Results tagged ‘ Brendan Ryan ’

Ryan targets March 20 for return

Brendan Ryan has a target date for his 2010 Grapefruit League debut, and it’s even sooner than previously expected. 
Ryan’s program currently has him on track to play on Saturday, March 20, when the Cardinals face the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium. The timetable is subject to change, and Ryan could always have a setback. But as of Thursday, optimism reigned for the Cardinals’ starting shortstop.
That would allow Ryan to play for more than two full weeks before the beginning of the regular season. Ryan is recuperating from a right wrist operation he had last month. It’s unclear whether a March 20 Spring Training debut would allow him to be on the Opening Day roster, but every game he plays in Florida will increase his chances of being active on April 5 in Cincinnati.
Ryan has been taking soft-toss for the past three days. He expects to advance to taking batting practice thrown by a coach on Friday, followed by live batting practice, facing a Cardinals pitcher, on Tuesday. He would take live batting practice for three days, take a day off and then play on March 20.
Ryan laid out the timetable to reporters on Thursday morning. He hopes to be able to be used as a defensive replacement or pinch-runner before March 20.

Friday Spring Training tidbits: Ryan, Craig, Lopez, Boggs and more

It’s starting to warm up today, and the sky is as perfectly blue as can be here at Roger Dean Stadium. It’s time for the spring home opener. Here are the tidbits:

* Brendan Ryan keeps moving forward, and he’s planning to take soft toss on Monday. The hope would be that a week after that, he could take batting practice, which would mean game at-bats no sooner than March 22. He’s still a ways off but moving forward.
Ryan and TLR were asked about the possibility of Ryan appearing as a defensive replacement or baserunner in a game sooner than that. Neither dismissed it out of hand, but it doesn’t seem very likely at this point.
* Allen Craig took live BP again today, and he seems very close to OK as he deals with a sore left quadriceps. But the team is going to be very cautious with him. It still sounds like he’ll sit out all weekend.
* Felipe Lopez, meanwhile, might make his debut on Sunday. The target had originally been Monday, but TLR sounded today like that could be bumped up a day.
* Mitchell Boggs makes his spring debut today, and the aim is for him to throw about 30 pitches. That’s a bit shorter than some of the starters have been throwing — some have already done 40 pitches in two simulated innings. 
Boggs is not going to be kept exclusively short this spring. He’ll be stretched out some. But it remains evident that the most likely destination for him is the bullpen. I don’t expect he’ll be stretched out in the same way as even someone like Blake Hawksworth.
“He needs to pitch,” La Russa said. “He needs to work on his pitches.”
That means he won’t be going one-inning-only early in camp. But I expect his path will diverge from those of the starters sooner than some other guys’ will.
* One spot that remains open is for a swingman in the bullpen, like what Brad Thompson did in recent years: someone who can pitch long relief, take a spot start and do other duties as assigned. Hawksworth is one pitcher who may factor in that race, but there’s also something to be said for a left-hander in that job.
That may be where Rule 5 Draftee Ben Jukich fits in. A third tactical lefty wouldn’t make much sense for the Cardinals. But a left-hander who can go multiple innings, and make an occasional start, might have real value. Jaime Garcia, however, likely would not be that pitcher.
Today’s playlist:
Letters to Cleo, “Veda Very Shining”
Material Issue, “Li’l Christine”
Dramarama, “Anything Anything”
R.E.M., “Living Well Is the Best Revenge”
Elvis Costello, “Radio Radio”
-M.

Thursday camp tidbits: Carpenter, Ryan, Franklin

Chilly day here in Palm Beach County. Morning temps were in the upper 40s, and it was very windy. Thanks to bright sun, the afternoon has been nice, but it’s one of the cooler days I’ve experienced in my nine springs down here.

