Results tagged ‘ Colby Rasmus ’

Division Series Game 1 tidbits: Schumaker, Rasmus, Ankiel, Boggs, Hawksworth

Greetings from gorgeous Dodger Stadium. It’s an absolutely perfect night at the ballpark, dusk just settling in. Had some fantastic Cuban food for lunch (Versailles, on Venice — highly recommended) and now we’re settling in for a ballgame. Life is good.

* Despite some speculation to the contrary, TLR went with Skip Schumaker at second base and Colby Rasmus in center field tonight against Dodgers lefty Randy Wolf. It’s the team’s best defensive lineup, rather than having Lugo at second base.

Here’s La Russa on the two calls:

“It really came down to Colby or Rick in center. And I think Colby earned the start. Rick’s close. We have a good team, [so] we have a choice to make. And at second, we’ve gone with Lugo a lot against left-handers and I would expect maybe tomorrow [he'll play]; we’ll see how today goes.  I felt like Schu was a good matchup for Wolf, and Julio has struggled against Wolf. In fact, quite a few of our guys have.”

For what it’s worth, Lugo is 1-for-8 against Wolf and Schumaker is 0-for-3. Rasmus is 3-for-5, which may be the real key to the equation in TLR’s mind. One other thing: I think there’s at least a perception that Wolf is not a lefty-killer in the same way that Kershaw is. However, Wolf has a much bigger split this year than Kershaw, and is absolutely obliterating left-handed hitters.

Still, personally, I like the lineup. I’ve already gone on record saying that in the playoffs, I think the defensive downgrade to Lugo isn’t worth whatever offensive edge you may get against a LHP. We’ll see.

* Also within the outfield mix, of course, is Rick Ankiel. TLR was asked in his pregame news conference today about Ankiel’s pinch-hitting success, and he acknowledged that it factors into his decision making. It’s only 26 plate appearances, but Ankiel is batting .273 with a .385 OBP and .591 SLG as a pinch-hitter this year.

* Mitchell Boggs and Blake Hawksworth secured the last two spots in the Cardinals’ bullpen when the roster was announced today. The manager’s answer when asked about the decisions was, I thought, revealing. He basically indicated that Hawksworth was all but automatic, and Boggs was the one guy who was maybe a close call.

“I don’t know who you would define as the last two,” he said when asked about the decision on the final two roster spots. I think Boggs is probably one of the two, I’m not sure who the other one would be. … And as far as the other one, we really had a tough call.  We’d have had a really tough call to go 11, because Hawksworth has done a good job, McClellan and Motte been part of what we do. So really going to 12 pitchers made us not to have to make a decision on Boggs versus one of the other young guys.”

Tonight’s playlist certainly suits where I am mentally, and I hope all of y’all are too. It’s let’s-get-it-going music. If you think some of it is cheesy, well, sorry.

U2, “Where the Streets Have No Name”
Motley Crue, “Kickstart My Heart”
Metallica, “Enter Sandman”
Rolling Stones, “Start Me Up”
Living Colour, “Cult of Personality”

-M.

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.

Wednesday tidbits: Holliday, Rasmus, Ludwick, Smoltz, more

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

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

It’s time for some tidbits as I prepare to head home from Milwaukee. This is the best kind of road trip: one that only involves two nights away from home. Will be nice to have the off day before settling in for a nine-game homestand, starting on Friday.

Hopefully I’ll have a Lucky Seven for you tomorrow, plus I’ll be filing an off-day story that will go up on the site during the day. And for any Achievers in St. Louis, don’t forget that tomorrow night, they’ll be screening The Big Lebowski outdoors at Third Degree Glass Factory.

Anyway, on with the tidbits:

* Matt Holliday played down his bruised knee after Wednesday’s game. Still, it can only help that the Cardinals are off on Thursday. See my story on it, with video, at this link.

* Colby Rasmus said he wasn’t really feeling much better on Wednesday than on Tuesday, but he was back in the lineup.

“It don’t seem like nothing that serious to me,” he said. “I’ve played through worse.”

