Results tagged ‘ John Smoltz ’

Tuesday Winter Meetings tidbits

Lots and lots of tidbits from today…

* The Cardinals met with the agents from Career Sports and Entertainment today, among others. That’s the group that represents both Mark DeRosa and John Smoltz. It doesn’t sound like there’s any serious traction, right now, with either player, but there’s definitely interest. I wouldn’t rule either one out at this point.
* TLR was insistent that the Cardinals not be ruled out in the pursuit of Matt Holliday.
* TLR also acknowledged that the Cards have a real interest in Miguel Tejada. Both of these points, and some others, are included in my daily wrapup story that will soon be going on StLCardinals.com.
* Both TLR and Mozeliak expressed a strong reluctance to move Skip Schumaker off of second base. In the context of conversations about “Plan A,” “Plan B,” etc., Mozeliak referred to such a move as plan “quadruple-Z.”
* TLR acknowledged that there are likely more third-base fits than outfield fits in the current market.
* Mozeliak said that there’s very little likelihood of a trade while the Cardinals are here, and that in fact “more doors are closing” than opening as far as trades.
* The Cardinals will not talk with John Lackey’s agent. This is no surprise, since they consistently, steadfastly emphasize that they have no interest in a deal of longer than one year with a starter. They could yet add a starter, but it would be another one-year contract.
* They’d like to add a lefty power bat off the bench. However, moves like bench and bullpen upgrades will likely wait until the lineup and rotation are squared away.
Today’s playlist:
Nirvana, “All Apologies”
Modest Mouse, “Ocean Breathes Salty”
Jesus and Mary Chain, “Reverence”
Smashing Pumpkins, “I Am One”
Radiohead, “Airbag”
-M.

NLDS travel day tidbits

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

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

Greetings from cold, wet Busch Stadium. It was in the 40s and raining this afternoon, so most of today’s workout activities were canceled. A few pitchers from each team got on the field to do some throwing, and the Cardinals held some meetings, but it was an abbreviated session for sure.

I was fortunate to have a relatively easy travel day, arriving on time via a nonstop from LAX. Evidently some scribes had a rough go of it with connections and weather and the like. But no complaints here, fortunately.

Not many tidbits from the park today, but here are a few:

* As noted in an earlier entry, TLR said today that Chris Carpenter is in the mix to start a potential Game 4, and that Kyle Lohse and John Smoltz will both be listed as available relievers for Game 3.

* TLR gave a lengthy and impassioned statement in favor of Ryan Franklin today. He was asked essentially where he stood with Franklin, and whether any other options would be considered in the ninth, and emphatically stated that Franklin remains his guy. He went on at some length, but this comment was really the heart of it:

“I was very impressed, so was Dave [Duncan], so was Marty [Mason]. So the short answer is he’s got a day of rest, and if we have a chance to save it tomorrow, he will definitely be our closer.”

* The players had no complaints about the workout being cut short. I think they were happy to get the break.

No playlist. I’ll get y’all a good one tomorrow.

-M. 

Carpenter in mix for G4; Lohse, Smoltz available in relief for G3

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

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

ST. LOUIS —  Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has yet to decide — or at least yet to announce — a starter for a potential Game 4 of his team’s National League Division Series against the Dodgers. However, the fact that Game 3 is an elimination game for his club may have changed the equation a bit.

Initially, the Cards’ plan was to have John Smoltz and Kyle Lohse, the two primary candidates for the spot, available in relief in Games 1 and 2, then move one of them back to starting in Sunday’s Game 4. Instead, La Russa said on Friday that both right-handers will be listed as available relievers for Saturday’s Game 3. Smoltz, Lohse and Chris Carpenter are all in the mix to start on Sunday, assuming the Cardinals can force a fourth game by winning on Saturday.

Carpenter would be starting on three days’ rest, following a grueling 105-pitch, five-inning slog in Game 1. However, starting Carpenter on Sunday would allow the Cardinals to pitch Adam Wainwright on regular rest in a potential Game 5 in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

“What we’re doing is we’re spending a lot of time thinking about what we do to get to Game 4,” La Russa said. “That’s definitely the priority. But whether it’s the right thing, it’s more fun anyway, we are thinking about what if 4? I think that’s the way we should think. And Chris is one of the guys that’s a possibility.”

Carpenter will not be listed as a possible reliever for the third game, no matter what. But he, Wainwright, and starter Joel Pineiro are the only ones who won’t be available to pitch. Because Saturday is an elimination game, Lohse and Smoltz will both be in the bullpen on Saturday.