Anyway, here are your tidbits.
* As a result of the weather, the Cardinals changed their workout schedule on the fly this morning. The pitchers all got their scheduled work in, but some of the situational hitting and other drills for the hitters were scrapped. The staff didn’t want players standing around doing nothing in the chill and wind.
* TLR, unsurprisingly, refused to bite on a question about his Opening Day starter. It appears that Chris Carpenter is on track for the assignment, but per protocol, the manager wouldn’t confirm who will get the call on April 5 in Cincinnati.
“I’ve done it one way for years,” he said. “I don’t change it. You don’t announce it — we don’t announce it, other guys do.”
* As for Carpenter, he threw his first live batting practice session today and was pretty pleased with it.
“Right now, it’s [about] getting out there and getting my warmup, getting on a mound and I’ll get better each time,” he said. “More conditioning is what you’re looking for.”
* Hanging in Brendan Ryan’s locker this afternoon was a t-shirt that had been made especially for him. It read, “Growing old is manditory [sic]. Growing up is not.” Let’s just say it’s a perfect fit for Ryan.
* The Cardinals are shooting their annual promotional commercials this week. Ryan Franklin starred in one that was shot today, with youngsters Mitchell Boggs, Jason Motte and Blake Hawksworth playing non-speaking roles. 
* Stories that you’ll see on the site this evening: A feature on Adam Wainwright’s involvement with the Catch-a-Dream Foundation and his passion for hunting and fishing; a story on Mike Eruzione’s speech to the team this morning (Eruzione was one of the stars of the 1980 “miracle on ice” Olympic hockey team); and something on Mark McGwire’s reaction to his brother’s new book.
Today’s playlist is an actual five-song sequence that came up on shuffle on my iPhone today:
Pet Shop Boys, “Love Comes Quickly”
Al Green, “Here I Am”
U2, “Trip Through Your Wires”
Happy Mondays, “Step On”
Ozomatli, “Santiago”
-M.

Monday camp tidbits: Miller, Lugo, Ryan, Walters

Clouds threatened all day here in Jupiter, but I never saw a drop of rain. It was another mild day, with temperatures getting up into the 70s — perfect day for getting some work in.

* The Cardinals will bring in top Draft pick Shelby Miller and Minor League left-hander Sam Freeman tomorrow. Technically they are not non-roster invitees, but instead early arrivals to camp. Don’t read too much into this; it’s not as though Miller is going to make the roster or even start in the high Minors. But it will be interesting to see him throw.
* More arrivals came today, the last day before full-squad workouts. Among those appearing were Julio Lugo, Brendan Ryan and P.J. Walters. Check the site for stories on both Ryan and Walters and their situations.
* Speaking of Lugo, TLR didn’t rule out the possibility of him seeing some time in the outfield, even center field, this year. Somebody has to be a right-handed-hitting option in center, and players like Lugo and Tyler Greene might well fit the bill.
* Other positional notes: the manager didn’t sound like we’ll be seeing much of Allen Craig at third base in camp. He’s more likely to be at first and in the outfield. Given the current roster configuration, it sounds like David Freese and Joe Mather will get the bulk of the time at third, and Greene could play there some as well.
* One thing you may see in some games this spring is Colby Rasmus getting more of a look against left-handed pitchers. Whereas the preference is sometimes to give Rasmus a rest against lefties during the season, Spring Training presents a perfect opportunity to get experience against them.
* Live batting practice started today, with four pitchers throwing: Mitchell Boggs, Ben Jukich, Lance Lynn and Pete Parise. Four more pitchers throw live tomorrow, and then it picks up in larger numbers on Wednesday.
Today’s playlist:
Soul Asylum, “Without a Trace”
Pixies, “Debaser”
The Clash, “Straight To Hell”
Primal Scream, “Jailbird”
The White Stripes, “My Doorbell”
-M.

Friday camp tidbits: Ryan update, Mather, more

It was a little cloudy here in Jupiter today, but the forecasters tell us the more typically warm temps will arrive tomorrow. Again, not that I’m complaining. What we’ve had the past couple days still feels very nice.

* John Mozeliak spoke with reporters for a good while this morning and covered several topics, some of which I addressed on stories that are going on the main site today. But he also gave a couple of health updates which you’ll likely be interested in.
Mozeliak was asked whether it’s his understanding that Brendan Ryan will be ready on schedule, and this was his response:
“Yeah, it is. The surgery itself was very benign, and the way he’s feeling right now is very positive. But again, until he can actually test the wrist, we’re not going to know for sure.”
Asked when that will be, that Ryan can test it, he said, “I’d say probably three weeks from now. e’s going to be able to do baseball-related stuff when he gets here next week, but I’m talking about really swinging the bat and testing it.”
* He also said things are going very well for Joe Mather health-wise, and talked up Mather’s potential as a valuable member of the 2010 Cardinals.
“He can do a lot of things,” Mozeliak said. “He can play all three outfield positions. So if he can show he’s healthy, he’d be a nice guy to have on the club. He gives you a lot of flexibility. He just has to come out and show that he can play, physically. Because he’s got a lot of talent.
And how are things going with regard to Mather’s health?
“Very positive. Very encouraging.”
* As several of us were standing in the clubhouse this afternoon, someone noticed that Dennys Reyes’ locker had two number plates on it — 36 and 37. We wondered if he was sharing his locker, and if so, with whom.
But that wasn’t the case at all. In fact, Reyes has sort of a hold on both numbers at the moment. He wore 37 before he joined the Cardinals. But last year, 37 was taken by Todd Wellemeyer, so he took 36. Now, he’s pondering whether to make the switch back. Reyes wore a 37 jersey today — but took bunting practice wearing a 36 helmet.
He’s likely to make a final decision in the next few days.
* Nobody had a tougher day today than Minor League catcher Charlie Cutler, who had a big year with the bat in his first full pro season last year.
Cutler caught two bullpens: first, the hard-throwing Francisco Samuel, whose control isn’t always the sharpest in July, never mind February. Then he followed it up with knuckleballer Charlie Zink. 
That certainly counts as earning your meal money.
Today’s playlist:
Passion Pit, “Little Secrets”
Hot Chip, “One Life Stand”
Cut Copy, “Hearts On Fire”
The XX, “Islands”
Yeasayer, “Ambling Alp”
-M.