* TLR also said that Ryan Ludwick had a bit of an issue on Tuesday night, dealing with some cramping in his legs. But he said Ludwick checked out fine upon arriving on Wednesday, so there was no hesitation to play him.

* Couldn’t fit this in anywhere on Tuesday night, but John Smoltz said something interesting after the game that night.

“I’ve been told I’m going to start the rest of the year,” he said.

This isn’t exactly earth-shattering, as most of you could probably have figured it out. But TLR has yet to commit so firmly to it, so it was fairly noteworthy.

* During the scribes’ morning chat with the skipper today, we got some more idea of what the callups will look like, once they take place. It sounds like David Freese will not be coming up, as the Cardinals are having a hard enough time getting the guys they have into games at third base. On the other hand, Tyler Greene sounds like he probably will be getting a call.

Beyond that, of course, they expect to call up a third catcher (presumably Matt Pagnozzi) and a left-handed reliever (presumably Royce Ring).

* One more thing off of Tuesday night’s game: speaking of the play where he was visibly annoyed at Brendan Ryan’s baserunning, TLR let Ryan off the hook. He said that at first, he had thought Ryan had gone without the sign from the dugout. But instead, he explained that what happened was a miscommunication between himself and Dave McKay, and Ryan was doing what McKay had indicated he should do.

Today’s playlist comes straight from my iPod. The following sequence came up on shuffle, in this exact order. It was a fun drive to the park this morning.

Mike Doughty, “Sunken-Eyed Girl”
Nine Inch Nails, “1,000,000”
Public Enemy, “Welcome to the Terrordome”
Madonna, “Borderline”
White Rabbits, “Leave It at the Door”

And now, I’m off to catch my flight home.

-M.

Tuesday tidbits: DeRosa, Ludwick, Rasmus, Franklin, rotation, callups

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

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

Hello on another really nice evening in Milwaukee — though I have to say, I’m not thrilled about the ever-decreasing daylight. Had a very nice run by the lake, two different Alterra stops at two different Alterra cafes, and then a very tasty lunch with the esteemed Joe Posnanski at Sobelman’s before heading to the park.

Anyway, on with the tidbits, of which there are many.

* Mark DeRosa was back in the lineup today after missing three games due to back discomfort he first felt in Milwaukee. Also, John Mozeliak said this afternoon that the club has in fact had some very preliminary discussions with DeRosa’s representation about keeping him beyond this year — though he emphasized not to over-sell those discussions.

“In this specific case,” Mozeliak said, “we do have some dialogue but I want to leave it at that.”

* Also from this afternoon’s conversation with the GM: Mozeliak said that the club does not currently plan to pursue a long-term deal with Ryan Ludwick this winter. Ludwick is under the team’s control for the next two seasons, so they don’t need to lock him up. They can instead go through the arbitration process, as they did last winter.

* One last thing from that session: Mozeliak said that it’s likely the Cardinals will carry 14 position players and 11 pitchers on their playoff roster.

* Colby Rasmus sat out a second straight game tonight and is likely to be out again tomorrow. He’s dealing with continuing soreness in his left heel, and in fact it has spread a bit. Previously, Rasmus was only feeling pain in the bottom of his foot. But he said Tuesday that he’s now feeling something a little higher, “under [his] Achilles'” tendon.

Still, it doesn’t sound like this is anything too severe. The expectation seems to be that he’ll play Friday, after tomorrow’s day game and the off day on Thursday. It’s still being called a “day-to-day” situation.

* Ryan Franklin is unavailable again today, and likely tomorrow as well. But TLR emphasized that it’s just rest, not an injury issue.

* Mitchell Boggs is listed as an available reliever, starting today. Kyle Lohse is available to pitch out of the pen tonight, but after this game he will not be out there anymore.

* The rotation for the weekend will be Joel Pineiro on Friday, Lohse on Saturday and Carpenter on Sunday, with Carpenter getting an extra day of rest due to the off day. The question will be Monday, where they can either keep Adam Wainwright on his fifth day or go with Smoltz on five days’ rest followed by Wainwright on five days’ rest on Tuesday.

