Results tagged ‘ David Freese ’

Wednesday tidbits: Punto, Holliday, Boggs, Greene, etc

* Nick Punto will be headed to Florida when the Cardinals leave town for the West Coast. He’ll work out with the extended Spring Training folks for a few days, and could start playing EST games as soon as Monday.

* Matt Holliday continues to get closer. He ran on the field today and took some swings.

* Mitchell Boggs warmed up last night and would have come in the game in the 8th if the pitcher’s spot had come up in the bottom of the seventh. TLR said he’d still prefer to get Boggs one or two more low-leverage outings before really throwing him in the fire, but if the games don’t allow that, then the games don’t allow it.

* Tyler Greene will likely get a start over the weekend in San Francisco. He would play 2B against either Jonathan Sanchez on Friday or Barry Zito on Sunday. Greene is the only Cardinal hitter who has not started a game.

* ESPN announced that former Cardinal Mark Mulder will be doing some work on Baseball Tonight.

* Though TLR said yesterday that David Freese could have started today, in the end it was Daniel Descalso who got the call at 3B. The plan all along has been for Freese to play two out of three in the early going, so this isn’t a setback but rather just a case of staying with the plan.

And, finally, the playlist:
Letters to Cleo, “From Under the Dust”
New Order, “Elegia”
The Knife, “Neverland”
Nina Gordon, “Horses in the City”
R.E.M., “Gardening At Night”

-M.

Tuesday tidbits: No DL for Holliday

Greetings from Busch Stadium on an absolutely gorgeous day. There are almost no clouds in the sky, the temperature reads 63 degrees on the signs in the bullpens and it appears we’re in for a very nice evening for baseball. And now on with the tidbits…

* Matt Holliday will not, for now, go on the disabled list. The club expects that he will be back before 15 days are up, and in fact more than a day or two before 15 days are up. So they’re going to play short in the interim. Holliday has done some running and throwing, and could swing a bat tomorrow.

* Gerald Laird is in for Yadier Molina, but it’s a scheduled day off for Molina. He suffered no significant ill effects from being jammed on a pitch last night.

* TLR said that there are no longer any real plans to go to 13 pitchers for the road trip. That idea was pretty much scuttled when Holliday became unavailable.

* The rotation has been announced for the start of the road trip, and it’s as expected. They’ll just roll the guys over: Westbrook on Friday against Jonathan Sanchez, Garcia against Matt Cain on Saturday and Lohse against Barry Zito on Sunday.

* David Freese may play tomorrow, which wouldn’t seem all that newsworthy except that it would be three straight games — something La Russa suggested was unlikely to happen much in the first couple months of the season.

And, finally, the playlist. It’s a themed one, all Nirvana in honor of the 17th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death.

“School”
“Come As You Are”
“Breed”
“Heart Shaped Box”
“Where Did You Sleep Last Night”

-M.

Note of the night and Stat of the Day, April 4

Note of the night: It was a rough, rough night at the plate for David Freese. The Cardinals third baseman went 0-for-4 with a double play and two strikeouts, despite coming to the plate with at least one runner on base in every one of his at-bats.

He actually hit the ball that brought in the first Cardinals run, grounding into a double play with men on first and third and no out in the second inning. That followed a sweet hit-and-run that had gotten Lance Berkman over to third. But Freese grounded out with men on first and second in the fourth, struck out with a man on first in the sixth, and struck out with a man on second in the eighth.

He’s a better hitter than that, and he’ll do better than that in the future. Moreover, he wasn’t alone — Yadier Molina had a rough one, going 0-for-4 and three times stranding a runner on base at the end of an inning. Those two spots in the order really were the difference on Monday. If the 6-7 hitters had been able to keep rallies alive, things might have looked a lot different.

“I was putting myself in bad counts, and when you do that at the big league level, you’re not going to do too well,” Freese said. “It was a rough night. I had a few opportunities to drive guys in and I couldn’t make it happen. … [Charlie Morton] made a good pitch when he needed to. That’s how you get Ws. They did a good job over there of getting timely hits, playing good defense and obviously pitching well.”

The point of this is not to pick on Freese, but rather to note the fine line. One hit from him (or Molina) in one of those situations, it might be a much different game.

I’ll preach this a lot not only in the first few days but even the first couple of months of the season: it’s four games. If the Cardinals were 4-0 and had scored 30 runs, I’d be cautioning people not to buy World Series tickets. Because they’re 1-3 and have scored 11 runs, the requisite perspective is to know that there are some hitters in this lineup and they shouldn’t hit like this all year.

But for now, yeah, it’s not looking real good on the offensive side of things.

* Stat of the day: Brian Tallet has faced seven batters and none of them has reached base. He’s struck out three without issuing a walk, and 18 of his 29 pitches have gone for strikes.