Thursday tidbits: And so it begins

Lots of tidbits today, and for some of you the best news of all is that today’s tidbits are a McGwire-free zone. It was another gorgeous day down here, unusually cool for the area (below 50 in the morning, mid-60s in the afternoon) but clear. Supposed to be warming up as the weekend goes on.

* Both TLR (to the group of us) and Mozeliak (to me in a chat this afternoon) reiterated that the Cardinals are not in any hurry to add an infielder or anything else. They’re aware that Brendan Ryan’s injury is something that could create some complications, but there will be no overreaction.

Reports continue to swirl that the Cardinals are “pursuing” Felipe Lopez, but let’s be realistic here. It’s Feb. 18. If they were really pursuing him that hard, they’d likely have signed him. More probable is that they’re keeping the lines of communication open in case the fit suddenly becomes better.

Here’s TLR on the situation: “I think we’re doing the things to protect ourselves. I don’t think you go out there and trade for an everyday shortstop. We expect him to come back, and we cover until he comes back. I think that’s one of the things we’ve talked about, some protection, infield, outfield.”

Meanwhile, Mozeliak said that he expected any move the Cardinals made would likely take place late in camp. He also said he had no issues with Ryan waiting until next week to arrive.

“He’s coming on his report date,” Mozeliak said. “We didn’t feel like we needed to change flights or anything like that. there’s not a whole lot he could have done today, tomorrow, this weekend.”

* The turnout continues to be excellent. Colby Rasmus is now in camp. That means that it’s entirely possible that seven of the nine players in the Opening Day lineup are already here. If Ryan is out, I’d guess that Tyler Greene will start. So all of the following players are currently in camp and could start on April 5 in Cincinnati: Yadier Molina, Skip Schumaker, Greene, David Freese, Rasmus, Ryan Ludwick and either Adam Wainwright or Chris Carpenter.

* Among the pitchers and catchers, the only one not present is P.J. Walters, who is tending to the health of his newborn baby. I have not heard anything recently about how the child is doing, but I certainly wish the whole family well.

* La Russa said that every pitcher who is in camp is healthy and ready to go on the full, normal program.

* One interesting player this spring, and a guy I’ve liked for a long time, is Joe Mather. If Mather is healthy and effective, he’ll have every chance to make the team. He can play some third and first and both corner outfield spots. But he’s played some middle infield very early in his career, and TLR said Thursday that he considers Mather a viable center field option.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I think just about anywhere. This guy is a player.”

It’s a funny twist. A year ago, Mather’s best chance to make the team appeared to be moving from the outfield to third base. This year, his ability to play center, as a right-handed batter, might just be his ticket onto the roster.

* Pitchers and catchers underwent physicals and drug tests this morning, so they started their workout later than normal. Tomorrow’s workout should be closer to 9 a.m. ET.

Today’s playlist is all Nirvana because, well, I’m on a Nirvana kick:
“School”
“Lithium”
“Heart Shaped Box”
“Pennyroyal Tea”
“Smells Like Teen Spirit”

-M.

Ryan undergoes surgery

General manager John Mozeliak said on Wednesday that Brendan Ryan has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist and will be limited at the start of Spring Training. Ryan is expected to be ready to play by Opening Day.

“He went into the offseason thinking it would go away with rest, and it didn’t,” Mozeliak said. “He ended up having a very benign ‘scope’ done on his wrist. … He’ll be limited at the beginning of camp. He won’t be swinging a bat for three weeks now.”
More to follow on StLCardinals.com.
-M.

Late Saturday Warm-Up tidbits

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Another round of notes for you from today’s Winter Warm-Up. The main story coming a little later this evening at StLCardinals.com will be on McGwire, after a long chat with John Mozeliak today regarding the hitting coach.

