Let’s play Tony LaRussa

by on July 26, 2008 · 4 comments

Note:  Preprogrammed thread written prior to Friday night’s game – so this does not take into account any further bullpen implosions.

Assume no trades are made – make any assumptions you like with players already in the organization.  Set your ideal pitching staff for the rest of the season.

Mine is like this:

SP Chris Carpenter
SP Adam Wainwright
SP Kyle Lohse
SP Todd Wellemeyer
SP Joel Pineiro

Spot starts, long relief – Brad Thompson
Middle relief, mop up – Jason Isringhausen
Middle relief, left-handed specialist – Ron Villone
Middle relief, set-up – Kyle McClellan
Set-up – Russ Springer
Set-up – Ryan Franklin
Closer – Braden Looper

So I’m assuming that Carp and Waino will return to contribute.  I’m sending Randy Flores to Memphis, and sending out Boggs and Jimenez to reactivate Carp and Waino.

At the next sign of any trouble or ineffectiveness (I know, he’s already had lots of shots), I send Isringhausen down and bring up either Flores, Mark Worrell, or Anthony Reyes.

If Looper is not working at closer, McClellan is next in line.  He can get out both righties and lefties, which I think is a good attribute for someone trying to lock down a game.  Perez is next in line after those two guys at the closer slot.

I try to avoid using Mitch Boggs, Jaime Garcia, or Mike Parisi anymore this year.  Those guys need to remain starters and get their work as such, quit messing with their routines and confidence by yo-yoing them between starting and relief.

Alright, I’m sure this will be subject to much skepticism and ridicule – what’s your ideal pitching staff setup?

Writing about the Cardinals and other loosely associated topics since 2008, I've grown tired of the April run-out only to disappoint Cardinal fans everywhere by mid-May. I do not believe in surrendering free outs.
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StLCards July 28, 2008

OK, I’ll play. So tempting give my “ideal” lineup, but then I’d be playing GM and not Tony.

Given what we have to work with, I would slate them as follows:
1. Chris Carpenter – this is a given, but I doubt he really pitches like a #1 pitcher down the stretch. He still had command issues in his last start and isn’t likely going to go more than 5 or 6 innings if he can’t throw more strikes. I think the hope is that he is really ready by his 3rd start vs the Cubs.

2. Adam Wainwright – I think he is best served as a starter as he is one of the few guys we have that can go deep into a game on a consistent basis. We have seen over and over what happens to a bullpen when the starters get yanked early.

3. Kyle Lohse – Having a great year and has lots of reasons to finsih strong.

4. Wellemeyer – I would really like to say Jaime Garcia here as we really need a left handed pitcher to give teams a different look between the #3 and 4 starters. I would say Mulder, but he’s obviously toast. Garcia probably is worthy of a few starts as a September callup, or maybe as a left handed arm in the bullpen once the minor league season is over.

5. Take your pick. I don’t think it really matters too much. Maybe we should promote Garcia and see what he can do afterall. I think Looper is worn down and is throwing too many pitches. Pineiro has periods where he looks ok.

Long relief – Thompson
Lefty – Villone and player X not yet on team
7th inning – McClellan
8th inning – Franklin
9th inning – Izzy/Springer/Perez
Extra innings – Miles/Ankiel

I really think Izzy is hurting and is only staying around to get save 300 which doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen right now. McClellan could maybe become a closer, but I think he is better in the 7th right now. Since we can’t get out of the 6th inning with a starter then Franklin and McClellan will both have to go two innings on occassions.

Springer has been dominant this year, so I’d hand the ball to him in the 9th and see if he can handle the added pressure. Has been around long enough that he should.

PHE July 28, 2008

How many pitchers are you planning on carrying? 🙂

You’ve got seven in the pen there, plus an arm to be added (even though I said assume no trades ;)) – plus 5 starters?

If you’re choosing to go with one of Garcia, Looper, or Pineiro at the 5th starter slot – what happens to to the other two? Trades?

StLCards July 28, 2008

I’m thinking you don’t call up Garcia and Perez until rosters expand in September. Right now I think they have 13 pitchers which is too many anyway. If Carp and Wainwright come back then 3 have to go to get to 12. I guess you’re right. You can’t take a current starter out of the rotation without sending him to the pen. Piniero probably doesn’t make a good relief pitcher for reasons you’ve stated before, mainly he doesn’t want that role. I’m not sure Looper does either as he is looking at becoming a free agent too I think and that would be as a starter if he can finish half way decent. He would be the likely one for a bullpen role though.

Thompson looked really strong in that Saturday Mets game and I think he will keep getting better, with the occasional blow up. I’d like to keep him up. I was kind of thinking that if Perez is up that means Izzy is on the DL. I’d still like to see him get some innings in September since he should be our closer next year. I’d rather see him pitching than Garcia actually.

What I’ve been waiting for all year is a true mop up situation when Miles isn’t in there and watch them use Ankiel to close it out! Would never happen, but that would be pure entertainment no matter what happened!

I’ll obviously need to put more thought into this 🙂

PHE July 28, 2008

My hopes for Perez right now are pretty basic – I don’t want him to get exiled because he doesn’t fit Duncan or LaRussa’s style – I don’t want him to become Reyes.

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