Results tagged ‘ Ryan Franklin ’

Friday tidbits: Lots of little stuff

* Ryan Theriot is back in the lineup, but batting seventh. TLR said he wanted to ease Theriot back a little bit, in case his timing is off after missing three games. TLR did not say, but I noted, that Theriot is 0-for-9 against Tim Hudson.

* David Freese is out of the lineup tonight but expected to be back in tomorrow. Yadier Molina is in tonight but expected to be out tomorrow. Tomorrow is a 1 p.m. ET start following a 7:30 night game.

* Despite his recent DUI arrest, Derek Lowe is still slated to start for the Braves in Sunday afternoon’s series finale.

* The Braves called up former Cardinal Joe Mather on Friday.

* Fernando Salas and Trever Miller are likely unavailable tonight, while Jason Motte and Miguel Batista both rate as “maybes.”

* Ryan Franklin may be the best fit for the Cards’ long-relief job for the time being, TLR said Friday.

* Allen Craig is set to begin a rehab assignment at Springfield tonight.

* I asked TLR about batting Freese second in Houston, and he said it was at least in part because the Astros have pitched Rasmus well. He said that even if Freese had been in the lineup tonight, Rasmus would still be back in the 2 spot.

And, finally, the playlist:
Buffalo Tom, “Don’t Forget Me”
TV On The Radio, “Killer Crane”
Jason Isbell, “Alabama Pines”
Drive-By Truckers, “Mercy Buckets”
R.E.M., “Oh My Heart”

-M.

Sunday tidbits: Holliday in, Franklin still the choice

Yet another beautiful day in San Francisco. If you’ve never been to this park, seriously, get here. For my money, best place for a game in the Major Leagues.

* Matt Holliday is in the lineup and playing with basically no restrictions. He expects to be pretty much an everyday guy from here on out.

* TLR said that Ryan Franklin is still the closer, though Franklin is not available today except in case of emergency. He actually did entertain questions about the topic today, and we had a pretty good chat with him about it. And in short, his answer is that he and the club do not believe that Mitchell Boggs, Jason Motte, Miguel Batista or anyone else is a better option right now. But he didn’t dismiss the topic out of hand.

* Lance Berkman sat out today despite good numbers against Barry Zito, in large part so he can play the next several games in a row. Just a preventative day.

* One topic that came up some last night on Twitter was a relatively quick hook on Jaime Garcia. I asked about it, and La Russa said it was not about getting a pinch-hitter in the game. Instead, he was simply convinced Garcia had had enough. Garcia had begun to look different to him in the 5th and 6th innings.

* Nick Punto continues to progress well, according to John Mozeliak. Punto is working out in extended spring training and is pain-free, the GM said, but he hasn’t yet been cleared to run at game speed. Punto will likely begin taking some at-bats in extended spring games before he’s cleared to play full games.

And, finally, one more Bay Area playlist, potpourri edition:
Counting Crows, “Angels of the Silences”
Primus, “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver”
Tony! Toni! Tone!, “If I Had No Loot”
Digital Underground, “The Humpty Dance”
Huey Lewis and the News, “Walkin’ On A Thin Line”

-M.

Saturday camp tidbits: Bullpen, bullpen, bullpen!

This is my second-to-last day in camp. We’ll have tidbits tomorrow, then I head back to StL on Monday and rejoin the club in Springfield on Tuesday. Then a Wednesday workout, and Opening Day, y’all. It’s coming quickly.

* TLR said they were encouraged by how Brian Tallet is doing today. Still a bit of a vague situation, but it sounds like things are better than expected. Tallet has some groin soreness.

* While it’s unlikely that the Cardinals will take 13 pitchers north to open the season, TLR sounded as though they might go to 13 soon after. The Cards have a 10-games-in-10-days road trip after their opening homestand, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see them add an eighth reliever for that trip.

* I asked this morning whether one option for dealing with some bullpen worries was to stretch Franklin out for 4-5 outs more often this year, and was told that’s not really in the picture.

* The manager also said he thinks there’s a good chance they’ll have the 25-man roster settled before they go to Springfield.

* Speaking of Springfield, it’ll pretty much be a skeleton crew playing the other game that day. The Cardinals do have a game in Jupiter on Tuesday in addition to the Springfield game, but unless the weather is really miserable up north, it will be all Minor Leaguers for the game here at Roger Dean.

* Couple of notes from the back fields yesterday: Shelby Miller pitched four innings for Palm Beach against Jupiter, allowing one run, one hit and one walk and striking out six. Zack Cox, also playing for Palm Beach, went 2-for-3 with a home run.

And, finally, the playlist:

Aimee Mann, “Red Vines”
Buffalo Tom, “Kitchen Door”
Velocity Girl, “Lose Something”
The Hold Steady, “First Night”
The Beatles, “Golden Slumbers”

-M.

Saturday camp tidbits: Bullpen, bullpen, bullpen!

