Results tagged ‘ Lance Berkman ’

Berkman: “I’m not going to get moved”

Lance Berkman said Tuesday afternoon that, despite rumors swirling about a potential deal to the Rangers, it’s his understanding that the Cardinals have no interest in trading him.

“I’m not going to get moved,” he said. ” I think the ship has sailed. I really do.

“I don’t want to be moved. I don’t think they want to move me. Obviously Mo has an obligation as the general manager to listen to any [offers]. But certainly I think both sides, myself and the Cardinals, we’re on the same page with this.”

More to come soon on Cardinals.com.

-M.

Saturday non-Furcal tidbits

I and my teammate Ken Gurnick are actively chasing this Rafael Furcal story, but this particular round of tidbits is a Furcal-free zone. Updates from this afternoon in the clubhouse…

 

* Lance Berkman sits once again, but TLR sounded a lot like he expects Berkman to start tomorrow night. Not a guarantee, but he definitely sounded more confident about that than he has in a while.

* The absence of Berkman added up, today, to Skip Schumaker in right field and Ryan Theriot taking his place at second base. Theriot mentioned last night that he has a bit of shoulder soreness, and that’s part of why he’s playing second. But, as I hinted last night on Twitter, it’s hard to see it as total coincidence that Theriot’s first appearance at 2B came just as a potential Furcal deal appeared to be picking up some steam.

* The situation with the backup catchers hasn’t really changed. Tony Cruz is improved and is close to fully available. Gerald Laird is also improving but still basically emergency-only.

* Mitchell Boggs is dealing with another recurrence of the back soreness that has bothered him off and on this year. He’s likely out a couple of days.

* TLR said that although the team is somewhat short on relievers today, he’d still prefer not to use Lance Lynn as a long man.

“But,” he said,” we want to win the game today, and if we need two innings from him, you worry about tomorrow tomorrow.”

* Allen Craig is still not especially close, but TLR said he could conceivably join the club by the end of the upcoming road trip.

And, finally, the playlist, which is another iPhone shuffle special:

Duran Duran, “Hold Back the Rain”
The Killers, “Mr. Brightside”
Joe Jackson, “Breaking Us In Two”
Cold War Kids , “Cold Toes On The Cold Floor”
Violent Femmes, “Confessions”

-M.

 

Friday tidbits: another bunch of ‘em

* As you no doubt know already, Nick Punto has been placed on the DL and Tyler Greene has been recalled to take his place. TLR sounded hopeful but not overly confident that Punto would miss the minimum. Oblique injuries, as any Cardinals fan knows by know, can be very tricky.

* Lance Berkman is not in the lineup but could well be available to pinch-hit. As I wrote here yesterday, this is not a big surprise. They’re going to give him one day too many, rather than one day too few. I expect he’ll play before the weekend is out.

* Tony Cruz is more available than Gerald Laird, though Laird could play in an emergency.

* I asked TLR about the decision to use Marc Rzepczynski for two full innings last night, and he said it resulted from a couple of factors. One element, though, was that they wanted to get a good look at what they have.

“We needed three innings. So one guy had to get two and the other guy get one. And if he had a quick first, let him have the second one. we weren’t going to play him forever. But it was a good chance for us to see him, and we didn’t really have another guy we wanted to pitch that day.”

* Rzepczynski could, conceivably, be available to face one batter tonight, but it’s unlikely.

* Corey Patterson is, in fact leading off. Asked about that too, and TLR pointed to his 6-for-10 mark against Matt Garza.

* TLR on the Astros’ aggressiveness on the basepaths last night, especially when Laird was in the game:

“They weren’t running on [Laird]. they were running on Jaime. They’ll run on Jaime sometimes when Yadi’s catching, if they get a jump.”

