Monday, July 31, 2006

Trade Talks - Monday Edition

Aside from Greg Maddux and Sean Casey, there were not that many big names going anywhere today. Scalamandre was not a top prospect so the Cardinals didn't give up too much if you ask me.

Cincinnati Reds
Acquired LHP Rheal Cormier from the Philadelphia Phillies for RHP Justin Germano; Acquired RHP Kyle Lohse from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for RHP Zach Ward.

Detroit Tigers
Acquired 1B Sean Casey from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for RHP Brian Rogers; Optioned the contract of 1B Chris Shelton to Triple-A Toledo.

St. Louis Cardinals
Acquired RHP Jorge Sosa from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Minor League RHP Rich Scalamandre.

Chicago Cubs
Traded INF Todd Walker and cash considerations to the San Diego Padres in exchange for minor league RHP Jose Ceda; Acquired INF Cesar Izturis from the Dodgers for RHP Greg Maddux.

Colorado Rockies
Acquired LHP Jeremy Affeldt and RHP Denny Bautista from Kansas City in exchange for INF Ryan Shealy and RHP Scott Dohmann.

Kansas City Royals
Acquired RHP Jose Diaz from the Texas Rangers in exchange for 1B/DH Matt Stairs.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Acquired INF Julio Lugo from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for INF Joel Guzman and nonroster OF Sergio Pedroza.

New York Mets
Acquired RHP Roberto Hernandez and LHP Oliver Perez from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for OF Xavier Nady.

New York Yankees
Traded RHP Shawn Chacon to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for OF Craig Wilson.

Texas Rangers
Acquired RHP Kip Wells from Pittsburgh in exchange for nonroster RHP Jesse Chavez

The lowdown on 2007

Today will be the discussion of players who will be appearing on their first HOF ballot since their retirement. Gwynn and Ripken are sure to be elected on the first time. As much as I like the guy, the congressional testimony sure did seem to hurt Big Mac's chances.

Harold Baines - Baines came very close to 3,000 hits, finishing up with 2,866 hits in his career and 384 home runs. Baines went to 6 all-star games. It's going to be close. If he's not elected next year, he will be eventually.

Derek Bell - Very doubtful. He's likely to get a few votes but he'll get less than 5% needed to move on to 2008.

Dante Bichette - Despite four all-star selections, I don't like his chances of being elected.

Bobby Bonilla - He finished his career with over 2,000 hits and 287 home runs. Bonilla was selected for six all-star games but it's doubtful he'll enter baseball immortality.

Jeff Brantley - Nope, the current ESPN analyst does not get selected.

Jay Buhner - He just doesn't have the numbers. If he gets any votes, it will be for writers of teams that he played for and Kentucky writers as he was born in Louisville.

Ken Caminiti - It was announced post-humously that he used drugs during his career. Three all-star games and an MVP career won't get him elected.

Jose Canseco - Canseco is an unlikely candidate to get elected. He was less than forty home runs shy of 500 but he's admitted that he used steroids. The HOF has no steroid policy but a lot of writers are starting to put that in play. Nevertheless, he was the 1986 ROY and 1988 MVP, and went to several all-star games.

Eric Davis - Two all-star selections and 3 gold gloves just won't be enough.

Tony Fernandez - Finished with 2,276 hits, 4 gold gloves, and five all-star games. It's unlikely that he'll get elected.

Tony Gwynn - Gwynn is definitely going to be elected. He finished his San Diego Padres career with 3,141 hits and .338 batting average despite an abbreviated final two seasons. In 1994, before the strike, he was batting .394 through 110 games. Gwynn was selected to play in 15 all-star games.

Darryl Hamilton - Will get less than 5% of the votes.

Pete Harnisch - One all-star selection will not be enough.

Charlie Hayes - Won't get 5% of votes.

Glenallen Hill - Less than 5% of votes.

Ken Hill - Less than 5% of votes.

Stan Javier - Less than 5% of votes.

Wally Joyner - He'll get some votes due to his 2,000 hits but it's not going to be enough.

Ramon Martinez - Less than 5% of the votes.

Mark McGwire - McGwire and Sosa revitalized baseball in 1998 when they were both chasing Roger Maris for the single season record of 61 home runs. I like McGwire and I think he should be elected. He finished his two-team career with 583 home runs, including two seasons where he led the league. He finished his career with 12 selections to the all-star game, and was the recipient of the 1987 ROY in the AL. He has the numbers but his being associated with the steroid era hurts him. If he doesn't get in next year, he'll get inducted eventually.

Paul O’Neill - 2,105 hits and 281 home runs are unlikely to be enough. However, he was on five world series teams and went to five all-star games also.

Gregg Olson - He'll get less than 5% of the votes.

Cal Ripken Jr. - Like Gwynn, he'll be a lock. The Iron Man finished his career playing for the same team his whole life: The Baltimore Orioles. In 21 seasons, he hit 3,184 hits while batting .276. Ripken went to 19 consecutive all-star games. He played in over 2,600 consecutive games.

Bret Saberhagen - Three all-star games and two AL Cy Young's might get him in but it won't be on his first ballot.

Jeff Shaw - His 203 saves won't be enough.

Kevin Tapani - Less than 5% of the votes

Devon White - Three all-star selections and seven gold gloves might help him but I don't know. He'll get over five percent of the votes due to his defensive career.

