Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day Washed Out

The stats are cancelled. Due to the forecast, they will start over from scratch tomorrow evening at 8:15/7:15 PM.

This is the first rain-out on opening day since 1994.

Pujols' home run has been nullified.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cards cut five

The following players were released by the organization:
RHP Dewon Brazelton
RHP Arando Carrasco
RHP Logan Collier
CF Reid Gorecki
2B Juan Lucena

Monday, March 24, 2008

2008 MLB Predictions

It's the start of a new baseball season and that means that it is time, once again, to stump the experts and make my predictions on who will win their division and who will go home with a postseason award.

NL East: Philadelphia Phillies
With the last two NL MVPs of Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins leading the way, the Phillies will be a contender and could very well break the curse of William Penn. Chase Utley is the premier second baseman out there right now and he will bring home the Phillies' third MVP in a row.

NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals
As a Cardinals fan, I have to do this. As unlikely as it seems, every season starts with a new slate. This is a year to rebuild or show that the Cards are the best.

NL West: Arizona Diamondbacks
You can't go wrong with Brandon Webb and Dan Haren.

NL Wild Card: Colorado Rockies
The Rockies will be a force to be reckoned with once again.

NLCS: Philiadelphia Phillies over the Arizona Diamondbacks

NL MVP: Chase Utley, Philiadelphia Phillies

NL CY YOUNG: Cole Hamels, Philiadelphia Phillies

NL ROY: Jay Bruce (Reds) or Colby Rasmus (Cardinals)
This will all depend on whether or not they play during the season and what their numbers look like. They are starting at AAA, unfortunately.

AL East: New York Yankees
Call me crazy but this is their year. Boston had all the fun and while I would like Toronto to win the East in my heart, I think that it will all come together for New York this season.

AL Central: Detroit Tigers
The D-Train plus Miguel Cabrera equals crazy delicious. You know what I mean. This team is going to be an all-around team with the caliber necessary to get to the postseason once again. This team has crazy power and they will finish with the AL pennant in hand.

AL West: Los Angeles Angels
I really like what I see in this club. Vladimir Guerrero, John Lackey, Torii Hunter, etc. will lead this team to the ALCS against the Tigers. Lackey is out for a while but he will come back healthy.

AL Wild Card: Boston Red Sox
This and the Yankees are interchangable but neither club will make it to the ALCS.

ALCS: Detroit Tigers over the Los Angeles Angels

AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

AL CY YOUNG: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

AL ROY: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
Longoria will make an impact once he hits the big leagues sooner rather than later.

WORLD CHAMPIONS: The Phillies are going all the way this year.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ryan, Rasmus, and more...

With Scott Spiezio out, there's a question as to what Brendan Ryan's role on the team will be. Starting out short stop won't be in the equation since the Cardinals signed Cesar Izturis. Derrick Goold at Bird Land chimes in:
In fact, few players in camp have as many possible destinations for the end of March as Ryan. He could start the season as the everyday shortstop in Triple-A Memphis. He could be the Cardinals utility player, sharing time in the middle infield with Aaron Miles. He could play his way into a platoon at second base. Or, and the chance is slim but La Russa did leave an opening there, he could elbow others aside and be the starter at either middle infield positions.
Another big question is: Where will Colby Rasmus start the season at? Yours truly wants him to start in center field for the St. Louis Cardinals every day. Here's what Goold thinks:
Rasmus, the club's top prospect, is hitting .231, lagging behind the other outfielders vying for big-league jobs. But the real indicators of his spring are his .538 slugging percentage (fifth on the team) and .412 on-base percentage (third best among leadoff candidates).
The large issue, apparently, is not the numbers he is putting up but the status of free agency.
When he lands on the major-league roster, Rasmus' service-time clock starts, and after it reaches six seasons Rasmus is eligible for free agency. If he spends just part of 2008 in the minors, he wouldn't be a free agent until after 2014, at least.

"First and foremost, what is to be evaluated is where he is as a player," general manager John Mozeliak said.

The Cardinals expect Rasmus to be in the majors at some point this season, and they accept that Rasmus could be arbitration-eligible after 2010. The larger issue is the date he hits free agency.
What does Tony think of this? Let's ask.
He plays a lot at the major-league level," La Russa said of using Rasmus if he's on the team. "Or, he plays a lot at Triple-A."

La Russa has thought well enough of Rasmus' spring so far that he started the prospect in center field and hit him No. 3 on Tuesday. He showed why his batting average is deceptive. Rasmus walked in two of his first three plate appearances, got an infield single in his fourth, and he stole two bases.
John Sickels at Minor League Ball seems to think that Colby Rasmus will be the better all-around player than Jay Bruce.

