Results tagged ‘ Ryan Franklin ’

Saturday camp tidbits: Holliday, Franklin, Reyes, Page, more

Greetings from the first really textbook Florida Spring Training day we’ve had so far. Temperatures got up into the 70s, it was bright and sunny, really a gorgeous day.

Camp is beginning to settle into a daily rhythm, with more bullpen sessions, pitchers’ fielding practice, and the like. Full-squad workouts begin in three days.
* First, some ‘breaking news’ — I just saw Matt Holliday dropped off, so he’s likely to begin working out tomorrow. Only a few players still have not been seen. Turnout so far is really excellent, it seems.
* Ryan Franklin said he’s working on refining his cut fastball this spring, something he started doing last year. He’s essentially replaced his slider with a smaller, tighter cutter. He’s thrown it a good bit inside to left-handed hitters, and now he intends to throw it more to righties.
“It’s not big, like a [Brad] Lidge slider,” Franklin said. “It’s just enough to get off the barrel. It’s a groundball, broken-bat [pitch]. The success I had last year was being able to get quick outs. Everybody knows I’m going to throw strikes and I’m going to be around the plate. So if I throw something middle-away and it looks like it’s going to stay there, then it breaks off, it might get a weak groundball.”
* Franklin said he threw this winter at the University of Oklahoma’s indoor football practice facility, a welcome advantage since the weather near his home was so bad. He’s a big OU backer.
* One more Franklin note: he was not thrilled about MLB’s new policy banning deadly weapons from the clubhouse. Franklin is one of several players who have brought hunting bows into the clubhouse, and he said he’s licensed to carry a firearm as well.
“I understand it,” he said. “But if you grew up around being outdoors and hunting and stuff, I was taught as a young kid how to respect firearms. First of all, you don’t do anything stupid with it. Always treat a gun like it’s loaded. It’s stuff that I taught my son and daughters. There’s a place for them.
“We’ve got a lot of outdoorsmen on this team, a lot of guys who grew up handling things like that. I don’t know. I kind of disagree with it, but if it gets in the wrong hands, it could be a problem.”
* Dennys Reyes has settled on No. 36 after pondering going back to his old No. 37. He said that when he left the park yesterday, he would keep an eye on how many 6s and how many 7s he saw — and he saw a lot more 6s on license plates. So 36 it is.
* La Russa said he wouldn’t rule out anyone but Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and the pitcher from batting in the No. 2 spot this year. It’s very difficult to envision Yadier Molina batting there, but La Russa jokingly (I think he was joking) said just wait until Opening Day and we’ll see it.
He also said that given Holliday’s presence behind Pujols in the order, the Cardinals may be more inclined to put on plays with their No. 2 hitter. That’s because they feel that Pujols batting with an open base is less of a problem than it would have been before Holliday’s arrival.
* TLR said he welcomes Mitchell Page back to the organization. Page was named the hitting coach at Class A Quad Cities.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “This is a guy who’s got a lot of goodness to him, and he was very popular in the system. All the young hitters really liked him. and when he finally got that big league opportunity, he had a real connection with hitters. And then he had a problem that I think is solved now. He’s a talented guy that we welcome back.”
* One last TLR note. Asked about Matt Pagnozzi, he refused to rule out Bryan Anderson from being the first catcher the Cardinals turn to if they needed someone besides Yadier Molina and Jason LaRue.
“It’s another year for ‘Andy.’ He’s a year older. He joined us at such an early age that we try not to make the mistake of penalizing him for [having been] here as a baby. He’s been here three, four, five years, and he’s still a baby. He’s still young. We’ll see what Anderson is. but he’s got a chore there, because Pagnozzi is excellent defensively.”
Today’s playlist:
Living Colour, “Young Man”
White Rabbits, “Percussion Gun”
Bob Mould, “Spiraling Down”
R.E.M., “Crush With Eyeliner”
Muse, “Stockholm Syndrome”

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. 

Sunday night tidbits: Franklin, McClellan, DeRosa, Glaus

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

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

Overcast but pleasant night at Busch Stadium tonight, and it should be a fun ballgame. Your faithful correspondent is wearing a garnet golf shirt tonight, and if you think that’s a coincidence, you don’t know me very well. Very, very nice win for the Seminoles last night.

But you’re here for baseball, so let’s get on with it. Not a very newsy afternoon, but there are a few things to pass on:

* Ryan Franklin is potentially available tonight, but they’d prefer not to use him.

TLR’s comment: “I think probably he should be [out], but he only threw eight or 10 pitches yesterday. I think there’s a chance, depending on how he warms up, that if it was absolutely necessary and perfect [then he could pitch]. Probably, with two days’ work, he should not pitch. But he really had a short outing.”

