Results tagged ‘ Brad Thompson ’

Thursday tidbits: Wellemeyer, Thompson, callups

Not a lot of tidbits today as the club prepares to head out on a weeklong road trip.

* Todd Wellemeyer was activated from the disabled list, bringing the active roster up to 27 players. Kyle Lohse should be activated on Sunday, the first day he is eligible. Story from B.J. Rains is live on the site at this link.

* Brad Thompson’s suspension has been reduced to two games, and he began serving it on Thursday. That still isn’t sitting very well with him or the club, but that’s what they’ve got.

* TLR said today that he does not expect any more callups until Memphis’ season is over. There had been some thought that a third catcher or a LH reliever might come up before the Triple-A team finishes up, but it sounds as though that won’t be the case.

Today’s playlist:
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, “Around the Bend”
Teddybears, “Cobrastyle”
Garbage, “When I Grow Up”
Crystal Method, “Dirty Thirty”
Bad Lieutenant, “Sink Or Swim”

-M.

Wednesday tidbits: Boggs and the rotation, Motte and the bullpen, Thompson, Molina

It’s another amazingly nice night at Busch Stadium, with a game-time temp of 85 degrees. Thanks to a nice breeze it feels milder than that.

* TLR wouldn’t commit to anything in the rotation beyond Sunday. For the weekend against the Padres, it will be Wainwright, Pineiro and Lohse. Monday in Los Angeles is the question mark. It could be Chris Carpenter on four days’ rest, or they could choose to give Carpenter the extra day, pitch him Tuesday and go with someone else on Monday.

It’s telling, though, that Mitchell Boggs was not sent down after yesterday’s game. That would seem to indicate that he will get another start. The question is whether that will be Monday or Tuesday. Either way, the next turn would come over the weekend against the Padres at PETCO Park.

One difference, as things go forward. If Carpenter pitches on Monday, he could go the following Saturday, and that would allow him to pitch at home against Houston on Aug. 27, rather than over the following weekend against Washington.

* The skipper acknowledged that Jason Motte is struggling, and that the Cardinals are looking for some right-handed relief help. Per his usual m.o., he refused to give much of a “scouting report” about what’s going on with Motte, but he said he believes it’s not similar to Kyle McClellan last year, when McClellan seemed to fade as a result of a heavy workload.

As for the possibilities for help, La Russa acknowledged that both John Smoltz and Justin Speier hold some appeal. However, there’s a catch with Smoltz. If he wanted to pitch in relief, he could simply have accepted the Red Sox’s assignment to the Minors, get conditioned for bullpen work, and come back and pitch out of the pen for Boston. That did not appeal to him. Thus, it’s likely that if he’s traded, it will be to a team that would use him in the starting rotation.

By comparison, Speier was released. He is a free agent. He could be had for nothing more than a roster spot and a pro-rated portion of the Major League minimum salary. He’s a very interesting name, and probably better than his 5-plus ERA suggests. He’s remained effective against right-handed hitters, and his strikeout rate is still excellent.

* Brad Thompson’s appeal for his suspension is scheduled to take place on Aug. 25 via videoconference.

* Yadier Molina is in the No. 8 spot today, which is not at all TLR’s preference. He likes having someone with a little speed batting eighth, because it’s tough to sacrifice with a slow runner on first base. However, the only other option, in La Russa’s mind, was to bat Ankiel second, Brendan Ryan eighth and Molina sixth or seventh. And he strongly preferred to split up the only two left-handed hitters in the lineup, Schumaker and Ankiel.

Tonight’s playlist:
Depeche Mode, “In Chains”
Pilot Speed, “Barely Listening”
Gossip, “Heavy Cross” (loving this tune)
Teddybears, “Yours to Keep”
U2, “Moment of Surrender”

-M.

Tuesday tidbits: Lohse, K.Greene, Rotation

Greetings from partly-cloudy, warm and muggy Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals begin a very brief three-game homestand.

* Kyle Lohse threw on Tuesday for the second time since aggravating his right forearm injury. He stretched it out to 120 feet, and said he put more into the throws. He also reported feeling better today than he did on Sunday, the day of his first throw.

A date for a mound session is still somewhat uncertain, but it’s definitely getting closer.

“We’ll probably do this a couple more times [so they can] make sure everything is good and I come back strong tomorrow,” Lohse said. “We’ll see how that turns out and hopefully get on a bullpen in the next couple days or a week or whatever.”

