Spring Training Notebook 03/09

St. Louis Cardinal reliever Josh Kinney will undergo "Tommy John" surgery next week and miss the entire 2007 season. The Cardinals may have to reconsider pitching assignments and the roles of some pitchers for this season with Kinney out for the year.

The Weekly Spring Training Roster Report 





#29 Chris Carpenter – had a very rough side session Thursday, with his control, he'll be ready for his next start, regardless


#71 Troy Cate – has appeared in only one game since the exhibition game with FAU, picked up the win in that game and a win against FLA on 03/03.  The Cardinals are very high on Cate after he posted 41 dominating innings in the Florida State League in 2006, Cate was promoted to the Double-A Texas League and only gave up two runs and five hits in 15.2 IP.  He's trying to earn a spot as one of the left-handers in the bullpen.

#79 Andy Cavazos – the right hander was hit hard on 03/04 giving up two earned runs on four hits in just one inning of work to see his stock drop some.
He'll probably start 2007 at Triple-A Memphis, but will be in line for a promotion if injuries strike the Cardinals staff.

#79 Dennis Dove – in two Grapefruit League Games he's pitched two innings, given up three hits and has allowed one earned run and struck out one batter.  At least he hasn't walked anyone and that is a good sign.  Dove survived the first cut that sent eight players to the minors.  He'll likely start the season at Double-A Springfield and will be part of the next cut.

#40 Brian Falkenborg been sideline for a week suffering from food poisoning. He has had mixed results on the mound so far, one perfect inning on 02/28 and he managed to pick up a win Wednesday, after blowing a save opportunity in the eighth inning.  It's still very early, but there is about 20 pitchers pitching better than him right now.    Brian saw spot duty with the Cardinals in 06, while making 47 appearances for Triple-A Memphis.  He'll likely start the season at Triple-A Memphis and be among the first to be recalled.

#34 Randy Floreshit very hard in his first outing on 02/28 giving up four hits and two earned runs in just one inning, Flores has comeback pitched two scoreless innings of relief.  Flores is expected to be one of the left-handers out of the bullpen.

#31 Ryan Franklin- the Cardinals will need Franklin to step up, either as a reliever or a starter, now that Josh Kinney is out for the season. Braden Looper may have to go back to the bullpen, leaving the 5th starter job open for Franklin or somebody else.


#32 Josh Hancock – considered a lock as a member of the bullpen, his first outing on 02/28 wasn't anything to write home about, but he's settled down pitching effectively in his last two outings

#77 Blake Hawkswortha very impressive bullpen session Thursday, with Josh Kinney out for the season, with Jason Isringhausen questionable (at least in my mind), the Cardinals may have to consider, sending Braden Looper back to the bullpen, if that happens Hawksworth could be in the mix for the fifth starter's job.  Thursday in a bullpen session along side of Chris Carpenter, you would have thought Hawksworth was the former Cy Young Award winner, his session was that good.

#44 Jason IsringhausenINJURED  he's feeling no pain other than seeing his pitches missing the strike zone, that is good news, the club is optimistic he'll be ready opening day.


#78 Kelvin Jimenez – the kid from out of nowhere is making his mark, he picked up his first  save Thursday, coming into the ninth inning with a one run lead, retired the side in order.  Jimenez has pitched in five innings of relief this spring including the FAU exhibition game, he has allowed only one hit and has struck out four batters.  I have worked out a scenario where he could make the club, it remains to be seen if all those pieces fall together.


#61 Tyler Johnson – with his postseason performance of last year, making a club high 10 appearances and picking up four holds while striking out 12 batters in just 7.1 IP,  it's pretty has a secure spot in the bullpen as a lefty specialist.  He took a loss on 03/01 against the Mets, but was making pitch selections in situations that wouldn't have been made in real game situations.  He's been effective in his last two appearances, pitching two perfect innings.

#54 Randy Keislerpitched three perfect innings in Thursday's game against the split squad Minnesota Twins.  In five innings, he's only given up one hit this spring.  The six degrees of Josh Kinney, if Looper goes back to the bullpen, because Kinney is out and Izzy may not be ready, the Cardinals may have found a left-hander to move into the rotation until Mark Mulder returns in June or July.