And, finally, the playlist, which is an actual five-song sequence from putting my iPhone on shuffle:

Public Enemy, “Louder Than A Bomb”
Chemical Brothers, “The Private Psychedelic Reel”
The White Stripes, “Rag & Bone”
Jimi Hendrix, “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”
Everything But The Girl, “Missing” (the original acoustic one)

-M.

A very large number of Thursday tidbits

97 degrees at 6:45 p.m. Glad I’m up here and not down on the field tonight. Those of you in the stands, be safe please.

* Raul Valdes was optioned to make roster room today, since the Cardinals added 4 players in yesterday’s trade but traded away only three from the active roster. TLR said they never really considered going to 13 pitchers even for a little while, and that they just didn’t see any way that Valdes should have stayed around instead of any of the RH relievers they have. So they’ll go with one lefty for at least a while.

* As a result of the trade and sending out Valdes, there’s really no long reliever right now. Lance Lynn is probably the closest fit, and they’d hesitate to use him. If there’s a need for a lot of innings, it will be several guys getting an inning or two rather than one person soaking a bunch of them up.

TLR quote: “If we run into a game where we’re behind or ahead by a lot, we really don’t have the guy out there that you say, ‘OK, let’s use him and if he’s not available the next few days, no big deal.’ The reality is we’ll use them all. Try to keep them fresh.”

* The manager said that he won’t be afraid to use Octavio Dotel against a left-handed hitter, despite some ugly splits for the veteran righty.

“I think when he’s close, he’s close against everybody,” the skipper said.

Over the past three seasons, left-handers have a 277/413/584 line against Dotel with 11 homers in 202 at-bats. He has 49 strikeouts against 45 walks vs LHH in that time.

* Meanwhile, new lefty Marc Rzepczynski does not profile as a specialist. “Scrabble” looks more like a one-inning lefty, in the vein of someone like Scott Downs, rather than a LOOGY.

* Yadier Molina gets a night off tonight, but it’s just a night off after three straight games in some serious heat. TLR was asked about maybe playing Molina tonight and Gerald Laird tomorrow, to catch Edwin Jackson, but said he actually wanted to get Molina catching Jackson as soon as possible.

* Lance Berkman is not available tonight, except possibly in a real emergency. Though Berkman said yesterday that he hoped to play Friday, TLR sounded less confident about that. They will err on the side of giving Berkman too much time away, rather than bringing him back too soon.

* In his stead, Corey Patterson gets the start tonight. It’s really the only other option, since there are only 4 outfielders on the active roster right now. Skip Schumaker would be the alternative if they substituted, and of course we’ve already seen Tony Cruz in the outfield this year.

* Ryan Theriot makes a rare appearance outside the leadoff spot against a LHP, batting seventh. TLR on the switch: “His stroke is a work in progress right now. Right-handers don’t bother him. Just right now, his stroke is a work in progress. Could have done it sooner.”

* Nick Punto’s elbow is improving, and he has told the staff that he can play the left side of the infield. However, TLR would still have some hesitation to play Punto at shortstop. Third base is more in play than short, and ideally they prefer to keep Punto at second as much as possible for the time being. They would put Daniel Descalso at short and Punto at third, rather than the other way around, if those were the choices.

* The manager took issue with a couple of ways the Rasmus trade has been presented. I’ll let him speak for himself.

On whether the deal was “inevitable:”

“I totally disagree with that one. … It wasn’t inevitable. We have a chance to win now, and he was the one bullet. If we had different bullets, or they thought it was smart to reach into the system… No. We would have kept him. But that’s how we got the chance to improve. And in the end, the way we get judged is how many games we win. not the sense it makes, which is not really the test. And that’s the reality, so it’s fine.”

And on whether he and his staff push unusually hard for win-now trades and transactions:

“The thing is that supposedly I’m unusual because it’s win at all costs at the Major League level, at the exclusion of other considerations for an organization. Win now, win now. Well, first of all, that’s true of all managers. That’s what they pay you to do with whatever you’ve got. If you’re a .500 club, win half your games. Sometimes the organization decides they’re going to develop. You’ve lost the season and they’re going to develop. You go to develop, and you still try to win the games. So that’s not unusual. That’s what they pay you for, to get wins.

