Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The past week in Cards

June 11:
Cards 7, Brewers 5
Winning pitcher - Josh Hancock (3-2)
SV - Jason Isringhausen (20)
HR: Yadier Molina (2)

June 13:
Cards 2, Pirates 1
Winning pitcher - Chris Carpenter (5-3)
SV - Jason Isringhausen (21)
Isringhausen set the new Cardinals club record for saves with his 21st of the season, breaking the 160 set by Lee Smith.

June 14:
Cards 7, Pirates 9
Losing pitcher - Sidney Ponson (4-2)
HR: Scott Rolen (8)

June 15:
Cards 6, Pirates 5
Winning pitcher - Mark Mulder (6-4)
SV - Jason Isringhausen (22)

June 16:
Cards 8, Rockies 1
Winning pitcher - Jason Marquis (9-4)

June 17:
Cards 6, Rockies 5
Winning pitcher - Jeff Suppan (6-4)
SV - Jason Isringhausen (23)
HR: Juan Encarnacion 2 (10)

June 18:
Winning pitcher - Chris Carpenter (6-3)
SV - Jason Isringhausen (24)
HR: Scott Rolen (9)

Milestone Watch:
Jim Edmonds needs 4 home runs to tie Mark McGwire with 220 home runs as a Cardinal.
Jeff Suppan needs 13 strikeouts for 1,000 career strikeouts.
Jason Isringhausen needs 10 saves for 250 career saves.

Unless Mark Mulder figures out his control issues, I would expect that this is his last season as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. It really does pain me to say that. I have the utmost respect for him. Walt Jocketty usually doesn't negotiate contracts til after the season ends but I thought that Marquis would be the one having the worst season, not Mark.

We really need Albert Pujols back and there's no easy way to say that.

Draft news:
Casey Mulligan, a product of Valencia High School, has signed with the St. Louis Cardinals after being selected in the 22nd round. Mulligan is a catcher. The Cards have signed at least 22 of the 50 draft picks.
Second-round pick Thomas Furnish, a left-handed pitcher from Texas Christian, was the team's third overall choice and the 54th player taken in the draft earlier this month. Other high picks to sign were first baseman Mark Hamilton of Tulane, a second-round supplemental pick, and right-hander Gary Daley of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, a third-rounder.

The players will attend a minicamp at the team's spring training complex in Jupiter, Fla. Some of the players are already in Jupiter.

Other high draft picks signed were left-hander Tyler Norrick of Festus, Mo., and Southern Illinois, taken in the sixth round; outfielder Luke Gorsett of Nebraska, taken in the seventh round, and shortstop Allen Craig of California-Berkeley, in the eighth.

The remainder of the signings: 11, RHP Phillip Walters, South Alabama; 12, C David Carpenter, West Virginia; 13, OF Travis Mitchell, Parkway Central (Mo.) HS; 14, OF Jonathan Edwards, Keller (Texas) HS; 17, OF Nathan Southard, Tulane; 18, OF Amaury Cazana Marti, Miami; 19. 1B Brandon Buckman, Nebraska; 22, C Casey Mulligan, Valencia (Calif.) HS; 26, C Garrett Bussiere, California-Berkeley; 27, C Christian Reyes, Porterville College; 28, RHP Luke Gregerson, RHP, St. Xavier University; 30, 3B Jared Schweitzer, Kansas; 31, OF Mark Shorey, High Point University; 34, 2B Isaias Garcia, University of Houston; 39, LHP Matthew Michael, Grand Canyon University; 42, RHP Kyle Mura, Loyola Marymount
Cardinals head south - the draft picks, that is. Amaury Cazana Marti will report to Palm Beach rather than Johnson City.

LHP Ryan Hodinka has signed a free agent contract.

Trade Watch:
It's getting close to the July 31st deadline. Is Walt looking to pick up Alfonso Soriano?

Walt denies talking about Craig Wilson.

Gordo has some thoughts of his own.
It appears Anthony Reyes’ time has finally come. Nothing more can be gained from having him pitch at the Class AAA level.

He is 4-1 at Memphis with a 3.01 earned-run average and a staggering 65-to-8 strikeouts-to-walks ratio. His spot starts for the Cards couldn’t have gone better.[...]

Adam Wainwright is a great example. Moved to the bullpen because of the team’s starting pitching surplus, he has filled the Al Reyes role with great vigor.

This team desperately needed another power arm for the bullpen and, in a pleasing development, Wainwright graduated into the spot after showing so-so potential as a starter at the Class AAA level.

Home-grown Tyler Johnson is trying to succeed where Carmen Cali and others failed, as a lefthanded specialist. After his time away as a Rule V casualty, he appears on track.

Chris Duncan added some punch to the Cards offense (two homers, two doubles, one triple in 34 at-bats) with Albert Pujols on the disabled list. He has proven that Rick Ankiel is NOT the best power-hitting prospect in the organization, as we surmised last season.

Hector Luna arrived as a Rule V acquisition -– to fill a gaping hole in the organizational chart -- and he has gradually blossomed into an impact player. He is batting .305 and he didn’t look out of place filling in for woozy shortstop David Eckstein this weekend.[...]

Trading prospects for veterans is a great way to fill emergency needs. But after a while, a franchise starts to miss the Coco Crisps, Danny Harens and Daric Bartons that came through the ranks and then departed in trades for veteran help.

With the Cards handling the loss of Pujols quite well, perhaps the organization has reached a turning point. Perhaps this is what management consultants call a paradigm shift.

With this team winning without the league’s MVP, Jocketty should feel no compulsion to offer Reyes, Wainwright, Duncan, Luna or any of his other pitching prospects for another bat. He ought to see how Chris Lambert, Stuart Pomeranz, Mark Worrell, Blake Hawksworth, Jamie Garcia, Mark Michael, Mark McCormick, Nick Webber, Cory Meacham, Mitch Boggs, et al, pan out during the next two to three years.

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