Results tagged ‘ Kyle Lohse ’

Tuesday camp tidbits: Whither the weather

The skies were very threatening early this morning (see the photo gallery for an idea of how threatening), but the Cards were able to get the bulk of their workout in. 

* Speaking of the weather, it did in fact affect the schedule today. The Cardinals started work one hour early, and compressed all of the live batting practice into a very short span. Pitchers were done throwing by 10 a.m. ET, which was good because some pretty heavy rain landed in Jupiter not long after that.
* Still, there were definitely some things to see while the workout went on. Kyle McClellan looked pretty sharp once again, while Rich Hill’s command wasn’t very sharp. They alternated simulated innings, and they should pitch on the same day going forward — starting with Sunday’s game against the Marlins. I’ve written this before, but it’s pretty clearly a two-horse race for the fifth starter spot unless they both really just implode.
* This morning brought the best play I’ve seen in camp so far, and most of my colleagues appeared to agree. On a double-play drill, Julio Lugo was playing shortstop. He ranged to his left, picked up the ball almost in front of the second-base bag, and flipped it between his legs to Skip Schumaker, who turned the double play. Terrific stuff, fun to see.
* Another from the fun-in-the-cage department, following yesterday’s jawing. Today, Albert Pujols was batting against McClellan. The right-hander threw him two fastballs, and Yadier Molina called them like a pitcher’s umpire — both strikes. Pujols took exception, and when McClellan threw him another fastball, Pujols scorched it up the middle for a sizzling liner.
I wish I could tell you exactly what he then said to Molina, but by Spanish is unfortunately still almost nonexistant. He definitely jabbed him verbally, though, and even gave him a playful poke in the chest with his bat. 
* ESPN’s Eduardo Perez made an appearance at camp today. Perez remains one of my favorite people I’ve ever covered as well as one of the most popular people in baseball. He got big hugs from everybody from the security personnel at the field to media members to players to coaches. Perez, a former Cardinal, is serving as the manager of the Puerto Rican national baseball team and also signed on for another year on Baseball Tonight.
* I was chided in the clubhouse today by Kyle Lohse, who disputed my account of his back-and-forth with Albert Pujols yesterday. Lohse is of the opinion that Pujols’ deep drive off of him yesterday was not, in fact, a home run — that it bounced on the warning track before clearing the fence. All I’ll say is, that’s a dusty, gravelly warning track — and I didn’t see one bit of dust kick up when the ball bounced.
* The Cardinals announced today that Spring Training radio broadcasts will begin on Saturday. Every Saturday and Sunday game, all spring, will be on KTRS and the Cardinals Radio Network. So will every Thursday game except this week’s Grapefruit League opener, and every Tuesday game except for March 9. It’s a total of 17 games.
Today’s playlist:
New Order, “Sub-Culture”
The Postal Service, “Nothing Better”
Joe Jackson, “Nineteen Forever”
Thomas Dolby, “She Blinded Me With Science”
INXS, “Need You Tonight/Mediate”
-M.

Monday camp tidbits: Pujols, fun in the cage, weather, Schumaker

Today was the nicest day we’ve had in a while down here, with more of that bright sunshine but also temperatures pushing the upper 60s. It gets even warmer tomorrow, but the forecast also calls for storms.

* TLR said this morning that the early game schedule for Albert Pujols will be about the same as it always is. Something like: one game, and then a day off; two games, then a day off; three games, then a day off. Pujols’ surgery this winter doesn’t make him any less available, and in fact the decreased discomfort in his elbow may make him a little bit more available.
* One of the more entertaining sessions of camp so far came on Field 6 this morning. 
Kyle Lohse was throwing live batting practice to the heart of the order: Pujols, Matt Holliday, Ryan Ludwick and Colby Rasmus.
Early in the session, Pujols hit a chopper up the middle that likely would have gone for a soft single, and said quite audibly, “That’s how you hit .300.”
Lohse shot back a comparison of Pujols to Ichiro, which drew a threw laughs — but perhaps wasn’t forgotten. The next time Pujols came up, he drilled a home run to left field, though he didn’t say a thing this time.
In line after Pujols was Holliday, who took a strike early in his ‘at-bat.’ Lohse playfully asked, “How do you take that?” Holliday didn’t say a word, but answered with his bat — he scorched the next pitch up the middle, a very hard-hit line drive that quite surely was a base hit.
Holliday still said nothing, but now Adam Wainwright piped in: “It’s a new year, Kyle. Last year that would have hit you!”
* Getting back to the weather: tomorrow’s storms could play havoc with the schedule, since it’s the only day the Cardinals have to work inside the main stadium before games start. However, TLR said it’s not really feasible to try to do anything in advance to account for that. Instead, the Cards will just try to get as much done as possible before the weather hits.
* Asked if he expected to see Skip Schumaker in the outfield this year, La Russa said he didn’t anticipate that happening very much at all.
Today’s playlist:
The Strokes, “Last Night”
The Breeders, “Divine Hammer”
The Libertines, “Can’t Stand Me Now”
Talking Heads, “And She Was”
Modest Mouse, “Gravity Rides Everything”
-M.