“When I talk about options, I think 99 percent of our attention is on trying to get to Sunday,” La Russa said. “So everything is about Saturday. But I did mention that Chris is an option [for Game 4]. Chris is not going to be in the bullpen. But other than that, it’s the other 99 percent. We’ve got to win tomorrow. We’re going to try to win tomorrow. And then we’ll see what we shake up with, as far as alternatives.”
 

Monday evening tidbits: Lohse, Smoltz, Glaus, LaRue, Ryan

Greetings on a beautiful Monday night. It’s been an amazing summer, and that’s continuing into late summer.

* Kyle Lohse’s start this weekend, which was tentatively expected to be Friday, appears to be in some doubt. He’s once again feeling some discomfort in his right forearm. An exact plan has not been determined yet, but it seems likely that Lohse will miss the Cubs series.

However, the flipside of that is that John Smoltz is progressing very well from his shoulder tendinitis and could be ready before his originally scheduled start on Sunday. So it’s looking likely that Smoltz will be bumped up a day or two, with Carpenter and Wainwright getting the other two starts over the weekend.

* Troy Glaus suffered an injury to an oblique muscle over the weekend — TLR didn’t specify which one, and we weren’t able to talk to Glaus after we were informed — and is unavailable tonight.

* Jason LaRue got the start behind the plate in Yadier Molina’s place. It’s partly because TLR was looking for a day to give Molina a break and partly because the LaRue-Wellemeyer combination has worked before.

* Brendan Ryan likewise got a night off, but it’s just a night off. TLR didn’t explicitly say so, but I’d guess that part of the reason is that if you’re going to play Lugo at SS behind anybody, it should be Wellemeyer. He’s not a groundball guy at all.

Tonight’s playlist is one I’ve had in the back pocket for a few days, following an outdoor screening last week of The Big Lebowski:
Bob Dylan, “The Man in Me”
Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, “Just Dropped In”
Gipsy Kings, “Hotel California”
CCR, “Lookin’ Out My Back Door”
Townes Van Zandt, “Dead Flowers”

-M.

Smoltz scratched; Wellemeyer to start

Cardinals right-hander John Smoltz has been scratched from his scheduled Monday start due to tendinitis in his right shoulder. He expects to take his next turn, on Sunday, Sept. 20 at home against the Cubs. Todd Wellemeyer will pitch in Smoltz’s place on Monday.

Smoltz downplayed the issue, but was still appreciative of the chance to get the needed rest. He received a shot of anti-inflammatory medicine to ease the pain he was feeling, and will not throw a bullpen session between now and when he makes his next start.

“At this point, the easy thing to do is give me rest and I’ll be ready,” Smoltz said. “I’ll be fine. I’ve pitched through all kinds of tendinitis before. But at this point, it gives me a nice opportunity to give me five days off and feel good about my next start. … Certainly, like I’ve said many times before, if it was a playoff start, I’m sure I could have cranked it up. Any tendinitis, once you get heated, you’re fine.”

Manager Tony La Russa didn’t hesitate to give Smoltz the break.

“He’s got a little tendinitis in his shoulder, so we’ll get him some treatment,” manager Tony La Russa said. “He said he’s had it before. We’ll slip Wellemeyer in on Monday and plan on John for next weekend.”

The Cardinals had several potential candidates for the spot, including Mitchell Boggs and Brad Thompson. Boggs acquitted himself well in recent starts but will remain in the bullpen. Wellemeyer scuffled in an earlier start against Florida this year, but La Russa pointed to two very good starts for the right-hander against the Marlins in 2008.

“Boggs was considered,” La Russa said. “I think Todd was the better choice. He pitched well against them last year. It’s a good assignment for him.”

Smoltz has been a revelation since signing with the Cardinals as a free agent three weeks ago. He’s 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA in four starts and has struck out 28 against one walk. But for one start it will be Wellemeyer, who has struggled this year but said he was encouraged following a bullpen session on Friday night.

“I feel like I’m actually behind the ball for the first time,” Wellemeyer said. “It actually has something on it. So that’s good. Unfortunately, it’s taken me until September to figure this out.”

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.

Monday tidbits: Franklin, DeRosa, rotation

Hello on an absolutely spectacular day in Milwaukee — as nice as I’ve ever seen in eight years of coming here.

