Sunday Spitballs – 07.27.08 (The Monday Version)

by on July 28, 2008 · 10 comments

Sorry for my tardiness with this one, a long weekend out of town left me exhausted and unable to stomach writing about the week that was in Cardinal baseball.  Alas, here we go…

  • How will Cardinal fans remember the Anthony Reyes era in St Louis?  As much as I was rooting for the guy, the change of scenery will hopefully do him well.  We’ll always have Game 1 of the 2006 World Series.
  • Tony LaRussa is planning to stick with Ryan Franklin as the closer.  Shocking.  It seems that it will take a trade by John Mozeliak in order to unseat ole Frank.  From the article linked above, “Franklin has allowed a homer in each of his past three appearances, and he has had a loss or a blown save in each.”  Ugh.
  • Did anyone else think, while watching the game on Saturday (which I did not, but I thought it while checking the box score), “oh great, here goes the runs for next week”?
  • Chris Carpenter will get the start on Wednesday against the Atlanta Braves.  Mitchell Boggs will be the likely roster casualty, being optioned back to Memphis.  Carp apparently pitched well on Friday night, and I’m cautiously optimistic.  Yeah, they’re probably rushing him back, rather than allowing him a couple more rehab starts, but this team clearly needs a guy who can put together seven solid innings.  Here’s hoping Carp is the guy for the job.
  • Skip Schumaker played his tail off on Saturday.  Six hits in seven at-bats over the course of fourteen innings.  I still say this guy can stick as an everyday outfielder in this league.  The problem is, the Cardinals might simply have *better* players.
  • Rick Ankiel is battling abdomen soreness after an awkward swing on Saturday.  Hopefully it will clear itself up relatively quickly, but if not, look for lots of Skipper in center and Joe Mather in left field.
  • How different would Mozeliak be approaching Thursday’s trade deadline if not for three bullpen implosions against Milwaukee this week?  Assume if you will that the Cards took three of four from Milwaukee (which they rightfully should have).  The Cubs would still be in first at 61-44, with the Cards a game back of them, and Milwaukee three behind the Cards in the Wild Card race.  Instead, almost solely on the shoulders of the bullpen, the Cards find themselves in a big hole to both of those clubs and there is whispering about the season slowly slipping away…


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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Cardinal70 July 28, 2008

First off, thanks for the link.

Second, Boggs has apparently gone down for Stanahova (or however you spell it). I don’t know if he’ll go down for Carp or they’ll DL Ankiel with this abdominal stuff.

PHE July 28, 2008

Yep, saw that news myself.

I’m thinking Ank’s injury might just be bad enough to land him on the DL, and that would make room for Carp.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised for Stavinoha to come up for tonight and tomorrow, then get optioned right back. The Cards have been yo-yo-ing guys back and forth all season.

And – back at you on the link. Thanks.

StLCards July 28, 2008

RE: Reyes – the way I’ll remember him is what a waste. Seems like he had plenty of talent but just wouldn’t or couldn’t get on board with the Duncan philosophy of pitching. Seems like he would come up to the big show and “pitch to contact” which meant big runs. Tony would say pitching to contact doesn’t mean throwing it down the heart of the plate. He’d then try to throw heat and get burned too and also burn Dunc and Tony. Then Reyes goes back down and has success again throwing heat by people so reinforcing in his mind that is how he needs to get people out.

And in fact, he could be right. I don’t think every pitcher fits the mold of Duncan. Those that do will have success and those that don’t won’t. To me it seems a Duncan pitcher is a ground ball low strike out pitcher, so if you are a fly ball strike out pitcher better look elsewhere because you will be asked to change and it just might not work for you.

That is only my view of how Reyes will be remembered, but that is what you aksed for 🙂

Franklin as closer? Think it is not a good idea. Better to give him a mental break and try Springer and or McClellan.