#52 Josh Kinney – INJURED – scheduled for Tommy John Surgery, out for the season

#64 Chris Lambertreassigned to Minor League Camp at the beginning of the week.

#41 Braden Looper – penciled in as the club's fifth starter, Looper has made two starts this spring, picking up his first win on 03/07 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.  In 3.1 innings pitched he gave up four hits but did not allow a run.  He's pitched as well as I've expected, not dominating, but effective.  The Cardinals may have to re-think about how they are going to use Looper with Josh Kinney injured and going to miss the season.  I'd keep Looper in the bullpen now and open up the competition for that final starting job in the rotation.


#30 Mark MulderINJURED - rotator cuff surgery, out until June or July, although Mulder thinks he could be back by as early as May.  Depending on his rehab progress, Mulder will begin the season on the 15 or 60 day DL


#60 Chris Narveson – he battled injuries in 2006 in the minors, it's been said that he is competing for a job in the rotation, he'll start the season at Triple-A Memphis, but should be in St. Louis to stay next season.  He's appeared in two games this spring, pitched a total of 3.2 innings and has given up two runs, (one earned) on two hits, but has walked three batters, striking out only one.

#65 Mike Parisihad trouble with his mechanics and control early in camp, reassigned to the Minor League Camp at the beginning of this week.

#23 Anthony Reyesscheduled to make his second start Friday.  He picked up his first win on 03/04 against Florida.  He's in the rotation, but he's had control problems and high pitch counts that make it difficult for him to ever get past the fifth inning. The future is now for the kid who has nothing else to prove in the minors.

#73 Ricardo Rincon – very sharp this spring, this is the guy the Cardinals signed, but didn't get to use last season.  He picked up a Hold on Thursday with a perfect inning of relief.  In three innings of relief this spring, he has given up just one hit, hasn't allowed a run or walked a batter.


#66 Mike Sillmanpitched very well in his two Grapefruit League appearances, was cut this week and sent to Minor League Camp.  Sillman could be heading to Memphis, skipping Double-A ball all together.


#63 Russ SpringerINJURED has a sore muscle in his rib cage, has yet to make an appearance in a game.  Is participating in daily workouts, but the Cardinals need this key member of the bullpen back as soon as possible. Consider him day to day for now.

#48 Brad Thompsondidn't pitched until the Cardinals fourth game, but made the most of it with three perfect innings of relief pitching.  His role this season is up in the air.  Is he going to become a starter and go to Memphis for the season?  Is he going to be given a shot to start at the Major League level this season?  Will he be moved back into the bullpen, now that Josh Kinney is out for the season?  More questions than answers right now.

#50 Adam Wainwrighthe's been everything you could ask for this spring.  He picked up his first win in his first start on 02/28 pitching three very strong scoreless innings and he came back and pitched four scoreless innings against the Houston Astros. A star is born?

#21 Kip Wellsworked his way trouble a couple of times Thursday against the Twins, fielded his position very well, is the Cardinals #2 guy and should put together a very solid season for St. Louis.  In two starts, five innings pitched, he hasn't allowed a run.

#67 Mark Worrellis slated to close for Triple-A Memphis this season.  He pitched a scoreless inning of relief on 03/07 against the Dodgers. He was reassigned to the Minor League Camp.




#87 Bryan Anderson – reassigned to the Minor League Camp on 03/05

#28 Gary Bennetthitting just .167 this spring, but is likely to hold on to his job as the club's backup catcher in spite of his lack of offense.


#82 Ryan Christensonreassigned to the Minor League Camp on 03/05

#84 Brian Espositosurvived the first round of Minor League cuts.  He's appeared in three games for St. Louis, is hitless in just two at-bats.


#74 Michael Hernandez – reassigned to the Minor League Camp on 03/05, didn't get a chance to play in a game for St. Louis before being cut.

#35 Eli Marrero – spent a lot of time catching the first two weeks, has been playing at first some.  He's played in six games so far and is hitting just .222

#4 Yadier Molinahitting .357 this spring, this week manager Tony La Russa said he wouldn't want anyone else catching for him.

#83 Danilo Sanchezreassigned to the Minor League Camp



#70 Tagg Boziedplaying very solid defense at first, has played in nine games, giving Albert Pujols some time off.  Bozied is hitting only .462. 