* Khalil Greene has not yet been activated, but the day is getting closer. According to two sources (not to mention the MiLB.com Gameday presentation of tonight’s Memphis game), Greene is not with the Memphis club. Greene has played two games at shortstop and two games at third base for Memphis, going 6-for-15.

* The Cardinals will not skip Brad Thompson on Friday. Instead, they’ll use yesterday’s off day to give the entire rotation an extra day of rest. Thompson will pitch Friday at Kansas City, followed by Chris Carpenter on Saturday and Adam Wainwright on Sunday. That means Wainwright would pitch at home the following weekend against Minnesota, rather than at the Mets on June 26. Projecting it far out, both Carpenter and Wainwright would pitch in the Giants series, then Carpenter would pitch at Cincinnati and Wainwright in the opener at Milwaukee. They’d each get a start in the final series before the All-Star break, at Wrigley Field.

* Meanwhile, Thompson remains safe in his spot for the foreseeable future, that is as long as Lohse is out.

Here’s TLR’s comment:

“I think the idea is to pitch the best guy that you have. And based on his opportunities, there’s nobody better than Brad. When Lohse comes back, then you’re going to pick the best five. And if Brad’s outpitching somebody, then somebody in the rotation will go in the bullpen. It’s always the best five. Unless they’re really close and one guy fits the bullpen better than the other guy.”

Today’s playlist, well, you probably could have guessed the theme:
The Supremes: “Reflections”
Four Tops: “Reach Out I’ll Be There”
Temptations: “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”
Stevie Wonder: “I Wish”
Smokey Robinson and the Miracles: “Tears of a Clown”

-M.

Alive and kicking

Your faithful correspondent has been shamed into getting back on the blogging train after a week of laziness. I’m actually off this weekend, so I prolly won’t be blogging again until Monday from Milwaukee, but I didn’t want to have a total oh-fer.

Thoughts/notes/etc from today…

* I was surprised, a bit, that Ludwick wasn’t in the lineup today over Chris Duncan. So of course Duncan homers and doubles against Matt Cain. Shows you what I know.

* TLR said some things today about how it’s not guaranteed that Brendan Ryan won’t be optioned once he’s healthy, but honestly… there’s pretty much no way he’s not on the roster once his rehab finishes.

* When Russ Springer is activated on Monday, my guess is that Thompson will be optioned, but I wouldn’t bet the house on it.

* From the Minors… Pete Kozma hit his first home run tonight, but he also started at 3B. Not sure what to make of that; I’ll try to find out what’s up. Hugo Castellanos started for Memphis tonight, evidently because Joe Rogers is on the DL.

* Highly, highly, highly recommend the new Stones live album. It’s the best live thing they’ve put out since I don’t know what — maybe Still Life, way back in 82. It sounds like the band I heard do some truly killer shows in 1998-99 and 2002, not the band I heard that sounded tired and bored in 2006. If you like the Stones, pick it up. I’m dying to see the movie.

-M.

Friday afternoon tidbits: Looper on Tuesday

It’s an absolutely spectacular day by the Bay. Wish y’all were here.

* They’ll roll the starters over after the off day, rather than bringing Wainwright back on short rest. It will be Looper on Tuesday and Wainwright on Wednesday.

* Ankiel gets a day off, with an outfield of Barton-Schumaker-Ludwick.

* Brad Thompson is listed as available in the bullpen as of tonight, though they’d prefer to wait another day to use him.

* TLR declined to reveal who they’ll send out to make room for Pineiro on Sunday, but he said it will not be McClellan. So while he won’t say it, that makes it pretty clear that it will be Jimenez.

* STL lineup: Schumaker CF, Barton LF, Pujols 1B, Glaus 3B, Ludwick RF, Molina C, Miles 2B, Lohse P, Izturis SS.

* SF lineup: Lewis LF, Davis CF, Winn RF, Durham 2B, Castillo 3B, Aurilia 1B, Holm C, Bocock SS, Zito P.

-M.

Thursday afternoon tidbits: Pineiro starting Sunday – UPDATED AGAIN

Greetings from my favorite ballpark in America, the absolutely perfect AT&T Park. Even a long and bumpy day of flights couldn’t ruin a day that includes a burrito from Taqueria Cancun, a cup of Intelligentsia Coffee and a game at this gem of a ballpark.

