Results tagged ‘ Cardinals ’

A few more Monday Warm-Up tidbits: Lohse and Freese

Just about to go hear what Carlos Beltran has to say, but in the meantime a few nuggets from Kyle Lohse and David Freese.

 

* Lohse said John Mozeliak did call him about the trade rumors that swirled in December, and it was clear that Lohse was unfazed by the whole situation.

“When he [Mozeliak] talked to me, he was like, ‘ I realized that I probably should say something to you just so you are clear on what’s going on,’” Lohse said. “The way he put it to me was, teams are inquiring, and he’s got to listen. It’s all part of the business. I’m not going around with my feelings hurt that someone is talking about trading for me.”

Of course it helps that Lohse can’t be traded without his permission.

 

* Lohse also had raves about the Carlos Beltran signing.

“Have you seen his numbers on me? I think he’s the greatest player in the history of the game. … It’s going to lower my ERA at least half a point.”

Beltran is 22-for-39 with 10 extra-base hits against Lohse.

 

* David Freese is very excited about his health, saying he has no hesitation or concern about his ankles for the first time in a long time.

“I guess publicly we didn’t talk about it a lot last year, but there was times where Tony would give me rest in games,” he said. “It helped that Descalso is a Gold Glove-caliber third baseman, so it was a win-win. You could throw [him] in there and keep him fresh. But I think 2012 will be different in the sense that it will be like, ‘Hey, Dave, just go play and do what you can do.’ Each day, each year, I get more healthy. There’s still room for improvement, but that’s the exciting part.

Asked about a target number of games, he said:

“I’d like to say I can handle 162. I’m not going to throw a number out there. … But the way I feel now, I’m not nervous, and that’s a good thing. That’s a feeling I don’t have. I’ve had that feeling for a long time with my legs and stuff. A year ago today, there was that feeling, a nerve-wracking feeling going into camp. To pull that off my shoulders is a great thing.”

-M.

Monday early Warm-Up tidbits: Craig and McClellan

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.

-M.

Game 2 lineups: Holliday out, Pujols in (FIXED)

Cardinals

1. Furcal SS
2. Craig RF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Berkman LF
5. Freese 3B
6. Molina C
7. Theriot 2B
8. Jay CF
9. Carpenter P

Phillies

1. Rollins SS
2. Utley 2B
3. Pence RF
4. Howard 1B
5. Victorino CF
6. Ibanez LF
7. Polanco 3B
8. Ruiz C
9. Lee P

-M.

NLDS Game 1 lineup

Per the official Twitter feed of the club’s front office (@CardsInsider), here is today’s lineup. Matt Holliday is not in. Rafael Furcal is.

1. Furcal SS
2. Craig RF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Berkman LF
5. Freese 3B
6. Molina C
7. Schumaker 2B
8. Jay CF
9. Lohse P

-M.

Carpenter to pitch Game 2

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa dropped a bit of a surprise on reporters on Friday when he announced that right-hander Chris Carpenter will pitch Game 2 of his team’s National League Division Series against the Phillies. Carpenter will be starting on three days’ rest for the first time in his Major League career.

Kyle Lohse will pitch Game 1 on Saturday, followed by Carpenter on Sunday. Jaime Garcia will make his first Major League playoff appearance in Tuesday’s Game 3 in St. Louis. La Russa did not disclose a Game 4 starter, though it almost certainly be either Edwin Jackson or Jake Westbrook — and much more likely Jackson than Westbrook. La Russa said that both men would be on the playoff roster and available to pitch in relief in Games 1 and 2.

Carpenter pitched a shutout on 105 pitches on Wednesday as the Cardinals clinched their playoff spot.

“A lot depended on Wednesday, and he had a real good game,” La Russa said Friday. “He felt strong at the end, so we didn’t really announce anything because we wanted to wait to see how he felt yesterday, wanted to wait to see how he feels today. And if he would have come in with any kind of stiffness, we would have gone a different direction.”

By pitching Carpenter in Game 2, the Cardinals provide for the option to use him on regular rest in a potential Game 5 in Philadelphia. Carpenter is 5-2 in nine career postseason starts with a 2.93 ERA.

-M.

Lineups for No. 162

Cardinals
1. Jay CF
2. Craig LF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Berkman RF
5. Freese 3B
6. Molina C
7. Schumaker 2B
8. Punto SS
9. Carpenter P

Astros
1. Schuck CF
2. Altuve 2B
3. Martinez LF
4. Lee 1B
5. Bogusevic RF
6. Paredes 3B
7. Barmes SS
8. Quintero C
9. Myers P

-M.