Bobby Witt - Less than 5% of the votes.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Trade Talks - Sunday Edition

Hector Luna's days as a Cardinal may be numbered as rumors are swirling that we may be picking up Ronnie Belliard.
The Cardinals also could acquire right-handed reliever Guillermo Mota in the deal, but the Indians are still talking about Mota with other clubs.
Belliard, 31, recently missed six games with a hamstring injury, but returned to the Indians' lineup Saturday. The Cardinals want to make sure that he is fully recovered before completing the deal.

Belliard entered Sunday's play batting .289 with a .335 on-base percentage, eight homers and 44 RBIs. He figures to be an upgrade over Aaron Miles, who has batted .224 since June 1. The Cardinals rank next-to-last in the National League in on-base/slugging percentage at second base.
Belliard would be an upgrade over anything at second base but please forget about acquiring Mota.

Bobby Abreu is being sent packing to join the New York Yankees as he was traded for three minor leaguers: left-handed reliever Matt Smith, catcher Jesus Sanchez and right-hander Carlos Monasterios.

Yesterday, the Atlanta Braves traded INF Wilson Betemit to the Los Angeles Dodgers for RHP Danys Baez and INF Willy Aybar.

On Friday, the Milwaukee Brewers traded OF Carlos Lee and OF Nelson Cruz to the Texas Rangers for RHP Francisco Cordero, OF Kevin Mench, OF Laynce Nix and minor league LHP Julian Cordero.

EDIT:
Luna has officially been traded for Belliard. The Cardinals have all-stars at every infield position but catcher.

Bruce Sutter enters the Baseball Hall of Fame

"The atmosphere of St. Louis is something I'll always remember."
--Bruce Sutter, July 30, 2006

Bruce, we'll always remember your pitching the final six outs as the Cardinals won the World Series in 1982.

Thoughts on the Hall

I'm listening to the HOF induction coverage on MLB Radio. I just thought I'd mention right now that Bruce Sutter's wife is in my thoughts and prayers. I will say another thing about the candidates up for election this past year: Why on earth was Buck O'Neil not elected by the Hall of Fame voters?!?

Aside from Greg Maddux, who pitched the other day, there are a lot of quality pitchers starting on the mound today, and there are some that are not starting today. Baseball Tonight's Steve Phillips talked about them earlier and I thought I would write some of my thoughts about whether they should join the Hall of Fame and enter baseball immortality.

Greg "Mad Dog" Maddux - The former Brave and current Cub pitcher is a guaranteed lock for the HOF with having over 300 wins and 3,000 strikeouts. Additionally, he was a key player with the Braves post-season run from 1993-2003. He has appeared in 8 all-star games and has earned the NL Cy Young award four consecutive times (92-95).

Tom Glavine - Glavine was a key player with the Braves as well. I think he's a lock for the HOF. He's very close to 300 wins but he comes up short in the K column. However, I feel that once he joins the exclusive 300 win club for pitchers, he'll be a lock. He's close to 2,500 strikeouts. He won two Cy Youngs (1991, 1998) and was the 1995 World Series MVP. Without the shadow of a doubt, he's in.

Randy "The Big Unit" Johnson - Johnson is a member of the 4,000 strikeout club which means he'll definitely be a member of the HOF. He's not in the 300 win club yet but he will be eventually. He's at 274 wins right now and with him being on the decline, who knows if he'll get there. As much as I hate the Yankees, there are quite a few players that I root for to do well (Jeter, Rivera, Williams, Johnson, Mussina, and on some days, Alex Rodriguez). He's a ten-time all-star who won a Cy in the AL (1995) and four in the NL (1999-2002)

Mike Mussina - It's hard to say right now whether he has the numbers to enter the HOF. He's got over 2,500 strikeouts and is on pace to get 192 strikeouts this season. However, he just doesn't have enough wins in the win column to be considered there. He's a five time all-star who never won a Cy Young although he's finished in the voting in the top five. I think with three more quality seasons, he'll be elected to the HOF once he gets 3,000 K's but until then, if he were to retire today, he's not getting elected.

Chris Carpenter - I'm a big-time Cardinals fan but Carp is a late bloomer when it comes to putting up the Cy Young numbers. He just won his first NL Cy award last season. He's been selected for two all-star games. He's 31 years old so he might have 9 more quality seasons left in him before he ultimately retires. He's got 95 career wins and is going for his 96th win today. All of that is through 9 seasons. He just passed the 1,000 strikeout plateau this season. He has to keep up what he's been doing for at least 5-9 seasons to get elected in my opinion.

Carlos Zambrano - Putting my hatred of the Cubs aside, Zambrano is a great pitcher. He's not going to be 25 until August and has 59 wins through 5 and a half of seasons. He's a two-time all-star and this has been one of his best seasons. I think that he needs to get out of Chicago and if he pitches for another 10 seasons putting up numbers like he's doing this season, I think he'll get elected.

Johan Santana - At 27 years old, the Twins pitcher already has over 1,000 strikeouts and has won 71 wins in 6.5 seasons. His strikeout numbers are very impressive. He's a two-time all-star and won the 2004 AL Cy Young award. He keeps it up and he's in.

Roy "Doc" Halladay - The Doc is in without a doubt. Eight more wins and he reaches the 100 wins plateau. He'll get 1,000 career strikeouts towards the end of the season, or beginning of next. He's 29 years old and entered his prime in 2002. He's a four-time all-star who won the 2003 Cy Young in the AL. He's putting up Cy numbers again this year. Keep it up, Doc.

Barry Zito - He's a two time all-star who is in his 6th season. He's 3 wins away from 100 wins and entered the 1,000 strikeout column this season. He won the 2002 AL Cy Young. I think he'll get in with ten more quality seasons.

