Results tagged ‘ Kyle Lohse ’

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.

NLDS Game 3 tidbits: Optimism on Holliday

* Matt Holliday took batting practice on the field today and said that he’s definitely improving in his recovery from tendinitis in his right hand. He had not been hitting on the field, and in the past couple of days had not been hitting pregame at all. He is considered available to pinch-hit and there seems to be at least some hope that he could do more than that at some point. I’ll have a good bit more on this on the site later this afternoon.

* TLR acknowledged that, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, he was fined for his remarks on television during Sunday night’s game. He expressed contrition and said he had no issue with the discipline.

* Today’s lineup is the same as Sunday’s, except that Lance Berkman is back in right field with Allen Craig in left. And, of course, Jaime Garcia on the mound.

* Today is the birthday of both TLR and Kyle Lohse.

And, finally, the playlist, which is the last five songs of “Exile On Main Street” today. Just because.

“Let it Loose”
“All Down the Line”
“Stop Breaking Down”
“Shine a Light”
“Soul Survivor”

-M.

Monday workout day tidbits: Holliday, Pujols, Jackson, and lots more

It’s an absolutely perfect day in downtown St. Louis, and if the next two days are like this, we’re seriously in luck. Not a cloud visible, temperatures, in the mid-70s, just spectacular.

* The Cardinals are waiting to hear an update on Matt Holliday, and it could be any minute now. Holliday went to see a specialist to check on his ailing right hand. There still doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of optimism, but all opinions were guarded until the club gets the results of the latest exam.

* Albert Pujols is dealing with pain in both his left ankle and left heel, but neither is severe enough to keep him off the field. Per both TLR and John Mozeliak, nothing has really changed regarding Pujols’ status.

* TLR confirmed that, as expected, Edwin Jackson will start Game 4. Of course if there is a Game 5, Chris Carpenter will start it. That was the whole reason behind starting him on short rest in Game 2.

* Various Cardinals personnel downplayed the potential effect of shadows for Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s late-afternoon games. As of 4:10 or so today, both home plate and the pitchers’ mound were covered in shadow, with a band of light between them. As I write this, at about 5:20, the entire infield is covered in shadows. So if there are any problems, it should only be in the first hour or so of Game 3, and none in Game 4.

* Mozeliak said that he spoke briefly with someone in the Commissioner’s office on Sunday night regarding TLR’s in-game TV comments about home plate umpire Jerry Meals, but that he was merely asked if he knew what TLR had said. He has not heard from New York since then.

* TLR acknowledged that he could have a slightly different lineup for Cole Hamels than he did for Cliff Lee, but didn’t really divulge what that might entail. Hamels has a reverse platoon split this year, though, so that could be a factor.

* Kyle Lohse could be available to pitch in relief in Game 4.

And, finally, the playlist:
Sugar, “The Act We Act”
Nirvana, “Serve the Servants”
The Clash, “Spanish Bombs”
The Rolling Stones, “Live With Me”
Pearl Jam, “Mankind”

-M.

Tuesday tidbits: Freese, Craig, Lohse and more – UPDATED

Greetings from a warm, sunny afternoon at Busch Stadium. Looking forward to a fun series.

* To address the single most-asked question I’ve gotten on Twitter in recent weeks, Allen Craig is at Busch Stadium today. He’s going to go through a good, thorough workout, and it’s possible he’ll be added to the roster tomorrow.

6 pm update: Craig came through his workout with no issues, and TLR made it sound extremely likely that he will in fact be activated tomorrow.

* David Freese is back in the lineup. He said he feels 100 percent normal, and that in fact the last test he really had to pass was on Sunday in Miami when he did some extensive running.

* The rotation for the next several days has been announced. It will be Jake Westbrook tomorrow and Chris Carpenter on Thursday against Milwaukee, pushing Kyle Lohse back to Friday against Colorado. Jaime Garcia will then go on Saturday against the Rockies, with Edwin Jackson getting the last game of the homestand.

* Today is the last day of Yadier Molina’s suspension. He’s slated to return to active duty tomorrow.

* TLR talked some more today about the question of “head games” and whatnot. I won’t try to summarize it here, but I’ll have something on it in my notebook on the site tonight.

