Mike Parisi was upbeat and optimistic about his next start, scheduled in the series finale on Thursday. "I hope to do better this time out," the right-hander said. His manager, Tony La Russa showed his confidence in the rookie, but it is not infinite, noting, "It is an opportunity for Mike, but if he has a few more (starts) like that first one…"
If a replacement is needed anytime soon, it probably won't be Brad Thompson. The manager noted the swingman is "on his throwing program and is progressing", but also acknowledged that with the amount of time Brad has missed that he could not step in to the rotation without a rehab assignment first.
Joel Pineiro, the owner of that rotation spot,
is "not yet able to do a full bullpen without some kind of issue", said the
manager. The righty is not with the team, as La Russa noted that being in
Speaking of rehabbing pitchers, Mark Mulder is with the team and was seen doing stretching exercises with elastic ropes prior to the game. No stated change in his status, though…
Like his father, Parisi is a history buff, so is excited about returning to the Nation's Capital. He, Colby Rasmus and Kyle McClellan attended MLB's rookie orientation session here in January. Parisi especially enjoyed his tour of the White House and joked that he must have sent 50 photos from the trip back to his family.
Joe Mather is lockering next to Skip Schumaker with the veteran looking
out for the rookie. (Odd to call Skip a vet, but in this case, he truly is.) Mather told me a funny story about how every time he
decorated the walls of his apartment in the minors with posters and the like, he
was promoted. Sure enough, that is what he did in
Schumaker waved off any ongoing concern over his heel, saying, "That was blown way out of proportion. I am just fine, no restrictions." Good to know.
Is Brendan Ryan growing up? As they do in every series, there are afternoon pitchers and hitters meetings to go over the opponent. A few moments after La Russa's door closed for the hitters' version, out popped Ryan. I jokingly asked him if he had been banished from class. He said, "No, I am looking for Ank. Have you seen him?" Turns out I had and directed Ryan to the trainer's room, where he fetched the outfielder and the two (re)entered the meeting.
Ryan took full batting practice
though he had tweaked the muscles between his shoulder blades in an at-bat last
series and had received treatment earlier in the afternoon. Ryan is available to
hit and was apparently grabbing a bat in the ninth inning on Monday had the
Cardinals been able to extend the series-ender vs.
Rick Ankiel is also not starting Tuesday as
he scraped the palm of his hand on a diving defensive play in
The Cardinals seemed universally
impressed with the facilities at the Nats' new park. First base coach Dave McKay went as far as calling it
"the best road facility we've seen", citing the weight room and clubhouse,
specifically. The park reminds me of
Not that it matters to the reader,
but the press box and broadcast facilities are spacious, but they are up very
high, sixth and seventh floors, respectively. There was debate over where the
distance from home plate ranks with
Like the other rookies, I gave
reliever Chris Perez an update on
Perez admitted he was a "bit surprised" that he received the first call-up of his career as early in the season as it occurred. Neither he nor Mather seemed upset about each having been informed of the possibility of their respective call-ups a week or so before they actually happened. It is understood that the team has to prepare contingency plans before they always have all the facts on injuries, but the first trip to the majors is also a special time for the player.
I asked Perez about his progress
in reducing his walks. He is pleased with his 2008 results to date in both
Pitching coach Dave Duncan agrees the low pitch is hardest to call and notes that is one of the more inconsistent aspects between umpires. "I've umpired spring training games and the angle and trajectory on low pitches are the hardest to read by far."
In response to my query,
If Troy Glaus has a big series in
At 6:00 P.M., after batting practice was over, Albert Pujols was in the cage underneath the stands, alone with hitting coach Hal McRae, getting more cuts in. Even the greatest don't take it for granted...
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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