Holliday UPDATED — “It’s not good news”

As the Cardinals continue to their run at the National League Wild Card, their degree of difficulty keeps getting higher. A day after losing Rafael Furcal to a hamstring injury, Matt Holliday was removed from Tuesday night’s game against the Astros because of pain in his right hand.

Manager Tony La Russa said that Holliday will not start Wednesday’s series finale against Houston, but would not speculate beyond that. The discomfort is apparently a recurrence of, or related to, an injury that Holliday dealt with earlier this month. He missed nine games due to an inflamed tendon in his right hand.

“I don’t know what this means, beyond [Allen] Craig is playing left field tomorrow,” manager Tony La Russa said. “But it’s not good news.”

Holliday reported additional discomfort in his hand prior to Wednesday’s game, but attempted to play.  However, after 2 1/2 innings and one at-bat, the situation became too problematic, and he was removed in favor of Craig.

“He didn’t take batting practice in a group, which should have told me something,” La Russa said. “I saw him, I’d already written the lineup, and he said, ‘I’ve got a little something.’ … Right then, I thought, I’m not sure if this is smart. We let him go out there, and not only did it bother him to swing, it bothered him to throw.”

Craig was 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs coming off the bench.

-M.

Monday tidbits: Lynn, Wainwright, and… a surprise?

Greetings from Houston, where it’s sweltering hot outside but comfortably air conditioned inside. It’s Star Wars Night at Minute Maid Park, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit curious to see how all that turns out.

Shameless plug: As of now, I’m scheduled to be back on MLB Network’s “The Rundown” again tomorrow afternoon. Subject to change, but looks likely. Usually it’s 2-3 segments between 2 and 4 p.m. CT, talking Cardinals.

As for the tidbits…

* Lance Lynn threw to hitters today for the first time since he was injured. He felt good and he looked pretty good from my seat in the press box.

However, it’s almost completely certain that this IS the endgame for Lynn. He can’t, by rule, be activated before the regular season ends, because he pitched on Aug. 9 and was placed on the 60-day disabled list.  He could, by RULE, be activated for the NLCS if the Cardinals got there. But from various people I talked to today, that’s about a zero percent chance. They’re happy he’s gotten this far, and the focus is on making sure he’s healthy for 2012.

* Adam Wainwright continues progressing. He threw 40 pitches off a mound today, estimating that he was throwing at about 75 miles per hour. He’s still only throwing fastballs, not even changeups — never mind breaking balls. So even more than Lynn, there’s just no way he’s going to throw any competitive innings this year.

* Though Jason Motte has pitched each of the past two days and four out of five, TLR said Motte should be available tonight.

* TLR said that Dave Duncan may fly down to Houston on Wednesday to make a brief visit to the team. It’s uncertain whether he would be around if the Cardinals play beyond Wednesday.

* At the end of his pregame session today, TLR was asked if there was any way his starting rotation plans for this series could changed. He allowed that there is one scenario where they might. Asked if that scenario is a GOOD scenario, he granted that it is.

Asked one more followup, whether that good scenario is one that we have seen before, he said, “no commento.”

So, in short: he’s not going to go into details until it’s a reality. BUT it does seem there’s a possibility that if the Cardinals gain ground on the Braves today and tomorrow, then Wednesday’s starter could change. That is, if they’re actually UP by a game going into Wednesday, it’s conceivable that Carpenter would be held back from that game.

Personally, I think it makes a lot of sense, and it’s what I’d do if I were in the manager’s shoes, IF that situation comes up. If you do it, and you still have to go to a one-game playoff, Carpenter is available to pitch that game. And IF they make the playoffs, it wouldn’t matter whether Carpenter’s last regular-season game was Wednesday or Thursday. Either way, he’d be available for Game 3, and no sooner.

Again, TLR didn’t lay this all out himself. But it’s not all that difficult to put the pieces together and figure it out.

And, finally, the playlist…

The Horrible Crowes, “Behold the Hurricane”
Buffalo Tom, “Paper Knife”
Jason Isbell, “We’ve Met”
Greg Allman, “Just Another Rider”
Manchester Orchestra, “Simple Math”

-M.

Monday lineups from Houston; tidbits to follow

Cardinals
1. Furcal SS
2. Freese 3B
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Berkman RF
6. Molina C
7. Theriot 2B
8. Jay CF
9. Garcia P

Astros
1. Bourgeois CF
2. Sanchez 2B
3. Martinez LF
4. Lee 1B
5. Downs RF
6. Johnson 3B
7. Barmes SS
8. Towles C
9. Rodriguez P

-M.

Friday lineups; tidbits to follow

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

Cubs
1. Castro SS
2. Barney 2B
3. LaHair RF
4. Pena 1B
5. Soriano LF
6. Byrd CF
7. LeMahieu 3B
8. Hill C
9. Dempster P

-M.

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