Dontrelle Willis - In less than four full seasons, the 2003 ROY has won 52 games with 545 strikeouts. He's been to a few all-star games early in his career. I think he'll get in eventually if he keeps it up.

Matt Morris - Despite being a two-time all-star and having a great 2001 season, I don't see Morris being enshrined, if ever. Even in his 9th season, he would have to put up numbers like he did in 2001 for the next 6 years, if not more.

Roger Clemens - If he had the run support, he would have added at least 20 more wins to his career but oh, well. He's a Hall of Famer on his first ballot whenever he retires. He has 343 wins, and is en route to his 344th today, with over 4,500 strikeouts. He may be the greatest right-handed pitcher of all-time. Add on to that, a total of 6 Cy Youngs in the AL and one in the NL, as well as the 1987 AL MVP.

Ben Sheets - In six seasons, the Brewer pitcher has 56 wins and 859 strikeouts. He may eventually be a pitcher of HOF caliber but ask me again in five and ten years.

Curt Schilling - He's in. He's going to get 3,000 strikeouts plus in his career. He's in his 19th season right now. Unless he pitchers five more seasons like the way he's pitching now, there's no way he joins the 300 win club but the 3,000 K's is more than enough to guarantee his selection.

John Lackey - Through four and a half seasons, the Angels' pitcher has won 56 games and struck out 684. Ask me again in five or ten years if he's of HOF caliber.

Pedro Martinez - In 15 seasons, the 34 year old has won 205 games and struck out 2,974. He's a lock for sure. He's close enough to 3,000 and he may or may not be joining the 300 win club in his career but he's in for sure. he won one NL Cy and two AL Cy awards with numerous all-star selections.

C.C. Sabathia - Here's a known fact, Sabathia has 74 wins and he's not even 26 yet. That is something that Clemens, Glavine, and Johnson have not accomplished. He has just over 850 career strikeouts and this is in a span of just over five and a half seasons. If you factor his age in, he's a definitive lock in about eight more seasons.

Mark Buerhle - In his 7th season, he is six wins away from 100. He's struck out 792 in his short career. I think in ten more seasons, he'll have the numbers to enter the HOF.

Join me later this week, and I'll discuss active hitters.

WaPo article on HOF and Mark McGwire

It's an interesting article dealing with reactions to what might happen when Mark McGwire gets inducted.

Bob Feller (HOF '62) - "I obviously wouldn't like it. That would be very damaging to the Hall of Fame."

Ryne Sandberg (HOF '05) - "I'm interested to see how the writers will vote. They have a chance to make a point that needs to be made about what [the Hall] represents. They are supposed to consider integrity and character [as criteria for judging a player's worthiness]. I hope they do that."

Wade Boggs (HOF '05) - "I don't recall Mark McGwire ever testing positive. In America, you're not guilty until proven innocent -- it's the other way around."

Jim Palmer (HOF '90) on a boycott - "That could happen, I suppose. Everybody has a right to react however they think is proper."

Rollie Fingers (HOF '92) - "I'm going to come to honor Ripken and Gwynn. If [the writers] vote McGwire in, they vote him in. I'm still going to show up."

Bill Mazeroski (HOF '01) - "I'd still come, for sure. I wouldn't miss this for the world. Honestly, I still haven't figured out exactly how I feel about [the steroids issue] -- and I get the feeling you writers haven't, either."

How do the writers feel about the issue?

Gordon Edes (Boston Globe) - "I was very fond and respectful of Mark McGwire as a player. But when he stood there in front of Congress and said, 'I don't want to talk about the past,' it left me thinking, 'Okay, Mark, then I don't want to consider your past, either.' My inclination at this point is probably not to vote for him. But I clearly want to reserve the right to change my mind between now and Dec. 31."

Rick Hummel - "inclined to vote for him, based on what we know about him, and also what we don't know. How do we know how many homers to subtract [from his totals]? He was always a home run hitter, even as a rookie."

Palmer later added on some comments dealing with Pete Rose: "If anybody from this 'steroids era' gets in, it seems to me you'd have to go back and take a hard look at Pete."

Read the article in full for sure.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Who is for sale?!?

Gordo on the players that are being shopped around.

Here are the names that have been mentioned and who is rumored to be interested in them:
Alfonso Soriano, OF, Nationals (CWS, STL, DET)
--Soriano would be a great pickup for anybody that decides to trade for him. He's a hitter that hits for power rather than average and until this year, he was good for about 40 home runs a season but he's been having an outstanding year by far. This is his sixth full season in the majors and he already has 32 home runs (Career high is 39). If there's a team willing to trade for him, make sure to play him at second base. He's a natural short stop but had to convert to second in the minor leagues because Derek Jeter is not leaving NYY anytime soon. If Jeter keeps up for 5-6 more seasons, he'll be a sure lock for the Hall of Fame (Career .300 hitter, already at 2,070 hits).

Alex Rodriguez, 3B, Yankees (ATL, CHC)
--Rodriguez is having a down year despite reaching two career milestones with his 2,00th career hit coming on his 450th home run. E-Rod, as he's been recently nicknamed due to his 19 errors this season, always puts up some great offensive numbers and he's admitted that he gets a bad rep due to his financial contract. Last year's MVP will be a sure bet for the HOF if he gets back to his old form that won him an MVP last year when he put up numbers like .321/48/130.