* Kyle McClellan sounds like he’s a touch less available than Franklin. He pitched two full (and difficult) innings on Friday, and TLR said at the time that he preferred to give McClellan two days after that.

“I just think we have other guys,” the skipper said when asked about McClellan. “Boggs, Motte, Hawksworth, they all need to pitch and it would be great to give McClellan two days. Now, again, winning this game is important. And if everything lines up and McClellan is the guy who should pitch, or Franklin [then they could pitch].”

* Mark DeRosa was bumped up to the No. 2 spot in the batting order. TLR said it was not to get DeRosa going, but rather to split up the left-handed hitters in the order. Still, it’s standard operating procedure for La Russa to move a slumping hitter UP in the lineup, rather than down — especially into the spot in front of Pujols.

* Troy Glaus remains unavailable and the optimism level sounds low. However, the plan is for Glaus to come on the upcoming road trip.

“I haven’t gotten any clearances that he’s available,” TLR said. “Running out of time.”

He added, in response to a later question about Glaus, “He hasn’t been shut down yet.”

And if you’ve seen or read “High Fidelity,” then you know what to make of that “yet.” It sounds like it’s going to be tough for Glaus to get into a game this year.

Today’s playlist is all Pearl Jam in honor of their new album, which was released today.

“State of Love and Trust”
“Rearviewmirror” (possibly the greatest driving song ever, by anyone)
“Present Tense”
“Given to Fly” (my single favorite PJ song)
“Save You”

-M.

Tuesday tidbits: DeRosa, Ludwick, Rasmus, Franklin, rotation, callups

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

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

Hello on another really nice evening in Milwaukee — though I have to say, I’m not thrilled about the ever-decreasing daylight. Had a very nice run by the lake, two different Alterra stops at two different Alterra cafes, and then a very tasty lunch with the esteemed Joe Posnanski at Sobelman’s before heading to the park.

Anyway, on with the tidbits, of which there are many.

* Mark DeRosa was back in the lineup today after missing three games due to back discomfort he first felt in Milwaukee. Also, John Mozeliak said this afternoon that the club has in fact had some very preliminary discussions with DeRosa’s representation about keeping him beyond this year — though he emphasized not to over-sell those discussions.

“In this specific case,” Mozeliak said, “we do have some dialogue but I want to leave it at that.”

* Also from this afternoon’s conversation with the GM: Mozeliak said that the club does not currently plan to pursue a long-term deal with Ryan Ludwick this winter. Ludwick is under the team’s control for the next two seasons, so they don’t need to lock him up. They can instead go through the arbitration process, as they did last winter.

* One last thing from that session: Mozeliak said that it’s likely the Cardinals will carry 14 position players and 11 pitchers on their playoff roster.

* Colby Rasmus sat out a second straight game tonight and is likely to be out again tomorrow. He’s dealing with continuing soreness in his left heel, and in fact it has spread a bit. Previously, Rasmus was only feeling pain in the bottom of his foot. But he said Tuesday that he’s now feeling something a little higher, “under [his] Achilles’” tendon.

Still, it doesn’t sound like this is anything too severe. The expectation seems to be that he’ll play Friday, after tomorrow’s day game and the off day on Thursday. It’s still being called a “day-to-day” situation.

* Ryan Franklin is unavailable again today, and likely tomorrow as well. But TLR emphasized that it’s just rest, not an injury issue.

* Mitchell Boggs is listed as an available reliever, starting today. Kyle Lohse is available to pitch out of the pen tonight, but after this game he will not be out there anymore.

* The rotation for the weekend will be Joel Pineiro on Friday, Lohse on Saturday and Carpenter on Sunday, with Carpenter getting an extra day of rest due to the off day. The question will be Monday, where they can either keep Adam Wainwright on his fifth day or go with Smoltz on five days’ rest followed by Wainwright on five days’ rest on Tuesday.

The latter is much more likely. TLR has indicated that they’re probably going to give the starters the extra day as much as possible down the stretch.

* After a couple of days of back and forth, it now is pretty much settled: the Cardinals will not call up any players from Triple-A Memphis until that team has been eliminated from the playoffs. Memphis begins a best-of-five series against Albuquerque on Wednesday, with Jaime Garcia starting. The series continues on Thursday in Albuquerque, followed by games Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Memphis. Obviously the last two games are on an if-necessary basis.

Tonight’s playlist:
Muse, “Undisclosed Desires”
U2, “Zooropa”
The Shamen, “Move Any Mountain”
The Postal Service, “Nothing Better”
Soul Coughing, “Lazybones”

-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.

