Due to Sunday's multiple rain delays, the Cardinals did not arrive in New York until just after midnight this morning.
Despite that, there were a number of smiling faces in the Cardinals clubhouse this afternoon.
Head trainer Barry Weinberg was as optimistic as I have ever seen him, explaining Mark Mulder threw 60 pitches from the mound earlier today and "looked great". This is in conflict with a recent report from Oakland's MLB.com beat reporter, who said Mulder's "recovery isn't going well and he might miss the entire year."
As I type this, the newest Cardinal, Mike Maroth, #46, is taking extra batting practice. Thank goodness for interleague play. On Maroth's behalf, equipment manager Rip Rowan asked David Eckstein for one of his bats. The shortstop cheerfully complied. Must have worked, as Maroth later singled in Monday's game.
To make room for Maroth on the 40-man roster, Mulder was shifted from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. (Players on the 60-day do not count against the 40-man roster limit.) Mulder was officially moved to the 60-day last Friday, the day of the Maroth trade.
As noted in a Hot News item earlier today, reliever Tyler Johnson was placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to June 19 with left biceps tendinitis – for real this time. He is not with the team in New York.
David Eckstein, Yadier Molina and Braden Looper are all with the club on the road trip, however, which bodes very positively for their return. All three players look normal. According to the clubhouse talk, Looper isn't expected to be out long.
A beaming Eckstein told me, "I did some things today and am doing great. I am really antsy to get back in there. I know I am driving the trainers and probably others crazy."
When I saw Chris Carpenter, I asked the obligatory, "How are you doing?" As he passed me, his reply was a grin and an "I feel good," to which I shot back, "That is all that matters!" He actually stopped at that point, turning around with an even bigger smile.
On the other hand, Scott Rolen was walking with a slight limp in the clubhouse due to his sore foot and knew even before the lineup was posted that he was not going to play on Monday. ;-)
Scott Spiezio is making his eighth appearance of the season in the clean-up role Monday. Others have been Edmonds (26), Rolen (25), Encarnacion (12) and Duncan (2).
As our Jason Scott reported via Hot News earlier today, reliever Troy Percival is on his way from Memphis to New York. He may arrive before Monday's game is over, but will definitely not be activated until Tuesday.
To make room on the 25-man roster for Percival, odds are that a reliever will be sent down. My money is on Andy Cavazos, but we will see tomorrow. The corresponding 40-man roster move is outfielder Preston Wilson moving from the 15-day to 60-day disabled list effective today, Monday.
Notes: I won't be posting my KXNO Fox Sports Radio Des Moines Cardinals update radio spot this week, as I will be calling in from Shea. Also, Leonda Markee took the weekend off for family graduations, but her Minor League Report will be back next Saturday like clockwork.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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