ADAM WAINWRIGHT• RHP • 6-7 • 205 • 24 yrs
Makes his 1st spring start and his third spring appearance.Was a September callup to STL last season after posting a 10-10 record and 4.40 ERA in 29 starts at Triple-A Memphis.
Led the Pacific Coast League with 182.0 IP and ranked 2nd with 147 strikeouts...his 10 wins ranked T-5th in the league.His ML debut came on 9/11/05 vs. NYM...made two appearances for the Cards (0-0, 13.50 ERA).
He and J. Marquis are the lone players remaining with acquiring clubs from 12/13/03 trade that sent J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero to the Braves.
My take on Wainwright is, he believes he belongs in the majors, and the Cardinals need to try to keep him on the 25 man roster. I don't see him going down to Memphis and being effective.
BRAD THOMPSON • RHP • 6-1 • 190 • 24 yrs
Was named Cardinals Rookie of the Year in balloting by writers and broadcasters after going 4-0 with a 2.95 ERA in 40 relief outings last season.Earned a save in his major league debut on 5/8/05, becoming the first STL pitcher to do so since John Urrea on 4/10/77 at PIT. In just 2nd season of pro ball in ‘04, set a Southern League record for consecutive scoreless innings (49.0), not allowing a run until his 8th start of the season...had a 57.2 innings scoreless streak dating to ‘03.
Thompson is and should be a lock to make the club out of spring training.
JOSH HANCOCK • RHP • 6-3 • 225 • 27 yrsSigned to a minor league contract on 2/21/06 after being released by the Cincinnati Reds three days earlier. Had an injury-plagued 2005 season but finished strong,appearing in 11 games for the Reds and allowing four runs (three earned) in 11 relief outings...was 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA (14.0 IP). Totaled 11 appearances (eight starts) during three separate rehab assignments at Louisville (AAA) last season and went 1-2 with a 5.93 ERA. Owns a 6-3 record and 4.40 ERA in 32 career big-league games (12 starts) for Boston, Philadelphia and Cincinnati.
Hancock may be a longshot to make the roster, but it is hard not to imagine him pitching somewhere at the major league level this season.
JEFF NELSON • RHP • 6-8 • 225 • 39 yrsAppeared in 49 games with Seattle in ‘05, posting a 1-3 record, 3.93 ERA (36.2 IP / 16 ER) and one save. Held right-handed batters to a .196 batting average (19-for-97)last season. Should the non-roster invite make the club out of spring camp, it'll be the veteran's first appearance with a National League team. Has appeared in the postseason eight times, including winning four World Championships (all with NYY)...owns a 2.66 ERA in 55 combined postseason games.
I take comfort in seeing Jeff Nelson in the bullpen. If used correctly, he can still be effective in short relief, facing right handed batters.