Friday camp tidbits: Pujols, Lohse, more

It was another unusually cool, but still pleasant, day today in Jupiter. Temps started around 50 and got up into the 60s, but we had a little less wind today.

Coming up on the site this afternoon/evening are several stories that I hope you’ll look out for: something on Jaime Garcia’s quest to make the rotation and why the odds are stacked against him; a piece on Brendan Ryan’s recovery; a piece on Adam Wainwright’s live BP session against four of the team’s best hitters; and a look at TLR’s comments on the commissioner’s blue-ribbon panel that he’s a part of.
On with the tidbits…
* TLR said that he likes what he has seen of Albert Pujols so far after elbow surgery and that the slugger seems to be in good physical shape.
“I don’t really watch the live pitching too much,” La Russa said. “I just don’t like our hitters against our pitchers. But in coaches’ BP, it looks like he’s swinging free.
“I tell you what I believe more than anything else: whatever he says, trust him. He’s got a ton of integrity and he’s very straightforward in what he says. so I just listen to him carefully and whatever he says, that’s what it is. he’s earned it.”
* Kyle Lohse looked good in his live batting practice today, though of course with the constant caveat that it’s still February. More important, Lohse has consistently looked healthy and unrestricted in all of his throws.
“So far, so good,” La Russa said.
* The Cardinals once again adjusted their schedule a bit due to the weather. With the early chill giving way to more pleasant conditions as the day went on, the start of the workout was pushed back. Typically, the team takes the field for stretching at 9:30 a.m. ET. Today it was 10 a.m.
* Also from the schedule: one box on the day’s schedule sheet, for pitchers’ shagging balls in batting practice, had the following notation: “3 yr rule.”
And it’s just what you might guess: pitchers with fewer than three years of Major League service time had to shag. Those with more, were excused.
* TLR said he’s still working out how exactly he’ll assemble the travel squads for some of the Cards’ Grapefruit League trips. The trips are longer this this year, with the short jaunts to Fort Lauderdale and Vero Beach no longer on the schedule. Port St. Lucie is the only trip that’s under 100 miles.
“The schedule, travel-wise, is more onerous than we’ve had here,” he said.
“I know we’re going to have to give that some shot and talk to some veterans.”
Today’s playlist:
White Stripes, “Seven Nation Army”
Radiohead, “Planet Telex”
Cure, “Watching Me Fall”
Living Colour, “Method”
Foo Fighters, “Erase/Replace”
-M.

Monday Warm-Up tidbits: Lohse, Wainwright, plenty more

The Winter Warm-Up is wrapping up and it’s almost time for the Writers’ Dinner. Here are some tidbits from another busy day. Hard to remember a Warm-Up with this much news.

