Results tagged ‘ Rich Hill ’

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.

Thursday camp tidbits

We’re hoping to dodge the rain today. There’s bad weather all over the state, though right now it seems to be getting a little better here in Jupiter. Here’s hoping.

* Rich Hill will start tomorrow’s game against the Red Sox, with Kyle McClellan pitching after him. It’s the fair way, since the two are competing for a spot and McClellan started the last time they pitched on the same day.
* Not much new on Albert Pujols or Matt Holliday today, but that’s to be expected. Here’s TLR:
“My hope is that we use ultimate care and concern and err on the side of waiting [with Pujols].
“I haven’t talked much to Matt. Talked to Albert. He feels better. But I don’t know if he can be cleared. He’s talking about this weekend, but we’ll see.”
* Shelby Miller will likely get another game appearance before he’s sent out. It’s not a certainty, but TLR said today that it’s probable.
“As long as we’re keeping him in shape and he’s getting some outings, [he's fine to stay in big league camp],” La Russa said. “He’s going to pitch in the Minor Leagues. So whenever it’s better for him, and if we’re not doing enough for him here… But I think he’ll probably get another appearance. We’re not that deep.”
Today’s playlist comes straight off the great WOXY over the course of this morning:
Pixies, “Monkey Gone To Heaven”
April Smith and the Great Picture Show, “Movie Loves A Screen”
Gorillaz, “On Melancholy Hill”
New Pornographers, “Your Hands (Together)”
Jayhawks, “Waiting For the Sun”
-M.

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.

Cardinals add a lefty

A familiar name will be coming to Cardinals camp next month.

Left-hander Rich Hill, who spent the first four years of his big league career with the Cubs, agreed Tuesday to a Minor League contract with a non-roster invitation to Spring Training. Hill, who will turn 30 in March, pitched for the Orioles in 2009.
He had been one of the more promising young lefties around, going 11-8 with a 3.92 ERA and 183 strikeouts for Chicago in 2007. But Hill’s control deserted him in 2008, as he walked 62 batters in 67 1/3 innings between the Majors and Minors.
Those difficulties continued into 2009, before he shut it down for the year due to injury. Hill underwent shoulder surgery in August.
-M.
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