that we’ll see Laird tomorrow.

* David Freese is just getting a scheduled rest day. He’s played every game since being activated from the DL, and they just felt it was time to get him a breather.

* Eduardo Sanchez is in fact expected back for the first game after the break.

* Allen Craig is a little further behind. Per young Laymance, Craig is still a few days away from swinging a bat, which means that he’s likely at least a week away from going out on a rehab assignment. And it’s pretty safe to guess that Craig won’t have a 2- or 3-day rehab. They’ll probably want to make sure he gets some at-bats.

* They’re still in discussions as to what exactly the rotation will look like coming out of the All-Star break. However, with the extra off day on Thursday, TLR and Dave Duncan can deploy the starters in any order they wish for those games.

And, finally, the playlist…

Weezer, “Falling For You”
Pixies, “I Bleed”
The White Stripes, “Girl You Have No Faith In Medicine”
Violent Femmes, “Add It Up”
Cake, “Short Skirt/Long Jacket”

-M.

Pujols on roster, not in lineup

The Cardinals officially announced that Albert Pujols has been activated from the disabled list. He is an available pinch-hitter but not in the starting lineup. Brian Tallet has been placed on the disabled list with a right intercostal (ribcage) strain. More to come at Cardinals.com.
-M.

Saturday tidbits: Pujols, Holliday, Freese and more

Greetings from ’50s night at Tropicana Field. I have to admit it’s a little bit funny to have a 1950s themed game played at night, in a dome, but that’s just me. I am enjoying the 1950s music.

* The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported today that Albert Pujols will “likely” return to the Cardinals’ active roster immediately after the All-Star break. From conversations I had with various people, it seems that that certainly COULD be the case, but the club is not quite committing to such a rapid return for Pujols just yet.

Pujols was re-evaluated yesterday and the club was encouraged by the initial findings. However, Dr. George Paletta, the team’s head physician, hasn’t had a chance to go over the findings with the front office. That will happen Monday or Tuesday, at which time a better read will be available.

One thing we do know as of today: TLR does not expect Pujols to go on a Minor League rehab assignment, no matter how long he’s out. The manager told us that today.

If Pujols played on July 15, the first day after the break, it would mean he missed fewer than four weeks. That would be a dramatic improvement from initial estimates, which had him in a soft cast for at least four weeks and out of action for six.

* Matt Holliday is a little bit improved, according to TLR, but is DH’ing once again today. They’re hoping he’s back in the outfield tomorrow, which would open up the DH spot for Lance Berkman to get a half-rest day.

* Speaking of those “half days off” that TLR likes, he’s trying to give David Freese one today. Freese is playing 1B in hopes that it will be a little easier on him. The plan is for Freese to play yet again tomorrow, back at 3B, which would be 6 games in 6 days since coming off the DL.

* The Cardinals are short on right-handed relievers today. Jason Motte and Brandon Dickson are fully available, but everybody else has a handle-with-care designation (or, in Lance Lynn’s case, more likely hands-off).

* The Cards announced the signings of five free agents from Latin America today: LHP Dewin Perez, SS Eliezer Alvarez, C Jose Godoy, LHP Alirio Negrette and RHP Luis Arias.

And, finally, the playlist:

Pixies, “Here Comes Your Man”
Weezer, “El Scorcho”
The White Stripes, “Black Math”
The Libertines, “Can’t Stand Me Now’
Talking Heads, “Life During Wartime”

-M.

Pujols leaves with injury — UPDATED

ST. LOUIS — An injury that at first terrified the Cardinals may yet turn out not to be as bad as was feared. Albert Pujols left St. Louis’  5-4 win over the Royals on Sunday with a sprained left wrist, and the club hopes that further examination will reveal nothing more severe.

Pujols was hurt in a collision at first base with the Royals’ Wilson Betemit. He is also experiencing some soreness in his left shoulder, but the wrist injury is the greater concern at this point.

“I can’t give you too much until we do x-rays tomorrow,” Pujols told reporters after the game. “Pretty much right now I’m just telling you I’m pretty sore in my wrist and my shoulder. We’ll see tomorrow. We took a look at it. I passed a couple tests. But tomorrow we still need to do an x-ray and an MRI. They can’t tell anything with the machine that we have here.”