Even so, it’ll be nice to sleep in tomorrow…

Anyway, the tidbits.

* Joel Pineiro will start Sunday’s game against the Giants, and Brad Thompson will go to the bullpen. Thompson COULD be listed as an available reliever as soon as tomorrow. I’d have to figure that when Pineiro is activated, Kelvin Jimenez will be optioned, but that’s not based on anyone actually telling me anything.

* Mark Mulder pitched today, not last night, and did very well. Unofficially, he pitched five innings with one hit and no walks. That may not be EXACT, but if not, it’s very close. He’ll go Tuesday for Palm Beach, per John Mozeliak.

* Brendan Ryan will likely play in an extended spring training game within the next couple of days, but it is not completely certain yet. Ryan DID appear in an extended spring game today, playing five innings and getting two plate appearances.

* The bullpen is VERY thin tonight. Reyes is unavailable, and TLR says that both Franklin and Isringhausen are as well, with Flores not available for more than a batter or two. I’m inclined to believe that if they have a chance to win, you might well see Franklin and Izzy, but we’ll see.

* Still working on getting a Mulder update — should have something very soon.

* Tomorrow’s lineup will include Barton and Ludwick against Barry Zito, and my guess is he might choose tomorrow night to give Ankiel his first night off of the year. Best guess at a Friday starting outfield: Barton LF, Schumaker CF, Ludwick RF.

* STL lineup: Schumaker RF, Duncan LF, Pujols 1B, Ankiel CF, Glaus 3B, Molina C, Kennedy 2B, Wainwright P, Izturis SS

* SF lineup: Lewis LF, Rowand CF, Winn RF, Molina C, Durham 2B, Castillo 3B, Aurilia 1B, Bocock SS, Correia P.

-M.

Wednesday afternoon tidbits: Temper, temper – UPDATED

UPDATE — We’ve got a story going up on the site shortly, co-written by Alyson Footer of Astros.com and myself, that basically goes over everything. Backe and Pujols have some history, so there’s no doubt that played into what happened. It seems to me that for MOST people involved in this deal, it’s more or less over.

Weird sequence at Minute Maid Park this afternoon. Evidently at least some Astros folks were unhappy about Pujols’ slide into J.R. Towles at home plate last night. According to Towles, Pujols called after the game yesterday to apologize, and from talking to Towles, it definitely seemed that he at least had no hard feelings.

TLR said he didn’t even think twice about the slide, but that Towles needed to be sure to give guys a bigger piece of the plate to slide into. Towles said he believes he allows plenty of room. Then Pujols refused to discuss it at all in the clubhouse.

So basically it seemed to be more or less over. And then as the Astros were leaving the field after BP, some kind of disagreement arose between guys in the two different shades of red. I was up in the press box, unfortunately, but it was very clear through binocs that Brandon Backe was extremely displeased about something, and the guy who seemed to be on the receiving end of his ire was Pujols.

It didn’t escalate into anything, stayed with about six guys in one spot, and certainly didn’t move past words into anything physical, but Backe was clearly extremely unhappy. The Astros ‘clubhouse is closed at this minute, so the Houston scribes can’t get in to hear the home team’s side of things. And Pujols is in the midst of BP; odds of getting him to say anything before the game starts are virtually nil.

Anyway, other pregame tidbits, or as TLR says, the baseball and not the BS.

* Joel Pineiro got here from New Orleans today, did his running and feels he’s ready for his next start to be a big league start. But according to TLR, the decision has not yet been made and may not be made until tomorrow. Thompson is listed as the Sunday pitcher in the game notes, but I’m told that doesn’t really mean anything.

* Cesar Izturis got the day off, with Aaron Miles at SS.

* Adam Wainwright headed out early, getting an earlier flight to San Francisco rather than waiting for the charter. He left the ballpark around 4 pm rather than flying in the middle of the night for his start tomorrow.

* TLR said they have a plan for what to do with the rotation after Monday’s off day, but didn’t divulge it. They could bump Wainwright up to go on his regular fifth day, or give everybody the extra day of rest.

* STL lineup: Schumaker RF, Duncan LF, Pujols 1B, Ankiel CF, Glaus 3B, Kennedy 2B, Molina C, Looper P, Miles SS

* HOU lineup: Bourn CF, Pence RF, Berkman 1B, Lee LF, Tejada SS, Blum 3B, Loretta 2B, Towles C, Sampson P

-M.

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