Results tagged ‘ Skip Schumaker ’
Mike Matheny chatted with us for nearly 20 minutes today. Once again, there will be a little more on the site later today, but here are some of the bullet points from his session:
* On whether Spring Training will feature any particular emphasis:
“We’re going to hit baserunning hard again. Baserunning for pitchers as well. A lot of little things like bunting. There’s going to be a lot of bunting going on. There’s going to be a lot of situational hitting. There’s going to be team fundamentals. I think it’s going to cover the whole game.
“Even a lot of the players said they’d like to have more focus on breaking down things [about baserunning].”
(And before you freak out, I didn’t take this to mean they’d be sacrificing a lot during the season necessarily; just that they’ll work on bunting in Spring Training)
* On whether he’s sorted out a lineup yet:
“I’ve been writing lineups since the day I got the job. Got some projections going, potential guys, and it was nice to add another one in there. One with Furcal and two with Beltran. Start to play around with that. The lineup is going to kind of be fluid as you head into Spring Training. You don’t want to write that until you get there and see how guys kind of mix in together and how they gel.”
* Asked whether Carlos Beltran is a significant variable in the lineup, given that he has both table-setting and middle-of-the-order skills:
“I do see it that way. I see him being somebody that, if his legs are right, he could certainly fill that two hole. I’m an advocate of trying to get your best hitters up as many times as you possibly can. That’s just playing some good numbers. But you also have to look at the ability to drive in 100 runs, and he’s been a run producer in the past. You just kind of have to watch how it goes. You have to watch how he’s moving too. You want to be able to make sure that his knees are working to the point that he can be scored when he does get on first base. But the high on-base percentage mixed with power mixed with the knack of knocking in a big run gives you the flexibility to put him just about everywhere.”
* Matheny repeatedly referred to the second-base mix as a three-man competition, including Daniel Descalso, Tyler Greene and Skip Schumaker. That’s a bit of a departure from some of what we heard earlier in the winter, when it sounded like Schumaker wasn’t really in the picture at second.
* On Beltran’s health and what it means to him playing center field:
“I think he’s going to over-deliver on what the expectations are of what his body is going to be able to hold. I just need to listen to the medical staff and also Carlos and his body of how we can use him, and center field may be a little more demanding than right field would be.”
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”
It’s a little bit quieter around here today that it was yesterday afternoon, but we’ve still got plenty going on. The forecast appears to have been a bit inaccurate, since it’s overcast, but we still should be free of rain.
* Skip Schumaker is set to go out on a rehab assignment tomorrow. He’ll report to extended spring training and take several at-bats a day down there. He hopes to need only a few days in Florida before being added to the roster again. TLR sounded less sure of that, but either way Schumaker’s return is getting closer.
* Colby Rasmus is out again today, but for the most part the news on Rasmus is good. He said he’s dealing with a simple abdominal strain. That’s encouraging, because he underwent tests yesterday to rule out other possibilities. I’d guess that he returns tomorrow, but wouldn’t be shocked if it were another day or two.
* Brian Tallet is set to pitch tonight for Class A Quad Cities as he begins his rehab assignment.
* Allen Craig is at second base again, with the lefty pitching for the Cardinals. That’s because Nick Punto is dealing with some right elbow discomfort and is unavailable to start. TLR said that he won’t flip-flop Craig and Daniel Descalso in double-play situations, as Joe Pettini hinted was a possibility last week in Chicago.
* TLR didn’t have a lot to say about Marty Brennaman’s comments regarding the Cardinals. “I think the safest thing to say is he’s a Hall of Famer, and he should get the respect that inclusion in that place deserves,” he said. “And then he ought to earn it every day from his Hall of Fame induction forward. He ought to earn it and not abuse it.”
* Albert Pujols isn’t going to play 3B much at all, the manager said. It’s an option, but not one that will be very common.
And, finally, the playlist, which is a remnant from Sunday night. I drove back from CIN, of course, and spent the last three hours listening to the great “Darkwave” program on Sirius/XM First Wave. So, five favorites from the show.
New Order, “Sub-Culture”
Sisters of Mercy, “Ribbons”
Front 242, “Headhunter”
Jesus and Mary Chain, “Just Like Honey”
Joy Division, “Atmosphere”
The Cardinals didn’t take batting practice on the field today, and TLR took a little down time after his radio show. He’s still dealing with the viral condition that has bothered him for a few weeks now.
* Ryan Theriot is back in the lineup after missing one game due to being hit on the shin by a pitch Friday.
* Allen Craig is feeling better as well, but not back in the lineup yet. Craig hit himself in the calf with a foul ball on Friday.
* Most Cardinals players are using pink bats, wrist bands and/or cleats today in honor of Mother’s Day and breast cancer awareness.
* Skip Schumaker took groundballs on the field today but is still only throwing underhand. He’s hoping to see Dr. Paletta sometime today, and the expectation is that at that time, he’ll be cleared to begin throwing a little bit as well as hitting off a tee.
And, finally, the playlist… Today’s playlist is in honor of my mom. A combination of favorites I remember her playing when I was very young, and favorites I foisted upon her when I was just a little bit older (you can probably guess which ones are which). Much love and many thanks to her. Folks, if you can, call your mom today, or better yet visit her. And then again soon after — not just today.
The Kingston Trio, “M.T.A.”
The Everly Brothers, “Wake Up Little Susie”
Phil Ochs, “Draft Dodger Rag”
Kenny Loggins, “Footloose”
Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean”
Happy Mother’s Day, y’all.
It’s starting to cloud up at Busch Stadium, and it sounds like we’re going to get some weather. The question is how severe, and for how long.
* Jake Westbrook will start Sunday’s game, assuming that it’s the third game of the weekend. That is, if either today’s or tomorrow’s game is rained out, they would adjust things, and Westbrook would not pitch Sunday. But if the games happen as scheduled, it’ll be Westbrook.
* Skip Schumaker took groundballs today for the first time since his injury, but he remains a good ways way from returning to the lineup. He said he’s hoping his total time away will end up being 3-4 weeks.
* Though TLR made some noises earlier in the week about possibly adding a lefty reliever for this series, the club decided it didn’t make sense. For one thing, they just didn’t really have any viable options.
* Daniel Descalso gets the start at second base today. It looks like that will be a mix-and-match position for the time being.
* TLR is getting better as he recovers from conjunctivitis, or pinkeye. He’s able to open his eye a little bit, which is progress.
* Fernando Salas is likely unavailable tonight. It’s only been two days since he pitched three innings.
And, finally, the Earth Day playlist:
R.E.M., “Fall On Me”
Joni Mitchell, “Big Yellow Taxi”
Marvin Gaye, “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)”
The Pretenders, “My City Was Gone”
Jack Johnson, “The Horizon Has Been Defeated”
* Today’s lineup looks an awful lot like what I expect to see on Opening Day, save for one thing. Gerald Laird returns to the lineup, starting in place of Yadier Molina. Other than that, I expect the same players in the same order 10 days from now.
Note of the night: Matt Holliday was ejected in the fourth inning on Thursday night after he argued a called third strike, making a bit of a show of it in the process.
Note of the night: You’ve got a game story centered on Albert Pujols. You’ve got a sidebar story on Albert Pujols. How about a note of the night on Albert Pujols?
Note of the night: When Ryan Ludwick had a little time to think about it, catch his breath, and see how he felt, he knew he was OK. Until a moment had passed, though, Ludwick had one reaction to being hit on the left hand by a pitch from Nationals rookie Drew Storen: fear.
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.