What's that, Mr. Smoltz?
No less an expert than Atlanta's John Smoltz, a charter member of Adam Wainwright's fan club, first thought it was "a big mistake" for the young pitcher to leave the bullpen after his star turn in the 2006 postseason.[...]

"If I was the same pitcher he knew (when both were Braves), I would have struggled and been out of the rotation within a month," the righthander said. "A pitcher is supposed to be a lion on the mound, not a lamb. I used to be a lamb."[...]

"If he can do what he did last year and the year before, then he's mentally tougher than the people who doubted him," said Smoltz, who befriended Wainwright when the kid was Atlanta's first-round pick. "I'm going to be the first one to say I thought they were making a big mistake taking him out of that (relief) role. … I was saying, 'Oh, no.' And it worked."

Acquired from the Braves in 2003, Wainwright has had no hesitation hurling himself into the role now dealt him — stand-in ace while Chris Carpenter and Mark Mulder mend. He's become the team's union representative, he volunteered to ham it up in a commercial for tickets, and he muted any frustration when the organization renewed him at $448,000 for the coming year. (He was seeking closer to $525,000.)[...]

Wainwright led the team with 202 innings in 32 starts. His 2.71 ERA after the All-Star break was the fourth-lowest in baseball. Ten of his final 16 starts went at least seven innings, and he allowed fewer than three runs in all 10.

"The kid surprised the heck out of me," Smoltz said. "I have to be careful how I say this, but it was one of the more regrettable trades we've ever done because the guy we got (J.D. Drew) was here only one year. … I'm happy for (Wainwright). All of sudden, he's pushed to the front of the line."

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Ugh...Cards creamed by Dodgers

The Cardinals got creamed by the Los Angeles Dodgers with a final score of 20-6.

Here are the stats from the Cardinals pitching:

St. Louis
Looper (L, 0-2) 2.1 5 8 7 3 1 2 13.50
Villone 1.2 2 4 0 2 0 0 0.00
Worrell, M 1.0 2 1 1 1 1 1 6.00
Hawksworth 2.0 5 3 3 1 5 0 24.00
Springer 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.00
Jimenez 1.0 6 4 4 0 1 0 7.50

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Pujols won't get surgery

This does not appear to be good news at all.
Cardinals team physician Dr. George Paletta shed light on the condition of Albert Pujols' elbow on Wednesday, confirming that the slugger likely is best off not having any kind of surgical procedure until the time comes when a complete reconstruction is needed.

Pujols has a "high grade" tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, as well as bone spurs, inflammation and arthritis in the joint -- all of which have likely developed as a reaction to the ligament tear. The ligament's condition has not appreciably worsened since it was first injured, in 2003, but the surrounding issues have become somewhat more pronounced over that time.

According to Paletta, Pujols was presented with three feasible courses of action over the winter. He could continue the path he had been on, which is treating the symptoms of his injuries while he continued to play. He could undergo arthroscopic surgery, which would address the bone spurs and the arthritis but not the ligament tear. Or he could have arthroscopy as well as Tommy John elbow-reconstruction surgery.
I hope that Albert can stay healthy this season because the Cardinals need him.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Spring training is here!

Spring training is here and that means we've got updates!

The team understands and backs the decision of management to release Scott Spiezio following a warrant being issued for his arrest.
"They've done a whole lot for him and a lot of people," Kennedy said. "They really stuck their neck out for him, particularly last year. There comes a time where you've just got to move on."

That time has arrived for the Cardinals, who have been buffeted by a series of embarrassments and tragedies.[...]

Pitcher Chris Carpenter said: "Everyone in here is real people who have real issues and real problems like everyone else in the world. People in this clubhouse have to be family, take care of one another and try to help one another."

Offered pitcher Jason Isringhausen: "You only get so many chances. With what we've got going this year, I don't think anyone wants any more distractions. We need to be able to compete without distractions. We're not going to be able to throw our gloves out there and win ballgames this year. The less distractions the better. ... I think all of us in here would say the same thing: We're all here for him. If he needs anything, we'd all be there. I don't think any of us in here are saints, but there comes a time when they say enough is enough."

Mozeliak said the message would be reinforced later in camp as the club moves players from its minor league system into its major league clubhouse. "When you look at young players starting to come up ... we want that first experience to be a positive one and free of distractions, especially off the field," he said.
Sydney Ponson made an appearance at the camp this past week. That doesn't mean that Ponson, who dropped to 245 pounds, will be signed to a contract.

Ted Simmons spoke with the Commissioner, Rick Hummell, recently. Simmons has credentials to be in the Hall of Fame, yet he's not there at all!