Results tagged ‘ Allen Craig ’
Good morning all. I hope those of you who got to attend the Baseball Writers’ Dinner last night enjoyed it. I know I did, and it’s definitely one of the things I’ll miss about being around here.
A couple of morning tidbits for you:
* Allen Craig expressed a lot of optimism about the recovery of his surgically repaired right knee. He’s headed to Florida very soon to begin rehab, and likes the way it’s coming along so far.
“I’m walking around great and doing light strengthening exercises, and it feels really good,” he said. “I feel like I’m on track or maybe a little bit ahead.”
We’ll have a longer story on the site about Craig’s winter and his rehab later today.
* Craig said he gave the ball from the last out of the World Series to TLR.
“I heard through the grapevine that he was kind of interested in getting it after the World Series. And then he pulled us into the weight room and told us that he was retiring, so I was like, ‘I’m not going to be the guy that keeps the ball.’ So I gave it to him and I was glad to do it. I had the thrill of catching it. That’s all I need.”
* Kyle McClellan didn’t sound like he had a whole lot of feel for how his arm is doing following the difficulties he had at the end of the year. In short, he CAN’T really know just yet, but it’s worth noting that he certainly didn’t sound concerned. What McClellan was dealing with at the end of 2011 was essentially “dead arm,” so until he gets to pitching again, there’s no way to really know.
“I’ve taken a lot of time off and maintained my shoulder exercises but not thrown on purpose, and given myself a lot of time to rest,” he said. “And actually I’ll start throwing today for the first time and get back to where I normally am.”
I didn’t get any real feeling that McClellan thinks it will be an issue at all. He felt it was really a matter of fatigue after a career-high innings load, and I’m inclined to think that makes a lot of sense.
* We didn’t get much chance to talk to McClellan about his contract situation — he’s one of two unsigned arbitration-eligible Cardinals — but once again, he didn’t seem all that concerned.
“From what I understand, we still have plenty of time to get that done,” he said.
Carpenter still set for Friday: Many fans asked today about the possibility of moving Carpenter back onto regular rest in the event that the Cardinals won the first two games of the series. TLR was asked about it before the game, but once they actually won, it obviously came up again postgame.
And, well, it’s not going to happen. Brandon Dickson is still the starter for the Thursday afternoon game (which, remember, has that odd 3:10 p.m. CT start time).
Here’s what the manager had to say:
“I mentioned it to my friends that that was going to be brought up. But when I put together the rotation, that Friday game with Cincinnati is huge for us. And he’s got Milwaukee on Wednesday, Carp does. That game tomorrow is really important. But so is the weekend against Cincinnati. So, no, nothing changes.”
Craig says he’s fine: Allen Craig did in fact bump his right knee, the same one he injured in Houston, against the outfield wall on Ryan Braun’s triple in the third inning. And he was, in fact, removed as a precaution when Jon Jay took over for him in center.
However, Craig said he’s got no problem with the knee, and he expects to be perfectly fine and playable on Thursday.
“It’s just a little irritated, but it should be all right,” he said. “I think it will be OK.”
Said TLR: “It was a good time to get him, but I thought he was limping a little bit. I was going to get him anyway with the lead like that, but when he went to bat, it looked to me like his leg gave a little. I asked him, and he said, ‘No, I’m all right.'”
Craig’s explanation was that he was testing his leg out, not that it had been injured.
Greetings from a warm, sunny afternoon at Busch Stadium. Looking forward to a fun series.
* To address the single most-asked question I’ve gotten on Twitter in recent weeks, Allen Craig is at Busch Stadium today. He’s going to go through a good, thorough workout, and it’s possible he’ll be added to the roster tomorrow.
6 pm update: Craig came through his workout with no issues, and TLR made it sound extremely likely that he will in fact be activated tomorrow.
* David Freese is back in the lineup. He said he feels 100 percent normal, and that in fact the last test he really had to pass was on Sunday in Miami when he did some extensive running.
* The rotation for the next several days has been announced. It will be Jake Westbrook tomorrow and Chris Carpenter on Thursday against Milwaukee, pushing Kyle Lohse back to Friday against Colorado. Jaime Garcia will then go on Saturday against the Rockies, with Edwin Jackson getting the last game of the homestand.
* Today is the last day of Yadier Molina’s suspension. He’s slated to return to active duty tomorrow.
* TLR talked some more today about the question of “head games” and whatnot. I won’t try to summarize it here, but I’ll have something on it in my notebook on the site tonight.
And, finally, the playlist is a celebration of “Watch the Throne” and the two gentlemen behind it:
Jay-Z and Kanye West, “No Church in the Wild” (my favorite from “Watch the Throne” after a few listens)
Jay-Z, “The Ruler’s Back”
Kanye West, “Blame Game”
Jay-Z, “December 4″
Kanye West, “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” (the Jay-Z remix, of course)
I and my teammate Ken Gurnick are actively chasing this Rafael Furcal story, but this particular round of tidbits is a Furcal-free zone. Updates from this afternoon in the clubhouse…
* Lance Berkman sits once again, but TLR sounded a lot like he expects Berkman to start tomorrow night. Not a guarantee, but he definitely sounded more confident about that than he has in a while.
