Proceed With Caution

by on March 8, 2011 · 4 comments

Yep, caution, got it!

The Cardinals looked great in a 10-4 dismantling of the Twins, and they didn’t even bring out the “big guns”, Holliday and Pujols.  Skip Schumaker is hitting .385, Matt Carpenter is hitting .375, Daniel Descalso .333, Colby Rasmus .381, Jon Jay .375, Allen Craig .364, Mark Hamilton .348, Yadier Molina .357, and David Freese is ripping along at .500.  At 6-3, the team is near the lead of the Grapefruit League, and there is nothing to worry about in Cardinal Nation.  All is well.  There is nothing to see here.  Keep moving along.

Or not.

Westbrook gave up 1 earned run, and that’s nice.  Let’s ignore the 4.76 ERA for the spring.  He’ll find his groove soon enough.

Did you hear that Kyle McClellan looked great in throwing 3 innings of shutout ball the other day? 

Yep.  Sure did.  By golly, he looked great…….for 3 innings.

Big surprise. 

Raise your hand if your concern about McClellan is the 1st three innings. 

Thought so.  It’s innings 4-6 that worry me.  He can probably get through a lineup once without much of an issue.  He’s basically done that as a reliever the last couple of seasons.  What is he going to do when he has to get the same guy out twice?  A third time? 

Spring training is everywhere.  It is all around us.  Even now, in this very stadium.  You can see it when you look at third base or when you turn on MLB At-Bat.  You can feel it when you go to work…when you go to Roger Dean stadium…when you are supposed to be working on your taxes.  It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.  Oh wait.  *shakes head*  I was stuck in the Matrix for a moment.

Don’t get lulled into a sense of complacency, people.  Hitting .300+ against 4th, 5th, and 8th starters or guys working on the 3rd best pitches does not a career make.  Striking out the 38th and 39th guys on another team’s roster is what a team’s projected middle reliever is supposed to do. 

Take a step back.  Be dispassionate for a moment.  Take a good hard look at what the Cardinals are putting in front of you.  See through the fog of hyperbole, overused adjectives, and Shannonisms for a second. 

Is Adron Chambers really a breakthrough candidate, or is he currently a really athletic guy who is scratching to hit .214 in spring training?  Does Lance Berkman look  like he’s ready for opening day, or are you just hoping he doesn’t pull something trotting back to the dugout?  Aren’t you at least a bit concerned that Ryan Theriot is hitting .125? 

Again, don’t put too much stock in what happens during spring training.  Veterans are good at using the time to truly prepare themselves for the 162-game marathon ahead.  The younger guys can afford to burn off a little extra energy.

I’m still going to be realistic and somewhat pragmatic.  I invite you to join me.  Now is not the time for #TeamRealisticAndPragmatic to get too high or too low on the Cardinals stock.  If anything, just do as the sign says.

Proceed with caution.

TIDBIT:  If you get the opportunity to see any of baseball’s top prospects play during spring training, then I encourage you to watch.  The top guys often get the chance to show what they can do against the “big name” players.  Manny Banuelos is one of the top pitching prospects out there, and he was called on to pitch for the Yankees against the Red Sox the other day.  He showed poise, good command of 3 different pitches, a fastball in the 94-95 mph range, and he threw a couple breaking balls for strikes when he was behind in the count.  By the way, he’s only 19.  The Yankees fans are excited about him much the same way Cardinals fans are excited about Shelby Miller.  I understand why.

Like it?  Do you “proceed with caution”?  Follow gr33nazn on Twitter, and we’ll discuss Shannonisms and raising our hands for no apparent reason!

Cardinals fan since I could hold a fishing pole steady. Accidental blogger. Opinionated. I could care less about what you think of me. Constantly confounded, bemused, and confuzzled (ie I'm a pc and a mac). I'm an IT infrastructure analyst with a penchant for breaking tech toys. I ate a sabermetric primer for breakfast. I love playing "All-powerful GM of MLB". The 2010 Cardinals represented a good, practical definition "cognitive dissonance". The 2011 version got by on duct tape and a prayer, and I'm fine with that. They just need new tape for #12 in 12.
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Ann March 8, 2011

Um. It’s Spring Training.

Those number don’t count. At all.

They may as well get smiley faces for a hit and frowny faces for a SO or anything else.

And pitchers can have gold stars when they get Ks and have to give them back when they throw BBs.

Spring. Training.

People up in arms over ST drive me crazy.

Dennis March 8, 2011

Ooh, that’s a good idea. They could have a player of the day, and that player could pick the place where they all get to go for ice cream that evening!

Miranda March 8, 2011

It’s a loooong season!!! Let it play out AND … the player of the day should get cake AND ice cream!

Dennis March 8, 2011

I should have know there would be both cake and ice cream involved here. It really is going to be a long season. #TeamTreadmill

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