 

General manager John Mozeliak said on Sunday afternoon that Pujols underwent an x-ray as part of his initial examination, and that no broken bones were revealed at that time. Still, a full read on the severity of Pujols’ injury will not be available until at least Monday.

 

“There is going to be another round of diagnostic testing in the morning,” Mozeliak said. “Just to rule out ligament issues and all that. I’m cautiously optimistic, but I couldn’t’ handicap it either way at this point.”

 

Mozeliak declined to say whether he expected Pujols to require a disabled list stint.

 

Leading off the sixth inning, Wilson Betemit hit a slow roller up the middle. Pete Kozma fielded the ball and made a throw to Pujols, and as Betemit got to first base, he made contact with the slugger’s left arm. That knocked the mitt off of Pujols, and Pujols hit the ground in obvious pain.

 

Pujols was removed from the game after being examined on the field. Lance Berkman took over for him at first base. Pujols had put the Cards ahead in the previous half-inning with a solo homer off of reliever Louis Coleman.

 

The Cardinals have had a staggering run of injuries already in 2011. They have used the disabled list 13 times this year and have seven players currently on the DL, including two with hand or wrist injuries.

 

-M.

Saturday tidbits: Scattershot

First, permit me a personal note: Happiest of birthdays to my dad, who turns 70 today. He’s the biggest reason I am a baseball fan, and therefore one of the biggest reasons I have this amazing job. Thanks and happy happy.

Now to the baseball. It’s a steamy hot day at Busch Stadium, with first-pitch temp listed at 95 degrees. Here are some tidbits that didn’t make it into today’s notebook at Cardinals.com…

* Allen Craig will start tomorrow in place of Berkman. I asked TLR about Craig being out of the lineup for two straight days, and he noted that he wanted Jay/Rasmus/Berkman all in the outfield against Wells, and that the heavily left-handed Cubs lineup made it a less-than-great idea to play Craig at 2B.

He also said that Craig’s “leg is barking,” but downplayed it and said, again, that Craig will be in the lineup tomorrow against Zambrano.

* Albert Pujols downplayed his 100th home run at Busch Stadium when he was asked about it this morning. Pujols is the only player with 100 homers at the new park, of course.

“We got the win, that’s the most important thing,” he said.

* I also brought up whether the skipper had seriously considered getting Yadier Molina a rest day over the weekend, and TLR noted the upcoming off day Monday. and that until this weekend the weather hadn’t been that bad. Tony Cruz will probably start Wednesday in Houston, when Lance Lynn is expected to pitch.

* Fernando Salas remains the man they’re going to funnel save chances to, at least for now.

TLR quote: “I think if everybody’s rested, I think he’s got more command of more pitches. But I feel good about Sanchez. If it were the right guys, I’d pitch Motte. Batista’s not afraid of anything.”

* The manager admitted that Skip Schumaker was rushed a bit coming back from the disabled list.

And, finally, a summer-y playlist:
TLC, “Waterfalls”
The Cars, “Magic”
Neneh Cherry, “Buffalo Stance”
The Police, “Every Breath You Take”
Prince, “When Doves Cry”

-M.

Tuesday tidbits: The road to return

It’s a little bit quieter around here today that it was yesterday afternoon, but we’ve still got plenty going on. The forecast appears to have been a bit inaccurate, since it’s overcast, but we still should be free of rain.

* Skip Schumaker is set to go out on a rehab assignment tomorrow. He’ll report to extended spring training and take several at-bats a day down there. He hopes to need only a few days in Florida before being added to the roster again. TLR sounded less sure of that, but either way Schumaker’s return is getting closer.

* Colby Rasmus is out again today, but for the most part the news on Rasmus is good. He said he’s dealing with a simple abdominal strain. That’s encouraging, because he underwent tests yesterday to rule out other possibilities. I’d guess that he returns tomorrow, but wouldn’t be shocked if it were another day or two.

