Ex-Cards on the Move

With teams actively cutting down their rosters, a number of former Cardinals have been casualties of recent moves while a handful of others have excelled.

In looking at ex-Cardinals around the majors, the Mets have been especially active. On Thursday, they waived outfielder Kerry Robinson, while adding reliever Mike Matthews to the 40-man roster and signing catcher Mike DiFelice to a minor-league contract. K-Rob hit .306, but was a victim of the numbers game. I am sure he was happy about it, too.

Matthews earned a lefty reliever job after spinning a 2.70 ERA in 13-1/3 spring innings. DiFelice had been recently waived by the Marlins before joining the Mets' organization this week. He will start the season in Triple-A.

Marlon Anderson remains on the Mets roster, though he hit only .163 in March. He had signed a minor league deal in December. Anderson may have a chance at playing time, as regular second baseman Kaz Matsui has been slowed with back problems. However, his primary competition, Miguel Cairo, leads the Metropolitans in spring hitting at .464.

One of the by-products of Anderson's and Cairo's arrival was the departure of super-sub Joe McEwing, who didn't help himself by hitting .133 before being waived. Super Joe subsequently signed with the Royals.

The Tigers sent down pitcher Doug Creek despite striking out 12 in 13-2/3 innings while pitcher Darren Oliver was granted his release after losing a bid to join the Rockies' rotation. Oliver actually pitched well in limited action (2.45 ERA in 14-2/3 innings, which included the "bee swarm game"), but he is Darren Oliver, after all.

Double-digit ERAs were common in Arizona this spring. Pitchers Jose Jimenez (10.29 ERA) and Juan Acevedo (19.80 ERA) were waived by the Diamondbacks last week. Donovan Osborne was also in D'backs' camp early on, but was released after putting up an ugly 15.88 ERA of his own. Shortstop Royce Clayton is Arizona's starter, hitting .254 in March.

Non-roster invitee Pablo Ozuna has made the White Sox roster. The second baseman has hit a team-high .519 in spring action. The Mariners placed first baseman-designated hitter Bucky Jacobsen on the 60-day disabled list, as he is slow to recover from knee surgery.

Kiko Calero will be setting up closer Octavio Dotel in Oakland, in a role much like the one he had in St. Louis the past two seasons. Kiko's spring ERA is a microscopic 0.66. Dan Haren has had several rough starts recently, with an aggregate 6.65 ERA. His rotation spot remains secure.

Tony Womack missed a few games with the Yankees due to a bruised knee, but is fine now. He's hitting .424 in spring action. That deal with the devil must have been for at least two seasons.

Some of the other Cardinals' free-agents from this past off-season have done well. Steve Kline continues his fine work in Baltimore, posting a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings. Mike Matheny is getting rave reviews from Giants camp as expected and has added a .293 batting average, as well.

Yet, others have been slow to acclimate to new surroundings. Opposing pitchers are showing Edgar Renteria little respect, as his .208 batting average indicates. Better get those earplugs ready, Edgar! Woody Williams has improved his spring ERA to 7.20, but remains on schedule to pitch opening day in Colorado. I wonder what second prize is?

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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