Miguel Tejada, SS, Orioles (LAA, HOU)
--I just don't see Tejada going anywhere anytime soon. The Angels and Astros may be scouting him for a potential signing during the offseason but his contract isn't up for a few more years. He's played everyday since like, who knows, and he'll be the next Iron Man if he plays daily til 2016 when he'll be 40 years old. He's a sure bet for the HOF as well if he keeps his streak going. His offensive numbers have been great since coming to Baltimore from Oakland. He hits for average like Pujols except he's not much of a power hitter. He reached the 1,500 career hits mark a few days ago and he'll get to 3,000 eventually.

Barry Zito, SP, A’s (NYM)
--Oakland's out of playoff contention for the most part and Zito may be wanting to play for a contender. The Mets are looking for pitching and Zito might be able to help them in route to the playoffs.

Bobby Abreu, OF, Phillies (NYY)
--The Phillies are trying to unload their payroll. The only problem with Abreu is that he has stopped hitting home runs. After winning the home run contest last summer, he's only hit 8 home runs this year. His batting .277 this year and his career .300 average is on the verge of falling below .300 as of this season.

Pat Burrell, OF, Phillies (BOS, NYY, STL)
--Pat the Bat has been in a slump lately and he's said that if he's traded, he only wants to go to BOS or NYY, possible due to the history of the two teams. Due to his slump, he's been platooning in left field. Will a scene change help? I don't know. It might but we won't know unless he is traded.

Jon Lieber, SP, Phillies (NYM, STL)
--Lieber is the plan B option if the Mets don't get Zito but then again, the Cards are looking at Lieber as well. Lieber's had a down year going 4-7 in 15 starts this season. His best years were with Chicago when he played for the Cubs.

Cory Lidle, SP, Phillies (NYY, BOS, MIN)
--Lidle's also having a down year having gone 8-7 in 21 starts with an ERA over 5.

Livan Hernandez, SP, Nationals (STL, NYM)
--The Mets are looking for pitching and Livan would join his half-brother. The Cards seem interested in him as well. Like Lidle, he's having somewhat of a down year as his ERA is over 5.

Todd Walker, 2B, Cubs (SEA)
--The Mariners have been scouting him but with the addition of Broussard, they may no longer be interested in him.

Greg Maddux, SP, Cubs (LAD)
--Honestly, the future HOF pitcher needs to get out of Chicago. He stinks this season as his ERA is over 4. He's well past his prime--that happened when he left the Atlanta Braves.

Sean Casey, 1B, Pirates (OAK)
--Casey is just entering his prime despite being DL-prone. The Reds worst mistake was trading him during the offseason by trading him to Pittsburgh for LHP Dave Williams. Casey is batting close to .300 while Williams is now a Met.

David Dellucci, OF, Phillies (STL)
--Despite being platooned, he's having one of his best seasons batting .311/7/21. He's a hitter that bats for average, not power but give him the chance to play everyday somewhere.

Brandon McCarthy, SP, White Sox (WAS)
--If Soriano goes to CWS, McCarthy joins the Nationals. It's as easy as that. However, White Sox general manager Ken Williams says he has no intentions on giving him up. Walt Jocketty has said the same about Anthony Reyes and Adam Wainwright. He's only in his second MLB season so who knows if he's apart of the White Sox future.

Rodrigo Lopez, SP, Orioles (CIN)
--He needs a change of scenery. He's pitching pathetic for the Orioles.

Julio Lugo, SS, Devil Rays (TOR, BOS)
--He's having a career season with Tampa and will likely be playing elsewhere after July 31st.

Other names mentioned that Walt is rumored to be going after
Dontrelle Willis, SP, Marlins (STL)
Aaron Rowand, CF, Phillies (STL)
Arthur Rhodes, RP, Phillies (STL)
Rheal Cormier, RP, Phillies (STL)
Luiz Gonzales, LF, Diamondbacks (STL)
Shawn Green, RF, Diamondbacks (STL)

If the Cardinals are shopping around for a left field bat or some extra pitching, here's to hope that it's someone with at least five good years still left in them.

Shawn Green may be past his prime but he's having a rebounding year, aside from home runs). A scene of change may be all that he needs to start producing more. I like the idea of Shawn Green being an every day player for the Cardinals. I won't lie about that but I also like Chris Duncan's chances of being a great every-day player in left field.

Trade Talks - Saturday Edition

Scratch Carlos Lee but I hear RF Shawn Green may be available. Green has a lot of experience. he's a two time all-star that will be close to 2,000 hits in a season or two. He has 312 home runs in his career. At this point, I really don't know if we should give up Reyes or not. My fantasy team has taken a hit when he pitches.
General manager Walt Jocketty remains insistent that he does not want to subtract from his team's current clubhouse and that pitchers Anthony Reyes and Adam Wainwright remain untouchable.

The Cardinals are still searching for an outfielder and a relief pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies offering a possible match with outfielders Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell, David Dellucci and Aaron Rowand, and lefthanded relievers Arthur Rhodes and Rheal Cormier. The Arizona Diamondbacks' Shawn Green and Luis Gonzalez are also available.

Wherever the Cardinals end up, a potential trading partner is likely to probe about Reyes' and Wainwright's availability.

Wainwright has heard organizational assurances he isn't going anywhere. But he also has been around the game long enough to believe little.

"I don't believe that. I think for maybe the right price I might be available," said Wainwright, who came to the Cardinals in a five-player deal with the Atlanta Braves in December 2003. Wainwright was considered by some to be the Braves' top pitching prospect at the time.