“But the other one that I think is a fair comment, if you ask… our staff and I take a lot of pride in taking the long view for the organization. I don’t think we have ever, ever recommended a move for now that we knew was a detriment to the organization beyond a couple years. … The classic explanation is you’re not going to be here in a couple years, so what do we care if you trade every young prospect? We’ve gotten a lot of points as a staff from Walt [Jocketty] and Mo… I read where Mo said it, that [people] don’t understand how much attention not just myself but our staff gives to what’s good for the organization now and down the road. For years, ‘You can’t trade that guy,’ we understand that. ‘You can’t bring that guy over here, he’s not worth the money.’ How many times have we had a pitcher or somebody establish value and you say, ‘See you later’ because he isn’t worth the money. Puts you in a hole. So that one I think is unfair based on the history of what our staff has done here over the years. I think we’re real conscious about the health of this organization beyond the year we’re playing.”

And, finally, the playlist:

R.E.M., “How The West Was Won And What It Got Us”
U2, “Mothers Of The Disappeared”
Depeche Mode, “Waiting For The Night”
Men At Work, “Down By The Sea”
Radiohead, “Exit Music (For A Film)”

-M.

Berkman aggravates shoulder

Lance Berkman was removed from Tuesday night’s game against the Astros when his sore right shoulder acted up again. The Cardinals outfielder will visit with a doctor on Wednesday to have the joint examined, and could receive a shot of anti-inflammatory medicine at that time.

Berkman first felt something amiss during Sunday’s loss to the Pirates, and he sat out Monday’s home game. He returned to the lineup on Tuesday but took only two at-bats before feeling a recurrence of the discomfort when he grounded out in the fourth inning. The issue is in the area of the rotator cuff of his non-throwing shoulder.

“Honestly I thought I was going to be fine today,” Berkman said. “When I got out there in the game, I took that swing. it’s concerning to me, just because I don’t want to do something and really hurt myself. It’s like a pinch. When you go to accelerate, it’s just there. it’s like any kind of a strain. It doesn’t feel good.”

Skip Schumaker moved from second base to the outfield to take Berkman’s place, with Nick Punto coming in to play second base.

“He felt like he couldn’t take a real good swing after that second at-bat,” manager Tony La Russa said. “He said he’d hang around, and I said ‘Why? If you’re not going to swing, we may as well put the defense in right now.'”

If Berkman receives a shot on Wednesday, he would likely be out for two or three games. The Cardinals are also currently doing without Matt Holliday, who has an illness that kept him out of Tuesday’s game.

-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.

Holliday, Berkman interested in Derby

Plenty of All-Star Game content over at Cardinals.com, including some video to come later in the afternoon. But in the meantime, a little nugget on the State Farm Home Run Derby.

 

Both Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday said that they would be interested if invited by National League team captain Prince Fielder. Both also said they have not yet been approached, though.

 

“It would be hard to turn down an invitation,” Berkman said. “That would be tough to say no.”

-M.

Saturday tidbits: Pujols, Holliday, Freese and more

Greetings from ’50s night at Tropicana Field. I have to admit it’s a little bit funny to have a 1950s themed game played at night, in a dome, but that’s just me. I am enjoying the 1950s music.

* The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported today that Albert Pujols will “likely” return to the Cardinals’ active roster immediately after the All-Star break. From conversations I had with various people, it seems that that certainly COULD be the case, but the club is not quite committing to such a rapid return for Pujols just yet.

Pujols was re-evaluated yesterday and the club was encouraged by the initial findings. However, Dr. George Paletta, the team’s head physician, hasn’t had a chance to go over the findings with the front office. That will happen Monday or Tuesday, at which time a better read will be available.