* Ryan Franklin acknowledged that his command hasn’t been as sharp lately as he’d like, but he’s not overly concerned just yet. Still, he’s going to get a couple of days off, and maybe the entire series.

* Mark DeRosa is likewise minimizing his back soreness. He said today that he’s getting better, and that “if the situation was different, I would be playing.” He took BP and infield today and should be in there any day now.

* Kyle Lohse will be available in the bullpen today and perhaps tomorrow, and then will start on Saturday. Mitchell Boggs will be bumped to the bullpen. It sounds as though John Smoltz will be staying in the rotation for the foreseeable future as well.

Today’s playlist:
Weezer, “I Want You To”
Romeo Void, “A Girl in Trouble”
Hockey, “Too Fake”
Depeche Mode, “Everything Counts”
Happy Mondays, “Step On”

-M.

Tuesday tidbits: Lohse, Miller, Franklin, Glaus, Wellemeyer, Smoltz, DeRosa

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

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

Lots and lots of tidbits tonight, which also meant plenty of stories for the main site, which is why the tidbits are so late tonight. But here they are on a spectacular, darn-near-perfect night at Busch Stadium.

* Kyle Lohse threw two simulated innings today to Rick Ankiel and Troy Glaus, and his stuff was pretty decent. His command was a bit rusty, but that’s to be expected for a guy who’s been on the DL. He hopes to be activated on the day he’s eligible, which is this Sunday, Sept. 7. Check out B.J. Rains’ story on it at this link. They’re expecting to add Lohse as a reliever at first, then work him back into the rotation, but they’ll take their time with that due to the off days.

* Ryan Franklin and Trever Miller agreed to new contracts on Tuesday. Franklin’s is a two-year deal for 2010 and 2011, replacing his 2010 club option. Miller’s is actually a two-year deal that replaces his 2009 contract, essentially guaranteeing him all the money he could have made with incentives this year and paying him $2 million next year. In essence, it’s the deal he agreed to the deal he WOULD have had if he hadn’t failed his physical over the winter — with one exception.

The change is that Miller now gets a vesting option for 2011. Full details on the deals will be up in my story at this link very shortly.

* Troy Glaus was activated from the DL today. He’ll be mostly a pinch-hitter for the time being. Other reinforcements will come along before too long, but perhaps not until Memphis’ season is finished. The Triple-A club is in a pennant race. My Glaus story can be found at this link.

* Todd Wellemeyer had a very rough outing at Triple-A last night — four runs in 2/3-inning, and only 10 of his 27 pitches went for strikes. He remains on track to make another rehab assignment tomorrow night, but suffice it to say that game didn’t hasten his return to a prominent place on the big club.

* John Mozeliak acknowledged that the club may well have some interest in bringing John Smoltz back as a starter next year.

* Mark DeRosa has been cleared to return to the lineup. However, his 2-for-20 mark against Braden Looper means that Joe Thurston got the start tonight instead.

Tonight’s playlist is all Living Colour, in honor of tonight’s opening night of their fall tour.

“Desperate People”
“Pride”
“Type”
“Postman”
“Back in Black” (Yes, they covered it. Yes, it’s AWESOME)

-M.

Thursday tidbits: Garcia activated and optioned, Smoltz, Boggs, Ludwick

Hello from San Diego, which absolutely deserves its reputation as one of the best cities in America. Terrific ballpark too.

* Jaime Garcia was activated from the disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Memphis on Thursday. Garcia has been rehabbing from “Tommy John” elbow surgery. On Wednesday night he started at Memphis in what technically was his last rehab start.

He pitched well in that game after a four-run first, finishing with four runs in six innings, nine strikeouts and one walk. He’ll continue pitching for Memphis.

* John Smoltz was officially added to the active roster today. He spoke extensively with reporters — look for a story on the site before long — and threw a bullpen. He remains scheduled to start Sunday.

* Mitchell Boggs was optioned to Memphis in order to make room for Smoltz.

* Ryan Ludwick is not in the lineup, but TLR said it’s not health-related. Ludwick struck out three times against Tim Stauffer last week, so that is likely the explanation.

Tonight’s playlist is a San Diego special:
Steve Poltz, “Everything About You” (hi, Mrs. Dude!)
The Monroes, “What Do All the People Know”

Louis XIV, “Finding Out True Love Is Blind”
Stone Temple Pilots, “Interstate Love Song”
P.O.D., “Boom”

-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.

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