Earlier this week a number of clubs wondered if the Cardinals were prepared to make an "impact" trade given a reluctance to deal off their 25-man roster and their relatively thin minor-league system. Likewise, the Cardinals have received little indication about the Phillies' intentions. As one Phillies executive recently said, "We've gone fishing but we haven't put a lure in the water yet."

Wainwright, 24, has emerged as one of the team's most pleasant surprises this season.

A starter in the minor leagues, he moved to the bullpen late in spring training and has gained the trust of manager Tony La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan. Wainwright is 2-2 with a 2.42 ERA in 39 appearances totaling 52 innings.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Trading Colby Rasmus?!?

If you ask me, now is not the time to trade away one of our most coveted prospects just to get the D-Train. I don't want to even think about Jim Edmonds' eventual retirement from baseball but Colby Rasmus is likely to be groomed as his replacement as the centerfielder.
The position is of heightened interest because of who mans it at the major-league level. Jim Edmonds, an annual Gold Glove winner and power threat, is in the final year of his contract, and the Cardinals hold a $10 million option for 2007. Edmonds, 36, has been coy about his future, joking about his age and his batting average.

He also has expressed a desire to have his option exercised

That could put the Cardinals in the position of needing a center fielder two, three or four seasons from now. There's little chance of replacing Edmonds' combination of glove and pop, but there's talent incubating in the minors. An ideal and cost-effective solution would be that the center fielder emerge from the organization.[...]

ON DECK
Three center fielders in the Cardinals' farm system are at various stages of development in their careers. Some info on the threesome:

SKIP SCHUMAKER
Class AAA Memphis
Telling stats: .301 BA, 30 R, 7 SB

Opened season with Cardinals; a talented fielder who can play all three outfield positions exceptionally well. Average is good, but few walks means he needs to hit to reach.

REID GORECKI
Class AA Springfield
Telling stats: .239 BA, 14 HR, 42 RBIs, 11 SB

Currently on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, Gorecki had a sizzling start in his second shot at Class AA ball. His average has plummeted over the past month. He's a gifted fielder.

COLBY RASMUS
High Class A Palm Beach
Telling stats: .296 BA, 12 HR, 55 RBIs, 19 SB

Club's first pick in 2005 draft has already climbed a rung this season from Quad Cities to Palm Beach. His defensive instincts are developing and his power is surprising. Has tremendous potential as all-around player.
If pitching is what Walt Jocketty wants, then why did we even pick up Jeff Weaver? Reyes is likely a temporary solution in the rotation until Mulder comes back to what he used to be.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Post-Vacation Recap

Due to vacation, I was unable to post about the Cards.

July 17
Atlanta wins 15-3 as Weaver makes his Cardinal debut
Losing pitcher - Jeff Weaver (3-11)
HR: Jim Edmonds (12)
Weaver fanned his 1,000th strikeout victim

July 18
Atlanta wins 14-5
Losing pitcher - Jason Marquis (11-7)
HR: Jim Edmonds (13)

July 19
Cardinals beat Braves 8-3
Winning pitcher - Chris Carpenter (9-4)
HR: Jim Edmonds (14)

July 21
Cards shut-out Dodgers 2-0
Winning pitcher - Jeff Suppan (7-5)
SV - Jason Isringhausen (27)
HR: Chris Duncan (5)
Suppan struck out his 1,000th victim.

July 22
Cards win 6-1, Weaver picks up first win as a Cardinal
Winning pitcher - Jeff Weaver (4-11)
HR: Chris Duncan (6), Jim Edmonds (15), Albert Pujols (32)

July 23
Cards sweep LA after winning 6-1
Winning pitcher - Jason Marquis (12-7)
HR: Juan Encarnacion (13, 14)

July 24
Colorado shuts out Cards 7-0
Losing pitcher - Anthony Reyes (2-4)

Despite the fact that he was named as one of the top prospects in the organization, Anthony Reyes has really struggled this season. Dave Duncan, or even Carp, really needs to work with him.

Coming into last night's game, Chris Duncan was batting .349 in the month of July. I truly feel that we found a permanent left fielder who can bat in the 2 spot.

Milestone watch:
Albert Pujols needs 22 home runs to tie Ken Boyer for 2nd on the Cardinals all-time home runs list with 255.
Jim Edmonds needs 3 home runs to tie Ray Lankford for 4th on the Cardinals all-time home runs list with 228.
Jason Isringhausen needs 7 saves for 250 career saves.

Harold Reynolds fired from ESPN?

I hope this is false. Baseball Tonight is not complete without Harold Reynolds.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Dodger Series

July 13
Cards beat Dodgers 3-2 in extra innings
Winning pitcher - Braden Looper (5-1)
HR: Jim Edmonds (11), Albert Pujols (30)

July 14
Cards shut out Dodgers 5-0
Winning pitcher - Chris Carpenter (8-4)
HR: Chris Duncan (4), Juan Encarnacion (12)
Carp pitched a complete game, two-hit shut out.

July 15
Cards win in extra 2-1
Winning pitcher - Braden Looper (6-1)
HR: Albert Pujols (31)
Rolen drove home Eckstein in a blooper to end the game.

July 16
Cards crush the Dodgers 11-3.
Winning pitcher - Anthony Reyes (2-3)
HR: John Rodriguez (2)
This is the seventh win in a row and the streak is as long as it was in 2004.
Chris Duncan had a big game, going 3-4 with a double and 3 runs. Pujols went 4-5 with two runs and 3 RBI. Molina was 3-4 with two doubles and 3 RBI. Anthony Reyes was solid for 5 innings except for giving up two runs and seven hits. He fanned 5. Josh Hancock and Tyler Johnson combined for three innings of relief, giving up 3 hits and striking out one. Josh Kinney, in an inning of relief, gave up a run.