* Brian Tallet is set to pitch tonight for Class A Quad Cities as he begins his rehab assignment.

* Allen Craig is at second base again, with the lefty pitching for the Cardinals. That’s because Nick Punto is dealing with some right elbow discomfort and is unavailable to start. TLR said that he won’t flip-flop Craig and Daniel Descalso in double-play situations, as Joe Pettini hinted was a possibility last week in Chicago.

* TLR didn’t have a lot to say about Marty Brennaman’s comments regarding the Cardinals. “I think the safest thing to say is he’s a Hall of Famer, and he should get the respect that inclusion in that place deserves,” he said. “And then he ought to earn it every day from his Hall of Fame induction forward. He ought to earn it and not abuse it.”

* Albert Pujols isn’t going to play 3B much at all, the manager said. It’s an option, but not one that will be very common.

And, finally, the playlist, which is a remnant from Sunday night. I drove back from CIN, of course, and spent the last three hours listening to the great “Darkwave” program on Sirius/XM First Wave. So, five favorites from the show.

New Order, “Sub-Culture”
Sisters of Mercy, “Ribbons”
Front 242, “Headhunter”
Jesus and Mary Chain, “Just Like Honey”
Joy Division, “Atmosphere”

-M.

Pujols moves to 3B

Albert Pujols is moving across the diamond, at least for one day.

About two hours prior to the Cardinals’ game against the Phillies on Monday night, the Cardinals announced that Pujols would start at third base, rather than at first, where he has played almost exclusively for the past seven-plus seasons. Pujols last started at third base on Sept. 23, 2002.

When manager Tony La Russa initially posted his lineup, it had Pujols at first as usual. However, Pujols approached La Russa and offered to play third, and the manager took him up on it. Nick Punto moved from third base to second, Allen Craig from second to right field, and Lance Berkman from right field to first base.

Pujols played 1 1/3 inning of third base on May 1 at Atlanta. Other than that, however, he hasn’t played the position since that last start in 2002.

-M.

Sunday tidbits: Lots on the lineup

If you’ve spent any time reading this blog or following my tweets, you know I love talking lineup construction. Coincidentally, we spent a good deal of our morning chat with TLR talking about the current Cards lineup, so, a couple of notes on that topic.

* Asked about the leadoff spot, TLR noted a couple of things. One, Ryan Theriot doesn’t have much success in his career against Derek Lowe (4-for-20, 4 Ks). Two, he wanted the extra LH hitter at the top of the order against Lowe (yes, I know Lowe’s splits aren’t dramatic at all). He did say that he expects  Theriot to be the club’s leadoff hitter for the most part going forward.

* As for No. 2 vs No. 6, he indicated that the recent use of Freese in the 2 spot has to do with the fact that Colby Rasmus has been a little bit off lately. I’m not exactly sure how that jibes with the fact that sometimes he’ll use the 2 spot to get a struggling hitter going, but that’s the answer.

Quote: “One of the keys is going to be how well Colby swings. If he’s really, really swinging well, then he’s pretty much an ideal No. 2 guy, because he can be everything. If he’s struggling a little bit, you lose some of that.”

* The manager was also asked whether there’s any chance he’d move Albert Pujols down to the cleanup spot in an attempt to help kickstart Pujols, and he said he had no interest in that.

“I think the other side would hope we do,” he said, “so I’m not planning on doing that.”

* A few things to look for on the site this afternoon… I have notes going up on the closer situation (hint: it’s a committee), Allen Craig’s return (hint: probably not tomorrow) and Gerald Laird’s trip up to Gwinnett County last night to see his brother play (hint: he enjoyed it).

* Old friend Joe Mather got his first start of the season today, at first base for the Braves.

* Brian Tallet’s return does not seem to be imminent. Per TLR, he’s still having trouble catching a ball comfortably.

And, finally, the playlist:
I still can’t stop listening to the new Jason Isbell album, “Here We Rest.” Plus we’re in DBT country. So, today’s playlist is five favorite Isbell songs, both solo and with the Truckers.

“Daylight”
“Outfit”
“Brand New Kind of Actress”
“Good”
“Stopping By”

-M.

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