The latter is much more likely. TLR has indicated that they’re probably going to give the starters the extra day as much as possible down the stretch.

* After a couple of days of back and forth, it now is pretty much settled: the Cardinals will not call up any players from Triple-A Memphis until that team has been eliminated from the playoffs. Memphis begins a best-of-five series against Albuquerque on Wednesday, with Jaime Garcia starting. The series continues on Thursday in Albuquerque, followed by games Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Memphis. Obviously the last two games are on an if-necessary basis.

Tonight’s playlist:
Muse, “Undisclosed Desires”
U2, “Zooropa”
The Shamen, “Move Any Mountain”
The Postal Service, “Nothing Better”
Soul Coughing, “Lazybones”

-M.

Wednesday lineup and quick tidbits; more to follow

* TLR confirmed that John Smoltz will start Sunday, and then next weekend — probably Saturday — against Washington.

* Colby Rasmus said he’s feeling better today, and he’s back in the lineup.

* Mitchell Boggs will be sent out to make room for Smoltz.

Lineup vs LHP Clayton Kershaw:
1. Ryan SS
2. Lugo 2B
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Ludwick RF
6. DeRosa 3B
7. Molina C
8. Rasmus CF
9. Wainwright P

-M.

Tuesday tidbits: Rasmus, Ludwick, Holliday, Lohse, Smoltz

By Matthew Leach
MLB.com

To folks reading this on Facebook: if you like this, please come visit my blog at Yourenotagolfer.mlblogs.com, as well as checking out StLCardinals.com. And of course for more Cards stuff, follow me on Twitter, where my handle is MatthewHLeach.

On with the tidbits from Dodger Stadium, where of course it’s another perfect night. There are very, very few better settings for baseball than this place. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend making a trip sometime.

* Colby Rasmus has significant swelling in his tonsils and generally isn’t feeling good. That’s why he’s not in the lineup tonight. It’s unclear exactly what his condition is, or how long he’ll be out, but he would have been in there if he were well.

“I started to feel it a little bit yesterday, and the night we got off the plane when we got here,” Rasmus said. “I felt all right yesterday, but today it’s worse. My tonsils are huge right now.”

Ryan Ludwick also has some kind of bug, but to a lesser degree. He’s hoarse and not in tip-top shape, but playable.

The combination means that Matt Holliday is in the lineup. Holliday, who fouled a ball off his toe last night, said he’s feeling fine today. Still, with Billingsley on the mound, TLR had intended to play both Rasmus and Rick Ankiel in the outfield tonight. Instead, Rasmus sits and both right-handed hitters play.

* Kyle Lohse threw a bullpen today and remains on track for a Friday start. He said he lost feel for his pitches in his last start, but declined to attribute it solely to any lingering forearm issues.

* ESPN.com reported tonight that John Smoltz is “strongly leaning” toward signing with the Cardinals once he clears release waivers.

Today’s playlist is all L.A.-related:
Guns N’ Roses, “Rocket Queen”
Motley Crue, “Home Sweet Home”
Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Taste the Pain”
Rage Against the Machine, “Know Your Enemy”
Metallica, “The Four Horsemen” (they were formed in L.A.)

-M.

Monday tidbits: Miller, Smoltz, Speier, Rasmus, Hawksworth

By Matthew Leach
MLB.com

To folks reading this on Facebook: if you like this, please come visit my blog at Yourenotagolfer.mlblogs.com, as well as checking out StLCardinals.com. And of course for more Cards stuff, follow me on Twitter, where my handle is MatthewHLeach.

Greetings from Dodger Stadium, which remains one of my favorite places in baseball. It’s a spectacular night out here, clear and a little bit cool.

* Shelby Miller, of course, agreed to terms with the Cardinals today. Jeff Luhnow said there’s a chance he may pitch a few innings with one of the team’s affiliates before the season is out. He’ll be in St. Louis next week, where he’ll throw a bullpen, and they’ll go from there.

* John Smoltz was released by the Red Sox today, and he’s definitely on the Cardinals’ radar. TLR expressed interest in him once again today, and Dave Duncan acknowledged he was an intriguing guy as well — with the caveat that there’s some question about how resilient his arm would be.