And, finally, the playlist is a celebration of “Watch the Throne” and the two gentlemen behind it:

Jay-Z and Kanye West, “No Church in the Wild” (my favorite from “Watch the Throne” after a few listens)
Jay-Z, “The Ruler’s Back”
Kanye West, “Blame Game”
Jay-Z, “December 4″
Kanye West, “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” (the Jay-Z remix, of course)

-M.

Tuesday tidbits: Holliday, Berkman and much more

* Matt Holliday is out of the lineup today due to an illness. What EXACTLY he’s dealing with is not clear, but it’s something in a stomach bug-flu kind of realm.

* That’s PART of why Lance Berkman is back in the lineup, one day after sitting out with discomfort in his right rotator cuff. Ideally they might have given Berkman an extra precautionary day, but with no Holliday, that equation changed somewhat.

* TLR declined to describe the shortstop situation right now as a true platoon, noting that Ryan Theriot started against a RHP in Pittsburgh. Still, he acknowledged that Theriot is fighting it against right-handers right now, and that means more time for Daniel Descalso. The manager also said he’s been impressed by what he’s seen defensively from Descalso at SS.

“Like happens to virtually everybody, his stroke is not quite there,” TLR said. “So while he works to get it right, you give somebody else a chance to get some at-bats.”

* Kyle Lohse threw a bullpen session today and said he’s feeling better than he did at this time on his last turn through the rotation. He didn’t put a great deal of strain on his sore finger, however.

* TLR didn’t put much stock in the contention that the field played a big part in last night’s result. It was, of course, the first game played at Busch Stadium since the ballpark was re-sodded following the July 17 U2 concert.

His quote: “Colby didn’t fall. He made a diving play. I saw the guy [Hunter Pence] probably lost it in the lights, break in, misjudge it, we’ve seen that happen on fields that I don’t know if it’s slippery or not. I didn’t see anybody else slip out there. I’m not saying he didn’t. I think that the field is not 100 percent what it’s going to be, or maybe it is, if it stays hot like this. But there weren’t guys slipping all over the place yesterday. I wouldn’t make that conclusion it’s a slippery field because guys were not slipping. That was an awkward play.”

* John Mozeliak on trade possibilities (more to come on this topic on the MLB.com trade deadline blog):

“I think we’re like many clubs. We’re exploring a lot of different things right now. As far as we approach Sunday, we’re going to continue to work and look at ways we can find to improve this team.”

* Mozeliak also said he believes there’s a good chance that Eduardo Sanchez will in fact pitch before the season is out.

And, finally, the playlist:

Pearl Jam, “Ghost”
The Hold Steady, “Joke About Jamaica”
Tanya Donelly, “New England”
The Replacements, “Valentine”
R.E.M., “You’re In The Air”

-M.

Note of the night/Stat of the day, April 10

Note of the night: On just about any other day, Kyle Lohse would have been the hero of my game story. He was simply outstanding, allowing virtually no hard contact through the first six innings. His stuff was strong, his command was excellent. It was a superbly pitched game.

However, when a team scores as many runs in one game as it had in any previous two games, the story is the offense. So Lohse was relegated to second-fiddle status in the game story. Here on the blog, though, a little tip of the cap to Lohse.

When asked about the difference between now and when he was compromised physically, Lohse always points to command. He’s able to locate the ball much more than he was before. But it shows in his stuff, as well. His sinker was particularly impressive on Sunday, moving not only down but left-to-right.

“That’s [the] spin,” he said. “I might have been able to throw it 90 [mph] or whatever it was the last couple years, but there’s a difference between finishing a pitch and just kind of putting it out there and not being able to finish it. I might not have the sinker that you see as huge, but it’s late. That’s part of it and that’s part of why I’m encouraged the way I am right now, is I’m able to do that.”

Dave Duncan also pointed to the late movement on Lohse’s sinker. It’s one way you get weak groundballs, and that’s something that Lohse got plenty of on Sunday.

Lohse stopped short of saying that he can have another year like 2008, but he didn’t rule it out. And while I still think a fairer expectation is for him to return to the slightly less impressive form he showed for most of his career before ’08, I wouldn’t entirely rule out another ’08 either. One thing that’s sometimes forgotten: before Lohse got hurt in ’09, he was off to a very strong start. He had a 3.98 ERA when he first injured his forearm.

Again, it would be somewhat silly to predict a repeat of a guy’s career year. But it would probably also be silly to rule it out.

Stat of the day: The Cardinals are 14th in the National League in batting average, 14th in OBP and 16th in SLG, but they have the third-most walks in the league and the fewest strikeouts.