* Brad Penny was emphatic that he’s never thought of himself as a strikeout pitcher, and will have no qualms about a pitch-to-contact approach in St. Louis. Asked about his low-K-rate, high-groundball-rate stint in San Francisco, he said he didn’t really change his approach but he was working with a slightly different arsenal.
“I was pitching to contact like I always do,” Penny said. “I’ve never had high strikeout numbers. I can’t remember a season where I’ve had a lot, except for the Minor Leagues. I started throwing a slider a little bit towards the end of the year, and I was getting more groundballs in a 1-0 count instead of having to throw a fastball over the plate.”
* Brendan Ryan talked a good bit about what he’s trying to do with his swing.
“He [McGwire] is trying to put me in a position to hit the ball better and be more consistent,” Ryan said. “I battle changing my stance every week. So the first thing was, let’s find a batting stance and let’s stick with that. the funny thing is, I had a hard time finding out who I am. So I just kind of started doing what Albert did, and I started taking good swings. so I’m going to hit like Albert this year, at least batting stance-wise. I’m going to try. That’s what we’ve been doing. It feels good. he’s got a pretty darn good swing obviously. If I can do an impersonation of that and fall just short, then I should have a pretty good swing too.”
* Jason Motte feels he’s finally found an offspeed pitch he can rely on — two of them, actually.
“I was going fastball-cutter,” he said, “and then a slider-curve kind of thing was my third one. Probably in that order.”
And, finally, Trever Miller had quite a lot to say in his session.
Miller on the team’s prospects: “I think we’re probably the favorite in our division. From the looks of our team, we’re strong everywhere.”
Miller on his shoulder: “It feels better this offseason. I just had my first round of long toss. All the exercise I do and all the training is what’s keeping it healthy and strong.”
Miller on McGwire: “The guy loves the game. To have to go through what he went through, coming out and telling everybody of the steroid use, there’s no doubt he loves the game. If you love the game, I love you. I can’t wait.”
And Miller on Ryan Franklin: “Frankie’s going to be our closer. He did a great job last year, one of the best in the game. he deserves the right to be the closer again, and I’m sure he’ll prove to everybody that he’s going to do it for the rest of his career.”
Today’s playlist:
Radiohead, “My Iron Lung”
Garbage, “Silence Is Golden”
Muse, “Starlight”
Cure, “Watching Me Fall”
Crystal Method, “Drown in the Now”
-M.

Ryan is OK

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

Brendan Ryan took a pitch off of his right index finger on a bunt attempt on Sunday, but there’s every reason to think he’ll be able to play on Tuesday night in Cincinnati.

The pitch from Jorge De La Rosa caught Ryan on the fingernail, and he had visible bruising at the spot of the impact. But he expressed little worry about the situation. Ryan has missed time recently due to discomfort in his left pinkie finger, but this appears to be a less serious situation.

“It just got me on the fingertip,” Ryan said. “I didn’t even have a choice. I was out before I even said anything.”

Said manager Tony La Russa: “I think he’ll be all right for Tuesday.”

Friday tidbits: Ryan, Rasmus, Molina

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

Blog: Obviously, You’re Not a Golfer
Twitter: @MatthewHLeach

Greetings from Denver. This is a truly wonderful city, and it’s an absolutely gorgeous night. 64 degrees at first pitch, a few clouds… fantastic.

* Brendan Ryan is back in the lineup, and said that his sore left pinkie finger is in fact feeling better. He said it was explained to him that the club liked the idea of giving him two days off plus Thursday off day in order to recover.

* Colby Rasmus bats in the fifth spot tonight. TLR didn’t give up a lot about the reasoning behind the decision, except to note that COL has a lot of RH relievers right now and this may make it a little more challenging to pitch the middle of the order.

* The skipper said he doesn’t plan to begin resting Yadier Molina a lot more once the Cardinals clinch. He noted, instead, that he’s already begun easing off Molina a little bit, giving him to recent days off. 2-out-of-3 looks like a pretty reasonable ratio to expect over the final three series, maybe a touch more, probably not less.

* A stat from STATS Inc that I received in my inbox today: “No team has scored first more often than the St. Louis Cardinals. They have scored the first run in an MLB-leading 90 games in 2009. Their opponents have paid for giving up the first run of the game, as the Cardinals are 69-21 when scoring first. Their .767 winning percentage in those games ranks second only to the .787 winning percentage of the Colorado Rockies, who are 59-16 when getting the first run.”

Today’s playlist:
Pearl Jam, “Unthought Known”
U2, “Until the End of the World”
Dramarama, “Until the Next Time”
Cure, “Untitled”
Garbage, “Untouchable”

(My iPod ended up on the U’s today. Started playing. Good songs kept coming up. Didn’t mess with it.)

-M.

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