This is my second-to-last day in camp. We’ll have tidbits tomorrow, then I head back to StL on Monday and rejoin the club in Springfield on Tuesday. Then a Wednesday workout, and Opening Day, y’all. It’s coming quickly.
* TLR said they were encouraged by how Brian Tallet is doing today. Still a bit of a vague situation, but it sounds like things are better than expected. Tallet has some groin soreness. 
* While it’s unlikely that the Cardinals will take 13 pitchers north to open the season, TLR sounded as though they might go to 13 soon after. The Cards have a 10-games-in-10-days road trip after their opening homestand, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see them add an eighth reliever for that trip.
* I asked this morning whether one option for dealing with some bullpen worries was to stretch Franklin out for 4-5 outs more often this year, and was told that’s not really in the picture.
* The manager also said he thinks there’s a good chance they’ll have the 25-man roster settled before they go to Springfield.
* Speaking of Springfield, it’ll pretty much be a skeleton crew playing the other game that day. The Cardinals do have a game in Jupiter on Tuesday in addition to the Springfield game, but unless the weather is really miserable up north, it will be all Minor Leaguers for the game here at Roger Dean.
* Couple of notes from the back fields yesterday: Shelby Miller pitched four innings for Palm Beach against Jupiter, allowing one run, one hit and one walk and striking out six. Zack Cox, also playing for Palm Beach, went 2-for-3 with a home run.
And, finally, the playlist:
Aimee Mann, “Red Vines”
Buffalo Tom, “Kitchen Door”
Velocity Girl, “Lose Something”
The Hold Steady, “First Night”
The Beatles, “Golden Slumbers”
-M.

Saturday camp tidbits: Bullpen, bullpen, bullpen!

This is my second-to-last day in camp. We’ll have tidbits tomorrow, then I head back to StL on Monday and rejoin the club in Springfield on Tuesday. Then a Wednesday workout, and Opening Day, y’all. It’s coming quickly.

* TLR said they were encouraged by how Brian Tallet is doing today. Still a bit of a vague situation, but it sounds like things are better than expected. Tallet has some groin soreness. 
* While it’s unlikely that the Cardinals will take 13 pitchers north to open the season, TLR sounded as though they might go to 13 soon after. The Cards have a 10-games-in-10-days road trip after their opening homestand, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see them add an eighth reliever for that trip.
* I asked this morning whether one option for dealing with some bullpen worries was to stretch Franklin out for 4-5 outs more often this year, and was told that’s not really in the picture.
* The manager also said he thinks there’s a good chance they’ll have the 25-man roster settled before they go to Springfield.
* Speaking of Springfield, it’ll pretty much be a skeleton crew playing the other game that day. The Cardinals do have a game in Jupiter on Tuesday in addition to the Springfield game, but unless the weather is really miserable up north, it will be all Minor Leaguers for the game here at Roger Dean.
* Couple of notes from the back fields yesterday: Shelby Miller pitched four innings for Palm Beach against Jupiter, allowing one run, one hit and one walk and striking out six. Zack Cox, also playing for Palm Beach, went 2-for-3 with a home run.
And, finally, the playlist:
Aimee Mann, “Red Vines”
Buffalo Tom, “Kitchen Door”
Velocity Girl, “Lose Something”
The Hold Steady, “First Night”
The Beatles, “Golden Slumbers”
-M.

Franklin reconsiders

Ryan Franklin may not be ready for that farewell tour just yet.
Franklin told reporters on Friday afternoon that he has reconsidered his plan to retire following the 2011 season. Franklin has said for quite some time now that he expected to hang it up when his current contract ends, after the ’11 season. But after consulting with a number of people, including Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter, he re-opened the door to playing in 2012 and possibly beyond. It’s not a given that he will play after next year, but it’s no longer a given that he won’t, either.
“Re-thinking means it’s still going to be a family decision,” Franklin said. “If they say, ‘No daddy, we want you to stay home…'”
Franklin said the choice was unrelated to his trip home this week. The right-hander spent two days at his home in Oklahoma to tend to a personal matter. He was back in the clubhouse on Friday and is available to pitch.

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.