VS. ATLANTA
July 17 (ESPN)
Jeff Weaver vs. Horatio Ramirez, 7 PM

July 18
Jason Marquis vs. Tim Hudson, 8:10 PM

July 19
Chris Carpenter vs. TBA, 8:10 PM

Milestone watch:
Albert Pujols needs 23 home runs to tie Ken Boyer for 2nd on the Cardinals all-time home runs list with 255.
Jeff Suppan needs 1 strikeout for 1,000 career strikeouts.
Jeff Weaver needs 1 strikeout for 1,000 career strikeouts.
Jason Isringhausen needs 8 saves for 250 career saves.

The Cardinals bullpen is 15-12 with a 3.91 ERA. In the past few games, with several going extra, and the starters going deep into the game, they've lowered their ERA a little bit as it was 3.96 yesterday. The Cards are starting to get back into their old form before the losing streak.

FARM WATCH
The Springfield Cardinals have helped out Chris Lambert. Lambert is 8-7 this season with a 5.27 ERA while throwing 86 strikeouts in 97.1 innings pitched.

Mark Worrell has 21 saves this season with Springfield and leads the category in the Texas League. Stuart Pomeranz is on the DL.

Larry Bigbie has started rehabbing in his attempt to get back to the major leagues.

In other baseball news, Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones tied an MLB record for consecutive games with an extra base hit set by Paul Waner in 1927. He has had an extra base hit in 14 consecutive games now. Mariano Rivera became the 4th player to save his 400th game.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Trade News

The Reds traded Lexington native (and Cats fan) Austin Kearns (OF) to the Nationals today in an 8 player deal. The Reds gave up some great players to improve their lack of quality relief pitching.

The Nationals now have five outfielders. Soriano may be joining St. Louis sooner than we think.

Ponson signed with the Yankees.

Ponson released by Cardinals

I'm not at all surprised by this. Nice knowing ya, Sid!
Ponson, designated for assignment Friday hours after making a quality start in a loss against the Houston Astros, is due to clear release waivers this afternoon, according to sources. Any team willing to assume the remainder of the righthander's guaranteed $1 million salary plus a potential $1.5 million in appearance incentives may claim him; Ponson retains the right to reject any claim and become a free agent.

Released largely of his inability to pitch deep into games and a refusal last month to embrace his transfer to the bullpen, Ponson has attracted significant interest from the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox and could accept a bid from either club if he clears waivers.
The P-D takes a look at the midseason report.

MVP: Pujols
Cy: Carpenter
Comeback(s) of the year
1. Scott Rolen, from last August's season-ending shoulder surgery to make the All-Star team and lead the Cardinals in extra-base hits.
2. Scott Spiezio's return from the career dead.
3. The Cardinals rallying from six runs down to beat Milwaukee 10-6 and snap a three-game losing streak June 9. The win gave St. Louis a lead it hasn't relinquished.
Before the next part, I will say that Jim Edmonds is starting to show his bat again and returning to his old form.
Second-half wish list:
1. Jim Edmonds' bat.
2. Mulder's health.
3. Walt Jocketty's ability to find two of three, in order of preference: a veteran starting pitcher, a power bat or a resilient reliever with Al Reyes' qualities.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

All-Star Recap

Well, let's just say that I would have rather had Izzy in there in the 9th inning pitching for us. It doesn't matter how many get on base because he still gets us out of a jam.

The NL got a break with the ground-rule double but the two-run triple definitely did help matters. The NL doesn't get home field advantage yet again and it makes me angry because they get creamed in IL play. I'm starting to think whether or not the NL teams elected by the fans are truly the All-Stars they deserve to be. You can't have an NL team without Ken Griffey, Jr. Scott Rolen should have played some yesterday. Some of the pitchers selected did not even pitch a minute. It's an all-star game--play everyone. If Adam Dunn starts batting for average as well as power, his bat would have been helpful last night. The NL has had two leads since they last won in 1996--us fans need to start electing players who want to play to win because it counts for the post-season HFA.

At the all-star break, here are my midseason post-season awards
National League
ROY: Ryan Zimmerman
MVP: Albert Pujols
CY: Brandon Webb

Pitching TC Leaders:
Wins: Tom Glavine
ERA: Carlos Zambrano
Strikeouts: Brandon Webb

American League
ROY: Jonathan Papelbon, Francisco Liriano
MVP: David Ortiz
CY: Roy Halladay

Pitching TC Leaders
Wins: Roy Halladay
ERA: Francisco Liriano
Strikeouts: Johan Santana

I'm hoping St. Louis plays a better second half of the season. Even though his playing has been less than impressive this season, Jason Isringhausen leads the NL in saves with 26. He's tied with the MLB lead with Jenks and Papelbon. Batting-wise, the Cards have quite a few in the top fifty with Rolen, Pujols, Eckstein, and yes, he's actually up there--Juan Encarnacion. Edmonds is in the top 100.

At the rate it is looking, David Ortiz will probably break the AL record for home runs in a single season which is still at 61 in case you forgot.