* Kyle Lohse said he’s had a normal winter and hasn’t felt anything at all in his forearm since about two weeks after the season ended. He’s on his usual program and has no worries about how he will feel once he starts throwing off a mound.
“I’ve been playing catch for two weeks, and it’s like a normal this-part-of-the-year for me,” he said. “I’m not doing anything different right now. A couple weeks ago I was making sure I was doing a little extra exercises to make sure the strength was still there and I didn’t feel any tightness or any of the feelings I was feeling last year. And I wasn’t feeling it, so I feel good about where I’m at.”
* Likewise, Adam Wainwright said he’s taken no extra precautions or extra rest after enduring a career-high workload in 2009.
“I actually felt a lot more healthy during the season than I ever have, to be honest with you,” Wainwright said. “I stayed on my training program with Pete Prinzi a lot better, a lot more consistent with my work ethic between starts. I think that made me feel better each and every start I made. And actually I felt better at the end of the season than I did at the beginning. 
“So when I got done with this season, I felt like I was in better shape than I’ve ever ended a season. My body seemed to recover really well. We’ll see about, I haven’t got off the mound yet but my arm feels great, my body feels great. I’m the strongest I’ve ever been. I haven’t done anything different. It’s the same program I’ve been doing for years. It seems to be working OK. I don’t think I’ll change it.”
* La Russa said that if the Cardinals only make one move, he ranks a hitter as a higher priority than a pitcher — and ideally, a hitter who could play third base and the outfield. Felipe Lopez comes to mind.
“We’re talking about creating a competition at third,” he said. “We can use some outfield depth. If you only have one bullet, [you'd like] a guy that can do both those things.
“When you have some of the possibilities we have — like with Kyle [McClellan], with [Mitchell] Boggs, with [Blake] Hawksworth — if you have the resources, I think right now, in my opinion, probably a position player has a slightly higher priority than a pitcher.”
* Allen Craig said he’s been taking some balls at third base, after playing in the outfield all last year. That may be another way they create competition for David Freese at third, though I’m still skeptical as to whether the organization really takes Craig seriously as a third baseman.
Playlist:
U2, “Pride (In the Name of Love)”
Public Enemy, “By the Time I Get to Arizona”
Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A Changin’”
Marvin Gaye, “Abraham, Martin and John”
Sam Cooke, “A Change Is Gonna Come”
-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.”
 

Friday evening tidbits: Lohse, Mateo, Ryan, Glaus, Freese, more

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

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

It’s a very busy night for tidbits, so fortunately I have some new music as I write. The new Pearl Jam album is streaming online now, and you can go check it out yourself. On top of that, I picked up the new Living Colour album this afternoon.

Anyway, on with, you know, the baseball…

* Kyle Lohse threw a bullpen session today and is expected to pitch sometime in the Houston series. It would almost certainly be Monday or Tuesday. If they wait until Wednesday, someone else would need to be slotted in to take the Tuesday start, since a fifth starter will be required them.

* ESPN.com reported today that Wagner Mateo “is having vision problems that may affect his contract status” with the Cardinals. I spoke with John Mozeliak today, and while he didn’t go into much detail regarding Mateo, he acknowledged that there is a medical concern with Mateo.

“There are some things medically that we’re looking at,” Mozeliak said. “We’re hopeful that in the next few weeks we can have everything settled.”

* Brendan Ryan was back in the lineup today after missing some time due to a finger injury.

“He’s playable,” TLR said. “I don’t know if he’s got a little soreness left, probably, but a lot of guys have soreness here in September. So he’s playable.”

* Twitter founder Jack Dorsey (aka @jack) visited the park today and threw out a ceremonial first pitch. I’ll have a little more on this shortly.

* Troy Glaus’ status remains uncertain as he attempts to recuperate from a strained left oblique. TLR had this to say regarding Glaus:

“I think there’s a big question mark next to him. But there’s definitely not an X next to him.”

He also said that it’s possible that Glaus’ situation might increase the chances of a David Freese promotion. Last week, TLR downplayed the likelihood of Freese being called up.

* Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick were both back in the lineup after being hit by pitches in the ninth inning on Sunday.

* TLR re-affirmed today that he expects to go with 14 hitters and 11 pitchers on the postseason roster.

Today’s playlist is in honor of the new Living Colour album. And it’s… some old Living Colour.

“Middle Man”
“Time’s Up”
“Elvis is Dead”
“Auslander”
“Sacred Ground”

-M.

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.

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.

Thursday tidbits: Wellemeyer, Thompson, callups

Not a lot of tidbits today as the club prepares to head out on a weeklong road trip.

* Todd Wellemeyer was activated from the disabled list, bringing the active roster up to 27 players. Kyle Lohse should be activated on Sunday, the first day he is eligible. Story from B.J. Rains is live on the site at this link.

* Brad Thompson’s suspension has been reduced to two games, and he began serving it on Thursday. That still isn’t sitting very well with him or the club, but that’s what they’ve got.

* TLR said today that he does not expect any more callups until Memphis’ season is over. There had been some thought that a third catcher or a LH reliever might come up before the Triple-A team finishes up, but it sounds as though that won’t be the case.

Today’s playlist:
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, “Around the Bend”
Teddybears, “Cobrastyle”
Garbage, “When I Grow Up”
Crystal Method, “Dirty Thirty”
Bad Lieutenant, “Sink Or Swim”

-M.

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