That was definitely a great effort by Shoemaker. He really could be our everyday RF. Really poor timing for Rasmus to be hurt as this could be a good time to give him some PT if Ankiel really does go to the DL.

PHE July 28, 2008

StLCards – were you listening to Bernie Miklasz and Randy Karraker on 1380 tonight?

I ask because Bernie wondered the same thing aloud, whether Duncan’s approach was right for all pitchers.

It’s an interesting question to pose, because you’d think that they’d be preaching his tenets and teaching “his way to pitch” throughout the organization. If that’s not the case, these guys could be allowed to continue to flourish as they move through the minors, only to have Duncan change the way they pitch and never see them have success.

In fact, it seems to fit Chris Perez so far – came up just chucking fastballs by guys – yeah, they were high fastballs, up in the zone, but it didn’t matter because no one was hitting them. Duncan tries to get him to throw more sliders and keep the ball down, pitch-to-contact – and now the guy is having control problems and confidence issues – and is back in Memphis.

It will be a good hot button issue to keep an eye on as the Cardinals continue to develop their own pitchers rather than having Duncan “fix” reclamation projects.

As far as remembering Reyes – like I said, we’ll always have Game One. 🙂

PHE July 28, 2008

Ugh, and now this, on

“Isringhausen takes back closer role”

Could this be a standoff between Tony and Mo? Tony’s just going to keep running guys out to get beat up until he gets a real bullpen?

StLCards July 28, 2008

No, I didn’t hear that discussion. I actually rarely listen to 1380 or 590 anymore as they never seem to discuss much interesting, at least in the morning. Maybe it’s different in the evening when I’m heading home, but then I usually listen the pre-game show or else tune in to 1120. Maybe I can catch it somewhere later.

As far as Izzy I have to believe this is the right move. Izzy has been talking about no defined role and Tony says that has been a distraction to Franklin as well. Time to see what Izzy can or can’t do. If he can’t get it done, then he’ll likely hit the DL with an “injury” and they will have to make some other move, like putting Wainwright in the role, which is what I think they are planning on anyway.

Game 1, indeed 🙂

StLCards July 28, 2008

In other news, it looks like Burnett won’t be traded afterall. Of course, we often hear that right before a trade is announced as well, but who knows.

PHE July 28, 2008

I would make the same argument against Wainwright as closer as I did against McClellan as a starter. It’s just not his role anymore (nor was it really in 2006, he just filled it well temporarily).

Several other Card-blogs made much more compelling arguments against Waino-as-closer than I could, mostly centered around how many batters he’d face in a starting role the rest of the year versus out of the pen – and how facing more as a starter is more valuable to this team in decreasing the innings that the bullpen is relied on at all.

Hell, you may be right about Izzy and a “closer’s mindset” – he may well succeed and get those 300 saves after all – I’d be happy to be wrong. I’m just not sure he has much left in the tank.

Either way, looks like (and I hope I don’t jinx them) the bullpen won’t be a cause for concern tonight. 🙂

As for Burnett – I personally wouldn’t put much stock in anything Ricciardi says, but maybe they’ve worked something out with AJ to get him to commit to not opting out.

StLCards July 28, 2008

The counter arguement is of course the one that says a starter will impact a small number of games only pitching once every 5 days, whereas a relief pitcher can have an impact in almost every game.

Just saw this tidbit. Wonder if he’d suddenly feel better on a new team? I’d certainly take him as a Cardinal starter next year 🙂

Jul 28 Nick Carfardo, of The Boston Globe, reports Seattle Mariners SP Erik Bedard (shoulder) is not fitting in with the team and could be traded this season. One Mariners official said Bedard “is a guy who just didn’t fit here. He needs to go somewhere where there’s another strong personality who can kick his butt.”

PHE July 29, 2008

I hear you on the impact aspect – but again, I’d argue that by going deep into games as a starter, he could have the same impact on as many games by keeping the bullpen fresh for games he doesn’t start.

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