Tony La Russa Thursday Post-game Comments

The manager's thoughts after the win over the Astros on Thursday.

Mostly paraphrasing rather than exact words verbatim.

On how often Walker will play.

Just like the start of spring training. Play him every other day or two days on, then one off. Can't push him too much.

On whether the rain yesterday led to the opening day lineup today.

Have trips tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, so need to alternate guys on the trips.

On Carpenter.

Good, very good. Plus outing.

On Bo Hart playing multiple positions. Can he play short?

That's his chance to make our club. He's ready to play. Important part of it. Doing that job well. I'd be comfortable with him playing shortstop.

On Ankiel getting a hit.

I'll take it. Getting a hit on first at-bat is nice. Need a lot of hits, though. He was on the ball today.

On whether three lefty relievers is still the plan.

Without Ankiel, not leaning that way. Will take the best pitchers, right or left.

On odds of Ankiel making it as outfielder.

He's got both talent and toughness. Would have been better to start career there, but has legitimate shot.

On the lefty relief situation.

King plus the rest are trying to be the second guy.

On whether still planning to start season with 12 pitchers.

Decision to make later in the spring. Could be 11 or could be 12.

On whether Myers' veteran status gives him benefit of doubt in making team.

Myers is not on the club. Ray is on the club. That is the difference. First time on club. Just checking him out. Not a good way to evaluate this time of spring. Myers has experience and edge. But doesn't want guys to feel comfortable until we can trust them and see how they respond.

On whether Cali excites him.

Wasn't too exciting today. Made a good impression, but not today. Figure out why wasn't good and improve next time. Gets the manager a little bit concerned. Should worry about pitching coach, though.

On Eckstein. More than just an energy guy?

Very impressive. Gotta be able to play. More than energy or would have cheerleaders out there. He didn't play in California just because he played hard. This guy is a player.

On Wainwright.

I like the way he looks. Aggressive, good movement on his breaking ball, threw some real good changeups. Good sight. Better have a two and four-seamer and mix in cutter to be in a big league rotation.

On middle infield.

"We will have a big of a plus in the middle of our club as last year. I am talking second base and shortstop. I am on record. You can see whether. That was a major league plus double play today. We are going to play as well up the middle as last year."

On new players.

"Walt did a hell of a job replacing very good players with very good players."

Brian Walton can be reached at brwalton@earthlink.net


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