-M.

Wednesday Tigertown tidbits

Greetings from a really neat ballpark — Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland. It’s been renovated, but it still has the classic field of an old ballpark. Cool place for a game.

* Chris Carpenter is on a flexible pitch count today. TLR said that if Carpenter is breezing along, he could go north of 60 pitches, maybe even 70. But he also allowed for the possibility that Carpenter might be really amped up and labor a bit, in which case he could come out quite a bit sooner than that.
* Kyle Lohse will start Saturday’s home game against the Marlins, with the starting pitcher for the other half of that split-squad day, at Kissimmee, to be determined. 
* Lance Berkman will hit left-handed against lefty Phil Coke in order to protect his sore left elbow.
* In a bit of a step from yesterday, TLR explicitly said what has been clear for a little while now: the only way that Kyle McClellan is not the fifth starter is if something happens to the relief corps.
Again, this isn’t a surprise. But after he didn’t explicitly acknowledge that yesterday, he did today. 
And now a playlist of road songs:
* Drive-By Truckers, “Where the Devil Don’t Stay”
* Bob Marley, “Waiting In Vain”
* Rolling Stones, “Ventilator Blues”
* Black Crowes, “My Morning Song”
* Audioslave, “I Am the Highway”
-M.

Saturday Chess Match: Gone in 90 pitches (and a bonus)

The situation: End of the seventh inning. Cardinals lead, 3-1. 9-1-2 spots in Reds order coming to the plate.
The decision: TLR and Duncan elect to remove Kyle Lohse after 90 pitches and seven strong innings, going with Blake Hawksworth to start the eighth.
The outcome: It’s an adventurous eighth for the Cardinals, as they go through three pitchers and allow the Reds to tie the game. They rally in the bottom of the eighth to take the win, but what might have been a two-reliever game becomes a bit more complicated. Dennys Reyes pitched on a game when he might not have, and Ryan Franklin gets four outs (though on only 16 pitches).
The analysis: The coaching staff felt that Lohse was fading and wanted to get him out before he could get in trouble. Kyle McClellan was, ideally, not available, which complicated things a bit. Ideally that would have been a McClellan inning, and he could even have stayed in to face the lefties rather than Reyes being needed.
The Cardinals are in a stretch of 2 1/2 weeks without a day off, which means that none of the starters will get extra days’ rest any time soon, and they’ve made it clear they intend to avoid pushing the starters too hard. So it’s in line with recent thinking to err on the side of pulling Lohse early, rather than later.
The comment: “It’s a tough call when one of us disagrees. But Dave and I really felt like with a couple breaking balls he had lost a little bit of pop. He’d done a really good job. We had decided before the runs scored [in the bottom of the seventh].” — TLR
My verdict: As I mentioned, it’s consistent, which certainly increases the defensibility of the decision. The thought process is sound.
With that said, it was a close game, and to my eye, Lohse still looked strong. He struck out the last two batters of the seventh, and at least the first couple of batters of the eighth shouldn’t have been too taxing for him. The fact that McClellan was unavailable also argued against going to the ‘pen.
I think I would have stayed with Lohse, who was only at 90 pitches. But there’s a philosophy at play here, and it makes a lot of sense. This team will go as far, in the regular season and October, as the rotation takes it. So while I probably would have asked for another inning out of the starter, I definitely see the opposing argument and I definitely don’t think it was a slam dunk.
Bonus chess match:
Some of you also asked about the decision to leave Dennys Reyes in to face Scott Rolen in the 8th. I theorized that the matchup was a factor, with Rolen being 6-for-10 against Ryan Franklin. But TLR said that the plan all along was for Reyes to face three batters: lefty Joey Votto, right-hander Rolen and lefty Jay Bruce. Reyes was supposed to pitch Rolen “tough,” meaning hope he chases a bad pitch. Not quite the unintentional-intentional walk, but in that neighborhood.
Then Franklin was going to come on for Cabrera. It wasn’t a matter of the batter-vs-pitcher matchup.
The quote: “When Scott’s swinging good like he’s swinging, righty-lefty doesn’t make any difference. Then you have Bruce on deck. So [Reyes] was going to pitch Scott tough.” — TLR
-M.