With regards to the 500 home run club, Jim Thome (460) and Manny Ramirez (459) are edging closer to joining it which pretty much guarantees them a spot in the HOF. Alex Rodriguez (448) will likely be joining next season if he gets out of the slump he's in. Frank Thomas (467) should get there but he's been fading out the past few years since the end of the 2003 season. Mike Piazza (409) should but he just hasn't been putting up the numbers like he used to. He needs to go AL and start DH'ing. But for a catcher, he's Hall-bound in my opinion. Carlos Delgada (391) needs two or three seasons to get there--he's having an Edmonds year with the way his AVG is this season. Gary Sheffield is at 453 and will likely join the club next season or in two seasons due to the injury this year.

And let's look at the 300 hit club, Craig Biggio is the closest to 3,000 among active players with 2,883. Bonds is next with 2,789. Steve Finley has 2,491. Sheffield has 2,383.

In pitching, Tom Glavine will join the 300-win club next year most likely. He's pitched 19 games this season, winning 11 of those. The Mets have been superhot this year and he's having his best year since 2002. Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez should join the 3,000 K club this year.

I'm leaving off closers since they really haven't been elected to the HOF.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

ESPN no longer wants baseball playoffs?!?

IMDB reports:
Fox and TBS Play Ball
The Fox broadcast network and the TBS cable network have approved seven-year deals with Major League Baseball to televise weekend games during the season, the entire first round of the playoffs, plus one of the two league championship series, the All-Star Game and the World Series, Bloomberg News reported today (Tuesday), citing three people familiar with the negotiations. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Under it, Fox would broadcast 26 Saturday games (up from the current 18), while TBS would carry 26 Sunday games. TBS would carry the American and National League first-round playoffs, sharing them with sibling cable network TNT. Fox would continue to air the All-Star Game, the World Series and either the American or the National League championship series. The other series is still up for grabs. Further details are expected to be announced before tonight's All-Star Game in Pittsburgh.

Cards news in the past month and a half

June 26
Indians beat Cards 10-3
Losing pitcher - Jason Marquis (9-6)

June 27
Indians win 3-1
Losing pitcher - Anthony Reyes (1-2)

June 28
Cards win 5-4
Winning pitcher - Jason Isringhausen (2-3)
HR: Scott Rolen (10)

June 30
Cards lose 7-5 to Royals in extra innings
Losing pitcher - Braden Looper (3-1)

July 1
Cards lose again, 8-7
Losing pitcher - Jason Isringhausen (2-4)
HR: Jim Edmonds (8), Yadier Molina (3), Scott Rolen (11), Scott Spiezio (4)

July 2
Cards win 9-7
Winning pitcher - Jason Marquis (10-6)
HR: Jim Edmonds (9), Albert Pujols (27), Scott Rolen (12)
Pujols' 27th HR of the season tied him for third all-time with Ray Lankford with 228 home runs while playing for the Cards.

July 3
Cards lose 6-3 to Braves
Losing pitcher - Anthony Reyes (1-3)
HR: Albert Pujols (28)
Pujols reached 2,000 TB in his 854th game. Among active players, he ranks first with Nomar Garciaparra in second (859 games). The home run moves him into sole possession fo 3rd place all-time while playing for St. Louis with 229 home runs. He needs 26 more to tie Ken Boyer (255) for 2nd place. Stan Musial leads the team all-time with 475.

July 4
Cards win 6-3
Winning pitcher - Chris Carpenter (7-4)
SV - Jason Isringhausen (25)
HR: Juan Encarnacion (11)

July 5
Cards lose 14-4
Losing pitcher - Jeff Suppan (6-5)
HR: Hector Luna (4), Scott Rolen (13)

July 6
Cards lose to Houston 4-2
Losing pitcher - Sidney Ponson (4-4)
HR: Jim Edmonds (10)
This home run ties Edmonds with Mark McGwire with 220 (4th all-time) while playing for St. Louis.

July 7
Cards win 8-2
Winning pitcher - Jason Marquis (11-6)
SV - Jason Isringhausen (26)
HR: John Rodriguez (1)

July 8
Cards win 7-6 in extra
Winning pitcher - Jason Isringhausen (3-4)
HR: Albert Pujols (29), Scott Spiezio (5)

July 9
Cards win 7-5 in extra to conclude the first half of the 2006 season
Winning pitcher - Braden Looper (4-1)
SV - Josh Hancock (1)
HR: Scott Rolen (14)

The Cardinals go into the break with a 48-39 record.

Milestone watch:
Albert Pujols needs 25 home runs to tie Ken Boyer for 2nd on the Cardinals all-time home runs list with 255.
Jeff Suppan needs 7 strikeouts for 1,000 career strikeouts.
Jason Isringhausen needs 8 saves for 250 career saves.

Mulder update
Update on the Spikes
As mentioned yesterday, the Spikes are expecting to get some help in their pitching staff as Rice's right-handed pitcher Eddie Degerman is slated to join the staff.

Degerman was drafted by St. Louis Cardinals GM Walt Jocketty in the fourth round (146th overall) this past June.

He went 13-2 with a dominating 2.00 ERA in 17 starts for the Owls, and led them to the College World Series. Degerman, who is a power pitcher, recorded a 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walks ratio and held opponents to a .170 average.
Chris Perez has signed with the Cards.

History repeats itself in the Cards rotation.

St. Louis native Ryan Howard won last night's Home Run Derby.

Monday, July 10, 2006

All-Star Roster Additions

NL:
Nomar Garciaparra (1B) makes the team in the final vote.

Glavine, Reyes, and Martinez will not be playing. Chris Capuano, David Eckstein, and Roy Oswalt is a replacement.

AL:
Ramirez will not be playing due to injury but let's face it, he doesn't want to play the game ever so keep him off the ballot.

