Results tagged ‘ Jason Motte ’
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”
* With knuckleballer R.A. Dickey on the mound for the Mets, the Cardinals will not be sending out what you would consider an ‘A’ lineup today. However, it’s still not announced. Tyler Henley will be starting in right field, though, with Jon Jay moving to center. Andrew Brown will start at first. TLR said that Matt Holliday will be in there but did not commit to any other regulars.
ST. LOUIS — The Cardinals placed right-handed reliever Jason Motte on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday due to a shoulder injury and recalled right-hander Fernando Salas from Triple-A Memphis to take his roster spot.
In a release on Wednesday, the Cardinals referred to the injury as an “AC sprain” in Motte’s right shoulder. The disabled list move is retroactive to Tuesday.
Motte, 28, felt something amiss in his shoulder on Monday night, and underwent an MRI exam on Tuesday. However, he expressed little concern about the condition on Tuesday when he spoke with reporters.
In the Cardinals’ Monday night against game the Astros, Motte reported discomfort in his shoulder to the Cardinals’ training staff but not the coaching staff. He received heat on the joint after pitching the seventh inning, then came out to pitch the eighth.
In the eighth, though, he was not the same pitcher. Motte issued walks to the first two batters of the eighth, throwing balls on his last five pitches.
Motte has been an integral part of the Cardinals’ bullpen this season. He’s 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA, two saves, 42 strikeouts and 16 walks in 43 1/3 innings. He has the most appearances of any right-hander on the St. Louis staff.
Salas, 25, will be with the Major League club for the fifth time this season. In 10 appearances covering 11 2/3 innings, he has a 2.31 ERA, nine strikeouts and four walks.
The situation: Runner on first base, no outs, bottom of the ninth inning. Cardinals trail by one. Francisco Cordero pitching and Jon Jay at the plate.
The analysis: For TLR, this came down to a strategic decision, not a tactical one. The question was, whether he should play for one run and the tie, or two runs and the win. He elected to play for the win.
No note of the night today, so I apologize for that. As usual, to make it up, let’s squeeze in a few different stats of the day.
The situation: Runners on first and second, two out, top of the seventh inning. Cardinals lead, 4-2, with Trever Miller pitching. Washington removes left-handed leadoff man Willie Harris for righty-swinging Alberto Gonzalez
We’ll get to the tidbits in just a moment, but first a couple of requests.
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.
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.
Depeche Mode, “In Chains”
Pilot Speed, “Barely Listening”
Gossip, “Heavy Cross” (loving this tune)
Teddybears, “Yours to Keep”
U2, “Moment of Surrender”