Tuesday tidbits: Lohse, Miller, Franklin, Glaus, Wellemeyer, Smoltz, DeRosa

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

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

Lots and lots of tidbits tonight, which also meant plenty of stories for the main site, which is why the tidbits are so late tonight. But here they are on a spectacular, darn-near-perfect night at Busch Stadium.

* Kyle Lohse threw two simulated innings today to Rick Ankiel and Troy Glaus, and his stuff was pretty decent. His command was a bit rusty, but that’s to be expected for a guy who’s been on the DL. He hopes to be activated on the day he’s eligible, which is this Sunday, Sept. 7. Check out B.J. Rains’ story on it at this link. They’re expecting to add Lohse as a reliever at first, then work him back into the rotation, but they’ll take their time with that due to the off days.

* Ryan Franklin and Trever Miller agreed to new contracts on Tuesday. Franklin’s is a two-year deal for 2010 and 2011, replacing his 2010 club option. Miller’s is actually a two-year deal that replaces his 2009 contract, essentially guaranteeing him all the money he could have made with incentives this year and paying him $2 million next year. In essence, it’s the deal he agreed to the deal he WOULD have had if he hadn’t failed his physical over the winter — with one exception.

The change is that Miller now gets a vesting option for 2011. Full details on the deals will be up in my story at this link very shortly.

* Troy Glaus was activated from the DL today. He’ll be mostly a pinch-hitter for the time being. Other reinforcements will come along before too long, but perhaps not until Memphis’ season is finished. The Triple-A club is in a pennant race. My Glaus story can be found at this link.

* Todd Wellemeyer had a very rough outing at Triple-A last night — four runs in 2/3-inning, and only 10 of his 27 pitches went for strikes. He remains on track to make another rehab assignment tomorrow night, but suffice it to say that game didn’t hasten his return to a prominent place on the big club.

* John Mozeliak acknowledged that the club may well have some interest in bringing John Smoltz back as a starter next year.

* Mark DeRosa has been cleared to return to the lineup. However, his 2-for-20 mark against Braden Looper means that Joe Thurston got the start tonight instead.

Tonight’s playlist is all Living Colour, in honor of tonight’s opening night of their fall tour.

“Desperate People”
“Pride”
“Type”
“Postman”
“Back in Black” (Yes, they covered it. Yes, it’s AWESOME)

-M.

Friday tidbits: Lohse, Wellemeyer, Franklin, weather

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

YoureNotaGolfer.MLBlogs.com

Twitter.com/MatthewHLeach

Greetings from an overcast night at Busch Stadium.

* Kyle Lohse came through his bullpen session yesterday in very good shape, and he’s getting quite close to pitching in a game. It appears that early next week, he’ll go to Memphis, and after that he’ll rejoin the Cardinals rotation.

“Lohse is feeling really good,” TLR said. “He had an outstanding bullpen yesterday and I think he’s probably ready to pitch very soon.”

* Todd Wellemeyer threw a bullpen session today and is also progressing well. He likewise could go on a rehabilitation assignment in the coming days, but he’s probably a little further from a return to active duty than Lohse is.

TLR: “I think everything is on time for him, so I think he can go out pretty soon as well. … Kyle’s out 15 days. He can’t come back any sooner than that, unfortunately. In Todd’s case, it really is when he’s ready.

* In case you haven’t seen or heard it somewhere already, Ryan Franklin confirmed today that he’s very close to a contract extension. Check the story here.

* We got some rain downtown earlier today, and the skies are still threatening. But the forecast doesn’t look bad at all.

Tonight’s playlist:
Owl City, “Fireflies”
Modest Mouse, “Autumn Beds”
White Rabbits, “Percussion Gun”
Phoenix, “Lasso”
Metric, “Sick Muse”

-M.

Franklin confirms deal is close

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

YoureNotaGolfer.MLBlogs.com

Twitter.com/MatthewHLeach

Ryan Franklin confirmed on Friday that he is close to a contract extension with the club that will keep the reliever in a Cardinals uniform through the 2011 season.

“We’ve been talking for a couple months, and it’s getting pretty close,” Franklin said. “Both sides are going to be happy. My whole thing to be happy is to be able to maybe finish my career here. I’m not saying that I’m done after this, if we get this done, but it would be an awesome thing to be able to end my career here in St. Louis. To be close to home, it’s a great opportunity for me and my family.”

Franklin, 36, signed a one-year, $1-million deal with the Cardinals before the 2007 season hoping to compete for a start rotation spot. He spent ’07 instead as a reliever, and before that season was out, he agreed to a two-year deal for 2008-09 with a club option for 2010. He will now sign a two-year deal that will take him through 2011.