One thing we do know as of today: TLR does not expect Pujols to go on a Minor League rehab assignment, no matter how long he’s out. The manager told us that today.

If Pujols played on July 15, the first day after the break, it would mean he missed fewer than four weeks. That would be a dramatic improvement from initial estimates, which had him in a soft cast for at least four weeks and out of action for six.

* Matt Holliday is a little bit improved, according to TLR, but is DH’ing once again today. They’re hoping he’s back in the outfield tomorrow, which would open up the DH spot for Lance Berkman to get a half-rest day.

* Speaking of those “half days off” that TLR likes, he’s trying to give David Freese one today. Freese is playing 1B in hopes that it will be a little easier on him. The plan is for Freese to play yet again tomorrow, back at 3B, which would be 6 games in 6 days since coming off the DL.

* The Cardinals are short on right-handed relievers today. Jason Motte and Brandon Dickson are fully available, but everybody else has a handle-with-care designation (or, in Lance Lynn’s case, more likely hands-off).

* The Cards announced the signings of five free agents from Latin America today: LHP Dewin Perez, SS Eliezer Alvarez, C Jose Godoy, LHP Alirio Negrette and RHP Luis Arias.

And, finally, the playlist:

Pixies, “Here Comes Your Man”
Weezer, “El Scorcho”
The White Stripes, “Black Math”
The Libertines, “Can’t Stand Me Now’
Talking Heads, “Life During Wartime”

-M.

Holliday, Berkman out; Rasmus back in

The Cardinals held both Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman out of their starting lineup on Thursday against the Astros, though Holliday was considered available to pinch-hit. Both outfielders were removed from Wednesday night’s game due to injuries.

Holliday was removed from the game in the third inning due to tightness in his left quadriceps. Berkman came out two innings later because of soreness in his right wrist. Holliday is likely closer to returning, manager Tony La Russa acknowledged, though as of late Thursday morning the club had not heard the results of an evaluation on Berkman’s wrist. Berkman said Wednesday night that x-rays on the joint had come back negative.

In a bit of good news for the Redbirds, though, center fielder Colby Rasmus returned to the lineup from injury on Thursday. Rasmus had not started since Saturday, the result of an abdominal strain.

Allen Craig started in left field and Jon Jay in right for the Cardinals in their homestand finale against Houston.

-M.

Friday tidbits: Tallet, Berkman, the infield and more

Greetings from what may be the most perfect night for ball that we have this year. The signs in the bullpens read 70 degrees and there’s scarcely a cloud in the sky. I’m back in the saddle after a few days off, and I’ll be on for quite a while now.

* Brian Tallet told us today that he’s still one week away from being permitted to catch a ball. Once that time comes, he’ll still likely have to go on a rehab assignment. So a reasonable guess is that he’s two weeks from returning to active duty.

* Lance Berkman got a night off tonight, with Allen Craig getting the start in right.  Berkman is 3-for-27 against Randy Wolf.

* I asked TLR about his infield alignment, with Tyler Greene at second and Nick Punto at third, and he explained that one of the primary factors that went into that setup is the left-handed groundballer Jaime Garcia on the mound. He wanted to get the best possible defender at third behind Garcia, and that’s Punto.

* Colby Rasmus gets yet another start against a LHP. He’s actually the only lefty in the lineup, with Wolf mowing down left-handed hitters (SMALL SAMPLE SIZE ALERT) so far this year.

* In honor of Bellerive Country Club receiving the 2018 PGA Championship and the 2013 Senior PGA, the Cardinals held a brief pregame ceremony. The president of the PGA of America threw out the first pitch, and the Wanamaker Trophy (given to the PGA champion each year) was displayed on the field.

And, finally, the playlist:
Pearl Jam, “Love Boat Captain”
Living Colour, “Behind the Sun”
Cracker, “Get Off This”
Everclear, “I Will Buy You a New Life”
The Cure, “10:15 Saturday Night”

Yeah, I dunno. Works for me.

-M.

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