I tweeted this earlier, and I think it’s true: there haven’t been many pleasant surprises in the early going, but Tallet has to count as one. And his usage pattern has been interesting. He hasn’t been a one batter guy. Two games, seven outs. There’s a role the Cardinals really haven’t had succesffully filled in a while, and it’s the left-hander who’s not strictly a one-batter guy.

If Tallet could be that one-inning lefty, a guy you bring in for an inning with mostly but not all left-handed hitters, he could be quite valuable. Think Steve Kline at his best for an idea of the role (though not necessarily of the type of pitcher). Now, to live by my own guidelines, I’m not turning Tallet into that guy after two games. But I think it bears watching.

G’night…
-M.

Saturday tidbits: Holliday follow-up and an anniversary

It’s shaping up to be a gorgeous day in downtown St. Louis. Already into the 60s, and only a few clouds.

* The Cardinals are going to wait until Monday or Tuesday before deciding whether to place Matt Holliday on the DL. And yes, per TLR, it’s a question of whether they make a move, not when or what exactly the move will be. There’s still some hope that Holliday could be back in under 15 days, and if they felt confident that would be the case, it’s no guarantee that they’d make a move.

* In the interim,  both the 4 spot and left field will be something of a job share. As you saw in today’s lineup, Allen Craig is playing left field while David Freese is batting fourth. Craig and Jon Jay will likely split time in left field. As for the cleanup spot, it looks like Freese against lefties and Lance Berkman against right-handers.

* Today is the 10th anniversary of Albert Pujols’ Major League debut. I’ll have a story on the site about it a little later today, so do be sure to come back and check it out. Should be a nifty little package.

And, finally, the playlist:

Soul Coughing, “Soundtrack to Mary”
Belly, “Feed the Tree”
Cake, “When You Sleep”
Violent Femmes, “Prove My Love”
R.E.M., “Exhuming McCarthy”

-M.

Wednesday workout tidbits, and Opening Day lineup

First, the lineup for tomorrow:

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

 

As for the tidbits…

 

* Brian Tallet should be fully available tomorrow.

 

* Same goes for Matt Holliday. TLR said he had no real concerns about Holliday’s sore right big toe, and Holliday participated fully.

 

* Bryan Augenstein is wearing No. 22. He wore No. 44 in Arizona, but that’s taken by Miguel Batista, and he said that 22 is also a tribute to his high school pitching coach, George Estock, who passed away last fall. Estock wore 22 for the Braves in his only big league season, 1951.

 

* Kyle McClellan will have some kind of throw on Friday in advance of his first game, which will be Tuesday at home against the Pirates. He does not expect to face hitters, but he’ll get some work.

 

* TLR wasn’t giving much away about anything going forward. He did say that Daniel Descalso will be his primary backup option at 3B, ahead of Tyler Greene or Allen Craig. But he didn’t give any indication of how he intends to use Lance Berkman — i.e. whether or not he feels Berkman will require preventative days off in the early going.

 

And, finally, the playlist:

Material Issue, “International Pop Overthrow”
Dead Milkmen, “Punk Rock Girl”
Everclear, “Queen Of The Air”
Rancid, “Roots Radicals”
Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Knock Me Down”

 

-M.

Saturday camp tidbits: Freese, rotation, bullpen, Laird

Another gorgeous day in Jupiter, and t-minus 12 days to Opening Day. It’s getting here fast.

* The Cardinals have set up their starting rotation for the days after Tuesday’s off day. It will be Jake Westbrook on Wednesday, Jaime Garcia Thursday, Kyle Lohse Friday, Chris Carpenter Saturday the 26th and Kyle McClellan Sunday the 27th.
That sets up the first turn through the rotation to be Carpenter on Opening Day, Westbrook and Garcia for games 2-3 against the Padres, then Lohse and McClellan making their first starts against Pittsburgh.
Assuming McClellan is in the rotation, of course. Which is a pretty decent assumption at this point.
* Discussing David Freese today, TLR sounded like he’s adjusted his expectations for how much Freese can play this year. Earlier in camp, he said he’d be pleased with 110 games for Freese. Today he said that as the year goes on, he could see Freese only needing one day off a week, rather than two.
* Asked about the bullpen, the skipper acknowledged that the two open spots will in fact be chosen to some extent in conjunction with one another. For example, it’s unlikely that both jobs will go to pitchers who could only go one inning. 
* At this point, the plan is to hold out Gerald Laird until after Tuesday’s off day.
And, finally, the playlist:
The Raconteurs, “Salute Your Solution”
Queens of the Stone Age, “No One Knows”
Black Keys, “Howlin’ For You”
Cage the Elephant, “Back Against the Wall”
Louis XIV, “Finding Out True Love Is Blind”
-M.
-M.

Tuesday lineup and tidbits

* According to TLR, Tyler Greene is still feeling quite ill and will not be in camp today.