Sunday camp tidbits: Lohse, the fifth starter, Ludwick

It was cloudy all day here at Port St. Lucie, but fortunately the rains never came. They weren’t so lucky on the other side of the state, and it sounds like there’s at least a possiblity that we may get it tomorrow. For now, though, a small victory.

* Kyle Lohse was pretty solid on Sunday, and he seemed to get better as he went along. He was pleased with most of his pitches, and one thing he noted is that he’s trying to re-incorporate his four-seam fastball into his repertoire.
“I probably threw like five all year [in 2009],” Lohse said.
It didn’t quite work every time for him — the home run he allowed came on a four-seamer. But he’d like to have it as an alternative, especially to run in on left-handed pitchers.
* Also on Lohse: barring something surprising, he will start the Friday night game in Minnesota. It wouldn’t be unprecedented for a veteran to stay back and pitch in a Minor League game in Florida instead of going on a post-spring, pre-Opening Day trip, but as of now, Lohse is on for a reunion with his first Major League team.
* TLR remains cagey almost to the point of combativeness when it comes to talking about who will be the fifth starter. I’ll have a story on this topic on the site later tonight, but this much is known: Garcia, Hill and McClellan are all scheduled to pitch tomorrow. Garcia will start the game against the Twins. He’s not giving up how Hill and McClellan will be used — be it in long, getting-stretched-out relief, short relief, a Minor League game, a live-BP session, whatever. He’s not giving it up. So, there’s something for tomorrow.
* I have something up on the site already about Ryan Ludwick, so if you’re wondering about why he came out of today’s game in the third inning, go over and check that out.
We also talked to Ludwick about his hitting this spring, and he said he’s putting a lot of effort into cutting down his strikeouts. He’s trying to be especially intentional about having a good approach with two strikes, and proudly noted that he’s only struck out three times in 59 plate appearances this spring.
How that translates to the season remains to be seen, but it’s definitely something he’s working on.
Now, today’s playlist. If you don’t like the playlist, you can just stop reading now and it won’t hurt my feelings one bit. The baseball is done in this blog entry (though I’ll have another one on Pujols a little later this evening).
I was driving up this morning, and “Let’s Go Crazy” came on, and suddenly I was all about Prince. So for no good reason, a Prince playlist. But really, who needs a reason for Prince?
“Let’s Go Crazy”
“Alphabet Street”
“U Got The Look”
“7″
“Musicology”
-M.

Monday camp tidbits: Back in the saddle

Hello, all. Took a couple of days to go home and square away some various matters, but I’m back on the beat as of this morning. You can tell I played catchup today by the fact that this post is going up after 6 p.m. ET, rather than early afternoon.

It was a gorgeous day down here, a little breezy but warm and mostly clear. 
Most of the day’s news is covered over on the site: Pujols’ reaction to the weekend’s trade “rumor,” Brad Penny talking about how he feels after getting hit by a line drive, and the six cuts this afternoon.
That leaves, well, tidbits, so here we go:
* TLR said that they have not yet settled on how travel and the like will work for Orlando/Kissimmee, now that the second day of that trip is split-squad with a day at home. He did say, though, that Kyle Lohse will pitch the home game against the Red Sox on March 22, rather than making the trip, and that he (TLR) will likely be in Kissimmee rather than at home.
* Per TLR, there’s not a lot to report about Julio Lugo, who has a groin strain, or Matt Holliday and his injured intercostal muscle. I hope to talk to both tomorrow and have some updates on both.
* A couple of Pujols quotes that didn’t get into the story. 
He discussed some of the clubs he’d accept a trade to, if it came to that, and was asked about going to the AL. His response:
“I don’t know. I don’t even want to talk about it because this is where I belong right now. I belong here hopefully for a couple more years, and then from there hopefully I can finish my career.”
And one more generally on his situation: 
“I told you guys already and that’s the reality. There’s things that I’m able to control but there’s other things that are out of my reach, I don’t have no control. But there are things that I can control. I can say, you know what, I want this, I want that. but there’s other things that, that’s their side.”

Today’s playlist comes from XM’s “Alt Nation” channel, on the drive up to PSL this morning:
Mark Hoppus and Pete Wentz, “In Transit” (I know, but honestly, I dig the song)
Cold War Kids, “Audience” (love this band)
Franz Ferdinand, “The Fallen”
Hives, “Two-Timing Touch And Broken Bones”
Paramore, “Brick By Boring Brick” (Again, maybe uncool, but I dig the song)
-M.
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