One-tenth of the way into the season, the Cardinals seem to have their first crisis.
Is 38-year-old right-hander Ryan Franklin, who has blown four saves in five opportunities, still good enough to be their closer? Or should he be moved to a setup role for a while and somebody else, like young right-hander Mitchell Boggs, be tried in the role?
Franklin, who had 27 saves in 29 chances last year after ending the previous season with a rough September, might have lost a little confidence in himself and that can't be good for anyone.
"It's just frustrating
After Sunday's 2-1 loss
However, pitching coach
Dave Duncan said: "I'm sure we'll talk about what's best for our team and what's
best for (
"Once, you can blow it off. Twice, you can blow it off. If it happens more than that, it's really difficult for that not to affect you."
Boggs, whose spring got off to a slow start when he suffered a lower back injury which kept him out nearly two weeks, has struck out 12 in nine innings, giving up only three hits and two runs.
RHP Chris Carpenter (0-2) remains
winless after four starts, but he felt good about his seven scoreless innings
2B Skip Schumaker, a left-handed hitter, missed the last two games because of a hyper-extended right elbow and the Cardinals give him another game off on Tuesday because the Washington Nationals have LHP John Lannan starting.
OF Shane Robinson, who is at Class AAA
Memphis, will require reconstructive facial surgery after suffering a broken
orbital bone in a collision with outfielder Andrew Brown Saturday at
RHP Ryan Franklin, who is struggling early in the season, has given up six hits in 12 at-bats against right-handed hitters, including three home runs. Normally a fast starter, Franklin had been 7-for-7 in April save opportunities in each of the two previous seasons.
BY THE NUMBERS: 5 - Number of Cardinals regulars who are hitting .300 or better.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We could easily have won three more. I like our team; I'm pretty excited about what we've got."
- LF Matt Holilday, on
the Cardinals' 6-4 record on a recent trip in which they lost the first two
2B Skip Schumaker (hyperextended right elbow) was unavailable Sunday, the result of a swing he took on Friday night. He didn't play Saturday either. He was examined on Monday's off day and could be headed to the DL.
OF Allen Craig (left groin) was hurt stealing a base Saturday night. He was examined on Monday's off day and could be headed to the DL.
LHP Bryan Tallet (fractured right hand) went on 15-day disabled list April 13.
RHP Bryan Augenstein (strained right groin) went on the 15-day disabled list April 13.
INF Nick Punto (hernia surgery in February 2011) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. He hopes to return in late April.
RHP Adam Wainwright (Tommy John surgery in February 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 25. He will miss the entire 2011 season.
Next game: Tue., Apr. 19 vs. NATIONALS: Jake Westbrook (1-1, 7.63) vs. John Lannan (1-1, 3.38) 7:15 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).