#19 Jolbert Cabreraafter a couple of rough starts with his defense, Cabrera is playing much better in the field the last couple of games.  He's hitting only .158 and that is hurting his chances of making the club.

#22 David EcksteinINJURED- strained muscle in his left side, the original word from the organization was that he was suppose to be able to play by this weekend.  I don't see that happening.  Don't look for the Cardinals to announce they have resigned Eckstein to a new contract, I think there are very serious concerns about Eckstein's injuries from last season and the trouble he is having this spring.  The Cardinals will want to make sure they are signing a healthy player. Status day to day at best.


#68 Edgar Gonzalez – is making the most of his playing time.  He's appeared in six games, has been solid with the glove, in six at-bats, he's had three hits to include two home runs, driven in three, and he has walked three times. With the injuries to Eckstein and Kennedy, Gonzalez should keep getting some playing time to showcase his talent.

#76 Travis Hansonin great shaped coming into camp, he is struggling at the plate early on, hitting just .125 in eight at-bats, but he has walked three times and seems to have a good eye for the strike zone and he's playing solid defense.


#7   Adam KennedyINJUREDsore rib cage, if it was the regular season or certainly the postseason, Kennedy could play.  He's participated in all the drills and has taken infield practice on a daily basis.  He's now hitting in the batting cages and he could return to the lineup soon.  Status day to day.


#12 Aaron Milesgetting additional playing time with Kennedy and Eckstein injured.

#5 Albert Pujols – the great one, what more can I say, other than he needs to hustle down the base line when he hits a blooper into right field, he should've had a stand up double in Thursday's game, but he gives up on the ball, stops running, then see the ball drop in for a hit, then starts running again, I know he's a superstar, but that was unsat, even in a spring training game. 


#27 Scott Rolenit's nice to see Scott in spring training not dealing with any nagging injuries.  He is the best third baseman I've ever seen and should have another great season. 


#75 Brendan Ryan – is see more playing time then he expected due to all the injuries, he's working over time with coaches to improve his defense and it is showing,


#26 Scott Spiezioplaying first, third, second and soon I'm sure in the outfield after all that is where he is listed on the roster.  One of the most valuable reserve players in all of baseball as far as I'm concern.  Hitting .353 this spring and has made a couple of great plays on defense and all the routine ones as well, which is even more important.



#49 Rick Ankielhe must have a great publicist, he's the talk of the town in Spring Training,  while hitting just .250 and playing less than stellar defense in the field.  You have to love the kid's heart and shear determination not to give up.  He does look in great shape and his bat should come around.  He certainly has the potential to make it in the majors.


#16 Chris Duncan – making significant improvements in the field, I know, I know you are going to have to see it to believe it, but he's made three great plays I can think of and been solid the rest of the time.  He made a diving effort for a ball in Thursday's game that got past him for a double, but you have to admire a guy who will give you that effort, knowing if he doesn't come up with it, he's going to take some flack for his alleged shoddy defense.


#15 Jim EdmondsINJURED offseason shoulder and foot surgery, will start the season on the DL.


 #43 Juan EncarnacionINJUREDoffseason wrist surgery, is expected to be playing by the third week of March and be ready by opening day.


#86 Cody HaertherINJUREDbruised wrist, has not played in a game since the exhibition game on 02/26. 


#63 Ryan Ludwickmaking the most of his limited playing time, hitting .375 in just eight at-bats in seven games.

#88 Miguel Negrongetting his chance and not making the most of it so far.  He's gotten more at bats this spring than regulars, Scott Rolen, Preston Wilson and Yadier Molina.  Negron is hitting just .118 so far.

#84 Colby Rasmusthe Cardinals future center fielder is seeing very little playing time and will be sent to the Minor League Camp soon.

#53 John Rodriguezcame to camp in the best shape of his career, has a new attitude and is playing better than his peers.

#55 Skip Schumakeris making people stand up and take notice, this time it is with his bat, not his hustle and glove.  Schumaker hit two home runs in a single game this week and is hitting .435 this spring, probably enough to knock somebody out of a job.

#99 So Taguchi – we know he can play defense, but he just isn't hitting, he could be out of a job by the time it's all over.


#3 Preston Wilson  - is off to a very slow start, he's been in the line up as the DH because of mild tendinitis in his right bicep, which may be a factor contributing to his .125 batting average so far.


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