Under his current deal, Franklin split the ’08 season between pitching setup relief and closing for St. Louis before becoming the ninth-inning man very early in the ’09 season. He is enjoying the best year of his career.

Entering Friday night’s game, the right-hander has a 2-1 record, 34 saves in 36 chances, a 1.07 ERA, 33 strikeouts and 13 walks in 50 1/3 innings. He was named an All-Star for the first time in his career. An Oklahoma native and resident, he has made no secret of his fondness for pitching in St. Louis.

The Cardinals hold a 2010 contract option on Franklin, but that deal will be replaced by a new two-year contract. The imminent deal was first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and according to the paper, Franklin will receive approximately $6.5 million guaranteed over the next two seasons. The Cards’ option for 2010 is for $2.75 million with a buyout of $250,000.

“It’s a good fit for me,” Franklin said. “It’s a good fit for my family. They can get up here really easily from Oklahoma. It’s a good situation.”

Sunday tidbits: Bullpen, Ludwick, Pujols, Ryan

Hello, all…

Most of the coverage today will be in the hands of the capable BJ Rains, who actually did the legwork in the clubhouse this morning. I’m working on some various other stuff for the coming week, including an Inbox and an off day story or two. Also, I’ll be on vacation starting tomorrow and running through all of next week, then back on duty on Aug. 9 — and ready for a full-on sprint to the finish.

Here are today’s tidbits, again with a major hat-tip to young Mr. Rains.

* Ideally, the Cardinals would love not to have to use Ryan Franklin today. He pitched three in a row then had one off, and the preference is to rest him two days after he pitches three straight. But chances are, if it came down to it, he’d pitch in a tight game with a chance to close out a win.

TLR on the situation: “It would be great for McClellan not to have to pitch, but we will try to win the game. Motte is ready to go. Franklin has had one day off after pitching in three straight. It is what it is. Hawksworth is ready. Thompson probably shouldn’t pitch. Wellemeyer can pitch. We’re playing for today. But we have Waino and we will make sure he gets the benefit of the doubt without hurting him. The best thing to do would be to score a lot of runs.”

* Ryan Ludwick sits again today, while Pujols plays again. I had some hunch that Pujols might get a day today, but maybe he’ll rest one day on the road trip.

The mgr on that topic: “This gives Colby two in a row and Ankiel plays two out of three, and Ludwick has been in there all of the time. It’s not going to hurt him to get two [days off this week]. I think of it the opposite. I look at who’s playing, not who’s sitting. You guys look at who’s not playing. Ludwick is ready to play, but it’s good for him not to.”

* Brendan Ryan continues to improve. Despite Ryan’s prior optimism, though, he’s not available today — apparently not even to come off the bench.

Today’s playlist:
Iglu & Hartly, “In This City”
Kasabian, “L.S.F.”
MGMT, “Kids”
Chairlift, “Bruises”
Passion Pit, “The Reeling”

-M.

Sunday lineups and tidbits: DeRosa, Franklin, Ryan

It’s a pleasant day by the river in Cincinnati, breezy, mild and cloudy. But the forecast says it’ll be clearing up as the afternoon goes on.

* Brendan Ryan is still not feeling 100 percent after a battle with “gastrointestinal distress” on Saturday, but he’s well enough to be in the lineup.

* Mark DeRosa has taken some swings off a tee, starting yesterday. The Cardinals still aren’t ready to declare when he’ll return to the lineup, but they haven’t ruled out Tuesday. He’ll get a checkup on his strained left wrist on Monday.

* Ryan Franklin could, conceivably, be available to pitch today. But the strong preference is to give him the extra rest after he pitched three days in a row — and worked very hard in the third of those games.

TLR’s comment:

“We’ll see when he plays catch. I think there’s a chance, but we’ll see. If we’ve got a great chance, [he could pitch]. It’s a big ballgame to win. … It would be nice to get a lot of runs and save him. That would be our best case.”

* Cardinals lineup vs. RHP Bronson Arroyo:
1. Schumaker 2B
2. Rasmus CF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Ludwick RF
5. Ankiel LF
6. Molina C
7. Thurston 3B
8. Carpenter P
9. Ryan SS

Reds lineup:
1. Dickerson LF
2. Taveras CF
3. Votto 1B
4. Phillips 2B
5. Bruce RF
6. Encarnacion 3B
7. Hairston SS
8. Hanigan C
9. Arroyo P

Today’s playlist:
Gorillaz, “Feel Good Inc.”
LCD Soundsystem, “Sound of Silver”
Kaiser Chiefs, “Never Miss a Beat”
TV On the Radio, “Golden Age”
Cut Copy, “Hearts On Fire”

-M.

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