Still, quite a few teams are interested in Smoltz, and some likely would be interested in him as a starter. He’s a free agent and can go where he wants — and it’s my understanding that his top two priorities are starting and winning.

* Duncan, however, expressed little enthusiasm for Justin Speier.

* Colby Rasmus is not in tonight’s lineup tonight for a familiar reason. TLR doesn’t like to take a guy who’s just starting to get hot and put him in a situation where he’s likely to get cooled off — a situation like facing a knuckleballer.

* Elsewhere in the lineup, the skipper is basically deciding the No. 2 spot based on the other team’s bullpen. If it’s a team like the Dodgers, with Hong-Chih Kuo and George Sherrill in the bullpen, he’ll split up the two lefties in the order. If it’s a team like the Padres, without a particularly strong lefty presence in the bullpen, he’ll put the two lefties 1-2.

* TLR was asked about giving Blake Hawksworth a start. His response: “We need him in the bullpen more than we need him as a starter. … It would be nice to do that, but that would really make us vulnerable in the bullpen.”

* Dodgers great Don Newcombe dropped by the Cards clubhouse today.

Today’s playlist is all Depeche Mode after last night’s concert at the Hollywood Bowl (and all stuff they played at that show):
“Walking In My Shoes”
“Home”
“Enjoy the Silence”
“Never Let Me Down Again”
“Strangelove”

-M.

Wednesday tidbits: Greene, Ankiel, Rasmus, DeRosa

Wow, just an amazing night at Busch Stadium, game time temperature in the mid-80s but feels even nicer than that.

* Khalil Greene is coming along nicely and could be activated soon.

“He’s getting his work in,” John Mozeliak said. “He’s feeling good and we’re going to revisit it this weekend. There’s a chance that we’ll contemplate activating him shortly.”

* The Cardinals started an unusual outfield tonight, with Holliday in left, Ludwick in center and Stavinoha in right — part of an all-right-handed lineup. That’s in part due to Clayton Kershaw’s splits — lefties are hitting 174/253/233 against him. And it’s in part due to Rick Ankiel’s recovery from a mild groin strain.

“I was thinking be really careful today and he’d be OK tomorrow,” TLR said. “He said he feels really good today. But I still would like to… try not to use him. But he feels majorly improved.”

The skipper said if he’d started a left-hander in center, it would have been Schumaker. Rasmus is recovering pretty well, but TLR didn’t want him in against a guy like Kershaw. He also quipped that when Ludwick got a little cocky about playing center field, he knocked Ludwick down a bit by pointing out that it’s only because Pineiro is a groundball pitcher.

(NOTE: this was in jest, please spare the “TLR won’t let them have any fun” or whatever.)

* As for Rasmus, he discussed his recurring heel soreness with B.J. Rains and a couple of other scribes this afternoon.

“You can’t rest it, or give it enough rest to where it will go away,” Rasmus said. “It feels good now. I just have to deal with it until the offseason when it goes away. It’s just like a bone bruise, a deep bruise down to the bone.

“It just depends. Sometimes I feel it when I’m running, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I feel it when I’m hitting, sometimes I won’t. It’s kind of hit or miss.”

* Also from the shedding-light-on-injuries category, Mark DeRosa talked some about his left wrist this afternoon.

“I wouldn’t say it’s behind me,” he said. “I’ll re-assess it at the end of the year. I feel it every time I swing, but it’s not very painful. It’s just a strange feeling. I can’t even explain it. It’s like my knuckles are cracking when I hit the ball. That’s what it feels like. It’s something I’ve gotten used to in the last two or three weeks, and as long as it’s not affecting me on the field, it’s not a problem.”

* This was passed along to me by a couple of people, so I figured I’d pass it along to y’all:

The St. Louis Cardinals & Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society will host over 100 kids from the Redbird Rookies baseball league, sponsored by Cardinals Care at Busch Stadium on Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon as part of the team’s 2009 P.L.A.Y. (Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth) Campaign. Cardinals head athletic trainer Barry Weinberg and staff, along with a current Cardinals player, will run drills and participate in a Q&A session.  The P.L.A.Y. program was created in 2004 to educate children about the importance of living active and healthy lifestyles.