* The manager also said that David Freese came out of Monday’s game just fine and will play again tomorrow. Sunday and Monday were the first games he played on consecutive days this spring.
* Chris Carpenter will be on a fairly generous pitch count tomorrow, at least as long as a typical second spring start and maybe longer — 50 or so pitches or perhaps a bit more.
* Tomorrow’s game will be the first one on FSN Midwest this spring.
Cardinals lineup vs ATL:
1. Theriot SS
2. Carpenter 3B
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Berkman DH
6. Rasmus CF
7. Molina C
8. Schumaker 2B
9. Jay RF
McClellan P
Also scheduled to pitch: Batista, Boggs, King, Sanchez, Miller
Backup pitchers: Lynn, Kelly
And, finally, the playlist:
Rolling Stones, “Just My Imagination”
Elvis Costello, “I Can’t Stand Up”
R.E.M., “Superman”
Material Issue, “Kim The Waitress”
Dinosaur Jr., “Just Like Heaven”
-M.

Saturday camp tidbits: Boggs, Freese, Berkman, Spagnuolo, etc

It’s another gorgeous day in Jupiter, a little bit cool with no clouds.

* Mitchell Boggs is scheduled to pitch today, and is a priority pitcher. They will get him an inning almost no matter what else happens in the game.
* David Freese will start tomorrow and Monday, the first time this spring that he gets back to back games.
* Lance Berkman isn’t expected to play the outfield until at least Thursday’s game against Florida. He’ll DH in games where that’s an option, or sit out, until then. 
* Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo is in camp today as a guest of TLR. 
* It’s no secret at this point, really, but TLR acknowledged today that Matt Carpenter has at least some shot at making the roster. I’ll be writing on this at more depth later today, but in short, he’s not just getting ABs for down the road. 
* Another player who has emerged this camp, John Gast, is a bit of a longer shot, but the manager also acknowledged that it’s not impossible that Gast could make the club. I’d definitely bet against it, but after a round of cuts yesterday, Gast is still here and some guys who looked like better shots are not.
Today’s playlist is the first five tracks from The Clash’s debut album (UK version, natch):
“Janie Jones”
“Remote Control”
“I’m So Bored with the U.S.A.”
“White Riot”
“Hate & War”
(that’ll wake ya up on a Saturday morning…)
-M.

Wednesday camp tidbits: Optimism (for a change)

A day after Chris Carpenter and Mitchell Boggs got hurt, there seems to be optimism regarding both, and particularly Carpenter.

* I talked to Carpenter this morning and he seemed to be moving around just fine. He said he feels better than yesterday. It sounds like he’s likely to miss one or possibly two starts. 
* Did not get a chance to talk to Boggs yet, but TLR sounded optimistic on him as well. I think it’s safe to say that Boggs’ situation is a little less clear than Carpenter’s at this point, but obviously I’ll continue to chase it. We’ll have a story on the site updating both of them soon, and more depth on the situation later in the day.
* David Freese will make his game debut Monday against the Twins in Fort Myers. The official line continues to be that he’s coming along very well. Freese could pinch-hit in the interim.
* No starter has been named for Sunday’s game, which would be Carpenter’s next game.
* TLR expressed little urgency for getting Lance Lynn a start. Lynn will get his innings, but it does not seem to be a priority for him to start a game.
* The manager also said he didn’t do anything special with his lineup against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. He noted that most players will only get one at-bat anyway.
* It appears that Matt Holliday will make the trip to Port St. Lucie tomorrow, while Lance Berkman and Albert Pujols will play in the home game.
And, finally, the playlist:
Jeff Buckley, “Eternal Life”
Garbage, “Vow”
The White Stripes, “The Hardest Button to Button”
Foo Fighters, “Monkey Wrench”
Rage Against the Machine, “Guerilla Radio”
-M.

Monday camp tidbits: Game on

* Nick Punto returned to camp Monday, his first day back after having surgery to repair his sports hernia. Punto is walking reasonably well, but that’s all he’s really allowed to do at this point. He also seemed to be in good spirits.

* TLR still seems quite committed to Lance Berkman in the fifth spot in the batting order, and sounds very open to Colby Rasmus in the two spot. Today it’s Ryan Theriot there, but that’s in part because Rasmus isn’t playing today.
* Rasmus and Yadier Molina, two of the regulars not in today’s lineup, are both expected to play tomorrow.
* David Freese, however, is not. Freese will not start any sooner than Thursday’s split-squad game, though he could pinch-hit before then.
* Cardinals players, coaches and TLR met with MLB umpire representatives on Monday morning, a meeting that TLR described as quite productive.
And, finally, the playlist:
Soundgarden, “Pretty Noose”
Rise Against, “Prayer of the Refugee”
Chevelle, “Vitamin R”
Against Me!, “White Crosses”
System of a Down, “Revenga”
-M.
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