* The absence of Berkman added up, today, to Skip Schumaker in right field and Ryan Theriot taking his place at second base. Theriot mentioned last night that he has a bit of shoulder soreness, and that’s part of why he’s playing second. But, as I hinted last night on Twitter, it’s hard to see it as total coincidence that Theriot’s first appearance at 2B came just as a potential Furcal deal appeared to be picking up some steam.
* The situation with the backup catchers hasn’t really changed. Tony Cruz is improved and is close to fully available. Gerald Laird is also improving but still basically emergency-only.
* Mitchell Boggs is dealing with another recurrence of the back soreness that has bothered him off and on this year. He’s likely out a couple of days.
* TLR said that although the team is somewhat short on relievers today, he’d still prefer not to use Lance Lynn as a long man.
“But,” he said,” we want to win the game today, and if we need two innings from him, you worry about tomorrow tomorrow.”
* Allen Craig is still not especially close, but TLR said he could conceivably join the club by the end of the upcoming road trip.
And, finally, the playlist, which is another iPhone shuffle special:
Duran Duran, “Hold Back the Rain”
The Killers, “Mr. Brightside”
Joe Jackson, “Breaking Us In Two”
Cold War Kids , “Cold Toes On The Cold Floor”
Violent Femmes, “Confessions”
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”
General manager John Mozeliak said Wednesday that Allen Craig has a fracture in his right patella (kneecap). Craig received a follow-up examination Tuesday for the knee injury he suffered last week in Houston, and the fracture was discovered.
Mozeliak referred to the fracture as “small,” but still acknowledged that Craig is no longer expected to miss only the minimum 15 days.
“The likelihood of his return after the 15 days would be a little premature at this time,” Mozeliak said. “He could be anywhere from three to six weeks.”
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:
The Cars, “Magic”
Neneh Cherry, “Buffalo Stance”
The Police, “Every Breath You Take”
Prince, “When Doves Cry”
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”
The Cardinals didn’t take batting practice on the field today, and TLR took a little down time after his radio show. He’s still dealing with the viral condition that has bothered him for a few weeks now.
* Ryan Theriot is back in the lineup after missing one game due to being hit on the shin by a pitch Friday.
* Allen Craig is feeling better as well, but not back in the lineup yet. Craig hit himself in the calf with a foul ball on Friday.
* Most Cardinals players are using pink bats, wrist bands and/or cleats today in honor of Mother’s Day and breast cancer awareness.
* Skip Schumaker took groundballs on the field today but is still only throwing underhand. He’s hoping to see Dr. Paletta sometime today, and the expectation is that at that time, he’ll be cleared to begin throwing a little bit as well as hitting off a tee.
And, finally, the playlist… Today’s playlist is in honor of my mom. A combination of favorites I remember her playing when I was very young, and favorites I foisted upon her when I was just a little bit older (you can probably guess which ones are which). Much love and many thanks to her. Folks, if you can, call your mom today, or better yet visit her. And then again soon after — not just today.
The Kingston Trio, “M.T.A.”
The Everly Brothers, “Wake Up Little Susie”
Phil Ochs, “Draft Dodger Rag”
Kenny Loggins, “Footloose”
Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean”
Happy Mother’s Day, y’all.
* Ryan Theriot is back in the lineup, but batting seventh. TLR said he wanted to ease Theriot back a little bit, in case his timing is off after missing three games. TLR did not say, but I noted, that Theriot is 0-for-9 against Tim Hudson.
* David Freese is out of the lineup tonight but expected to be back in tomorrow. Yadier Molina is in tonight but expected to be out tomorrow. Tomorrow is a 1 p.m. ET start following a 7:30 night game.
* Despite his recent DUI arrest, Derek Lowe is still slated to start for the Braves in Sunday afternoon’s series finale.
* The Braves called up former Cardinal Joe Mather on Friday.
* Fernando Salas and Trever Miller are likely unavailable tonight, while Jason Motte and Miguel Batista both rate as “maybes.”
* Ryan Franklin may be the best fit for the Cards’ long-relief job for the time being, TLR said Friday.
* Allen Craig is set to begin a rehab assignment at Springfield tonight.
* I asked TLR about batting Freese second in Houston, and he said it was at least in part because the Astros have pitched Rasmus well. He said that even if Freese had been in the lineup tonight, Rasmus would still be back in the 2 spot.
And, finally, the playlist:
Buffalo Tom, “Don’t Forget Me”
TV On The Radio, “Killer Crane”
Jason Isbell, “Alabama Pines”
Drive-By Truckers, “Mercy Buckets”
R.E.M., “Oh My Heart”