Saturday tidbits: Garcia, Franklin and on to Cincy

And so we’ve reached the end of exhibition season. When next I blog, it will be from Great American Ball Park, site of the Cardinals’ season opener. Trust me when I tell you I’m far from the only one who’s ready for games that count.
We got an absolutely gorgeous afternoon for a ballgame in downtown Minneapolis today, even if the Cardinals played a little, well, less than razor-sharp.
I addressed the situations with the various injured and recuperating Cardinals on the site today, so head over there to check that out. But of course there’s stuff left over, so here are your tidbits.
* TLR acknowledged they’ll handle Jaime Garcia differently from how they’ll handle the veteran pitchers on the staff, but unsurprisingly didn’t lay out any real specifics. There certainly will be no “Jaime Rules” regarding his use, but they will look to protect the youngster some.
“I think you have to establish that if you get into a couple jams where you might leave Wainwright in there, he’s got to establish that,” La Russa said. “For one thing, you can’t burn the bullpen. So the first time the bases are loaded, we’re not going to get him.”
However, when a follow-up was asked about the balance between having Garcia learn to pitch out of trouble and making sure not to push him too hard, this was the intriguing response:
“This is the big leagues. You try to win the game. this is not a developmental league.”
* The Cardinals have yet to decide when Garcia’s first start will be. He’ll either pitch on Saturday or Sunday in Milwaukee, with Chris Carpenter getting the other of those two games. TLR said it’s not a matter of rest for Carpenter. Instead, it comes down to matchups later in the month, and the club deciding who it wants on which series as April goes along.
* Neither Ryan Franklin nor TLR expressed much concern over Franklin’s outing on Saturday. Franklin was charged with three runs, all unearned, and the truth is, he just wasn’t hit that hard. Franklin threw strikes all spring, not walking a single batter, though his strikeout rate was pretty low.
Asked about Franklin’s showing today, TLR said:
“[Doggone] boopers. One ball hit hard. That’s what I make of Franklin.”
That’s all the baseball. Now for the music, with a second day of Minnesota playlists. Seriously, how many communities have provided more than Minneapolis/St. Paul? It’s amazing.
Prince, “Sign O’ The Times”
The Time, “Jungle Love”
Information Society, “Walking Away”
Jayhawks, “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”
Semisonic, “Singing In My Sleep”
-M.

Saturday late tidbits: Penny is fine

Another day in the books at Roger Dean Stadium, and remarkably there are only five more games down here before we all head north.

* No sooner did Brad Penny have the bandage taken off his left leg from one line drive than he was hit by another. Hanley Ramirez scorched a ball up the middle in the sixth inning that drilled Penny on the inside back of his left thigh. Penny remained in the game for two more batters, but he definitely had a souvenir from Ramirez.
Penny has been hit repeatedly by comebackers this spring.
“Same thing, ball up the middle, I stick my leg out and try to knock it down,” he said. “Hit me in the muscle, good spot again. It was the thigh. It was on the back of my leg. If it had been a knee, it might have been a problem. I stick my leg out trying to block the ball, trying to knock it down.
“They didn’t score, so I’ll take it. especially in the season.”
Penny tested his leg out and was all right, so he stayed in the game to finish the sixth inning. That’s all he was scheduled for, so he came out after the sixth. He was moving around just fine in the clubhouse afterward.
* Tony La Russa said that he won’t be looking to get Ryan Franklin into back-to-back games this spring. If the games dictate it, La Russa would be open to the possibility, but it won’t be something he will try for.
* Colby Rasmus, who has sat the past three days due to a knee bruise, is expected back in the lineup tomorrow in Port St. Lucie. Just about the entire team will be making the trip except for Matt Holliday and Trever Miller, who will get a day off.
-M.

Thursday camp tidbits: Carpenter, Ryan, Franklin

Chilly day here in Palm Beach County. Morning temps were in the upper 40s, and it was very windy. Thanks to bright sun, the afternoon has been nice, but it’s one of the cooler days I’ve experienced in my nine springs down here.

Anyway, here are your tidbits.
* As a result of the weather, the Cardinals changed their workout schedule on the fly this morning. The pitchers all got their scheduled work in, but some of the situational hitting and other drills for the hitters were scrapped. The staff didn’t want players standing around doing nothing in the chill and wind.
* TLR, unsurprisingly, refused to bite on a question about his Opening Day starter. It appears that Chris Carpenter is on track for the assignment, but per protocol, the manager wouldn’t confirm who will get the call on April 5 in Cincinnati.
“I’ve done it one way for years,” he said. “I don’t change it. You don’t announce it — we don’t announce it, other guys do.”
* As for Carpenter, he threw his first live batting practice session today and was pretty pleased with it.
“Right now, it’s [about] getting out there and getting my warmup, getting on a mound and I’ll get better each time,” he said. “More conditioning is what you’re looking for.”
* Hanging in Brendan Ryan’s locker this afternoon was a t-shirt that had been made especially for him. It read, “Growing old is manditory [sic]. Growing up is not.” Let’s just say it’s a perfect fit for Ryan.
* The Cardinals are shooting their annual promotional commercials this week. Ryan Franklin starred in one that was shot today, with youngsters Mitchell Boggs, Jason Motte and Blake Hawksworth playing non-speaking roles. 
* Stories that you’ll see on the site this evening: A feature on Adam Wainwright’s involvement with the Catch-a-Dream Foundation and his passion for hunting and fishing; a story on Mike Eruzione’s speech to the team this morning (Eruzione was one of the stars of the 1980 “miracle on ice” Olympic hockey team); and something on Mark McGwire’s reaction to his brother’s new book.
Today’s playlist is an actual five-song sequence that came up on shuffle on my iPhone today:
Pet Shop Boys, “Love Comes Quickly”
Al Green, “Here I Am”
U2, “Trip Through Your Wires”
Happy Mondays, “Step On”
Ozomatli, “Santiago”
-M.
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