Today’s playlist:
Better Than Ezra, “Desperately Wanting” (saw them last weekend, v.good show)
Tegan and Sara, “Back in Your Head”
Sonic Youth, “Incinerate” (saw them a couple weeks ago, terrific show)
Radiohead, “Paranoid Android”
R.E.M., “Binky the Doormat”

-M.

Monday tidbits: Rasmus, Wellemeyer, Glaus, trade talk

Time to flesh some of this stuff out a little bit more…

* Colby Rasmus is dealing with what the club is calling a bruise on his left heel. He has undergone a second injection in the area to help ease the pain. According to Tony La Russa, he should be available to start on Tuesday, and could play off the bench on Monday night. In his place, Rick Ankiel once again started in center field.

“He’s capable of playing tonight,” La Russa said on Monday afternoon.

* They’ve yet to name a Friday starter, and there’s no guarantee it will be Wellemeyer. In fact, there’s a decent chance that it won’t be. The question is, if not Wellemeyer, then who? And that’s a little harder to figure. Brad Thompson, Blake Hawksworth and Mitchell Boggs would all have to be considered among the candidates.

Beyond that, though, the Cardinals will cut back drastically on the starts for whoever is the No. 5 guy starting next week. They might not need a fifth starter more than twice in August.

“We’ve mapped out August, and because of the off days, that one spot will be disrupted and we’ll try to keep four guys as regular as possible,” La Russa said. “Todd could have pitched a no-hitter yesterday and that would still be true.”

* Troy Glaus is playing again at Double-A Springfield after missing some time due to back soreness. The Cards are quite clearly looking to trade him someplace where there’s a fit for him — that is, a team that needs a first baseman or DH.

“Right now I think it’s going to be something where we look to try to find a place where he’ll get more at-bats and more opportunity,” John Mozeliak said. “Right now, given our club, that would be very hard to do.”

* To follow up more on the earlier tidbit regarding trade possibilities, Mozeliak made it very clear that the only kind of trade they’ll make between now and Friday is one in which they take on no new salary and give up no prospects.

“This is our team,” Mozeliak said. “There are some areas that could get better, but we plan on trying to address those internally. There’s always a chance [for acquiring someone in trade]. But honestly I think when we look right now at our rotation, if we’ve got to try to improve it, we’ve got to do it from within.”

Separate blog entry on Wagner Mateo coming a little later.

Tonight’s playlist:
Oasis, “Hey Now!”
Everclear, “The Twistinside”
The Postal Service, “Clark Gable”
U2, “Bullet the Blue Sky”
Mike Doughty, “Like a Luminous Girl”

-M.

(don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, @MatthewHLeach)

Monday lineups and early tidbits: Wellemeyer, Rasmus, Mateo, trades

Lots and lots of stuff going on at Busch Stadium today.

* TLR said that Todd Wellemeyer’s next start is not a sure thing. They’re going to make a decision in the coming days, but at this point, Friday is TBA.

* Colby Rasmus had an injection in his troublesome left heel and is improving. He’s available to come off the bench tonight and likely will be ready to start tomorrow.

* Wagner Mateo is here, wearing a Cardinal jersey with number 09 and taking some swings and working out.

* John Mozeliak sounded like it’s all but certain that the Cardinals will not trade any more prospects before the deadline. If they can move Glaus, they will look into doing that. But a move where they send a youngster out for help in the bullpen or rotation is pretty much off.

Today’s lineup vs LHP Randy Wolf:
1. Lugo 2B
2. DeRosa 3B
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Ludwick RF
6. Molina C
7. Ankiel CF
8. Ryan SS
9. Carpenter P

Dodgers lineup:
1. Furcal SS
2. Hudson 2B
3. Ramirez LF
4. Ethier RF
5. Blake 3B
6. Loney 1B
7. Martin C
8. Kemp CF
9. Wolf P

-M.

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