Cano is not playing and is replaced by Lopez. Rios is replaced by Gary Matthews, Jr. Magglio Ordonez replaces Ramirez. Lirano replaces Jose Contreras.

Kenny Rogers and Brad Penny will be the starters for their leagues as the lineups have been announced.

American League

1. Ichiro Suzuki, rf
2. Derek Jeter, ss
3. David Ortiz, 1b
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3b
5. Vladimir Guerrero, lf
6. Ivan Rodriguez, c
7. Vernon Wells, cf
8. Mark Loretta, 2b
9. Kenny Rogers, p

National League

1. Alfonso Soriano, lf
2. Carlos Beltran, cf
3. Albert Pujols, 1b
4. Jason Bay, rf
5. Edgar Renteria, ss
6. David Wright, 3b
7. Chase Utley, 2b
8. Paul Lo Duca, c
9. Brad Penny, p

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Billikens Arena Groundbreaking date set!!

SLU Sets Arena Groundbreaking Date
Saint Louis University announced today that the groundbreaking ceremony for its new $80.5 million multipurpose Arena will take place at noon on Mon., Aug. 28, at the Arena site near Compton and I-64/Highway 40. Construction of the Arena complex will take 18-19 months with an opening in March of 2008.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Cards trade for Weaver

AP reports that the St. Louis Cardinals traded Terry Evans and cash conisderations to the Los Angeles Angels for Jeff Weaver.
Weaver, 29, was designated for assignment by the Angels last Friday after going 6-10 with a 6.29 ERA in 16 starts this season. He signed an one-year, $8.3 million contract with Los Angeles as a free agent during the offseason.[...]

He has a career record of 81-97 with an ERA of 4.55 in 225 starts.

"We feel that Weaver is someone who can come in and lend immediate help and depth to our rotation," Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty said after St. Louis' 14-4 loss at Atlanta.

Weaver allowed 114 hits, including 18 homers, while walking 21 and striking out 62 in 88 2-3 innings this season with the Angels. Opponents had a .309 average against him.

Evans, 24, was hitting .311 with seven homers and 20 RBIs in 21 games with Double-A Springfield. He began this season with Class A Palm Beach, hitting .307 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs in 60 games.

Evans was drafted in the 47th round by St. Louis in 2001.
Somehow I think this trade is a mistake.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

All-Star Rosters

American League
Starters
American League Starters
1B David Ortiz, BOS
2B Mark Loretta, BOS
3B Alex Rodriguez, NYY
SS Derek Jeter, NYY
C Ivan Rodriguez, DET
OF Vladimir Guerrero, LAA
OF Manny Ramirez, BOS
OF Ichiro Suzuki, SEA

Pitchers
SP Mark Buerhle, CWS
SP Jose Contreras, CWS
SP Roy Halladay, TOR
SP Scott Kazmir, TB
SP Mark Redman, KC
SP Kenny Rogers, DET
SP Johan Santana, MIN
SP Barry Zito, OAK
RP Bobby Jenks, CWS
RP Jon Papelbon, BOS
RP Mariano Rivera, NYY
RP B.J. Ryan, TOR

Reserves
1B Paul Konerko, CWS
1B Jim Thome, CWS
2B Robinson Cano, NYY º
2B Jose Lopez, SEA ª
3B Troy Glaus, TOR
SS Miguel Tejada, BAL
SS Michael Young, TEX
C Joe Mauer, MIN - should have started without a doubt!
OF Jermaine Dye, CWS
OF Alex Rios, TOR º
OF Gary Matthews, Jr., TEX ª
OF Grady Sizemore, CLE
OF Vernon Wells, TOR

National League
Starters
1B Albert Pujols, STL
2B Chase Utley, PHI
3B David Wright, NYM
SS Jose Reyes, NYM
C Paul Lo Duca, NYM
OF Jason Bay, PIT
OF Carlos Beltran, NYM
OF Alfonso Soriano, WSH

Pitchers
SP Carlos Zambrano, CHC
SP Bronson Arroyo, CIN
SP Brad Penny, LAD
SP Tom Glavine, NYM
SP Pedro Martinez, NYM
SP Chris Carpenter, STL
SP Jason Schmidt, SF
SP Brandon Webb, ARI
RP Brian Fuentes, COL
RP Derrick Turnbow, MIL
RP Tom Gordon, PHI
RP Trevor Hoffman, SD

Reserves
1B Lance Berkman, HOU
1B Ryan Howard, PHI
2B Dan Uggla, FLA
3B Miguel Cabrera, FLA
3B Freddy Sanchez, PIT
3B Scott Rolen, STL
SS Edgar Renteria, ATL
C Brian McCann, ATL
OF Andruw Jones, ATL
OF Matt Holliday, COL
OF Carlos Lee, MIL

Final Man Candidates
AL
C A.J. Pierzynski, CWS
c Ramon Hernandez, BAL
1B Travis Hafner, CLE
SP Justin Verlander, DET
SP Francisco Liriano, MIN

NL
1B Nomar Garciaparra, LAD
P Chris Capuano, MIL
P Billy Wagner, PHI
P Bobby Abreu, PHI
P Chris Young, SD

How Curt Schilling or Josh Beckett were not elected is beyond me.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Anthony Drejaj

Drejaj Signs to Play Professionally in Europe
Former Saint Louis Billikens guard Anthony Drejaj (W. Orange, N.J. / Seton Hall Prep) signed a two-year contract yesterday to play for Sigal Prishtine in Kosovo's Super League, the premier professional league in that country.