The Cardinals Spring Training Notebook 04/02

The Cardinals fell to the Mets 5-2 on Wednesday, but St. Louis outfielder Chris Duncan continues to swing one of the hottest bats in camp, going 1-for-2 on the day, as he homered for the second day in a row. Yesterday's home run gives Duncan four on the spring with a team leading 19 RBIs.

METS 5, CARDINALS 2

Rick Ankiel also homered and Albert Pujols went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk as the Cardinals prolific offense comes stalls in Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the Mets.

Starter Kyle Lohse, tagged with the loss, tossed six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits including two home runs, while striking out four and walking none. Lohse finishes his Grapefruit League season with a 3-2 record and a 4.55 ERA. A matter of some concern, Lohse has given up nine home runs this spring in just 31.2 innings pitch. To put it in perspective, Lohse has given up more home runs than the rest of the rotation combined; Todd Wellemeyer (4), Adam Wainwright (2), Joel Pineiro (1), Chris Carpenter (0).

Reliever Kyle McClellan, who I would have already cut, pitched one inning, giving up one hit, a two-run homer in the eighth and walk another batter before getting out of the inning. McClellan didn't pitch well near the end of last season, apparently hitting the wall around 65 innings with his ERA hovering around 10.00 in his final 10 appearances. This spring McClellan has been mostly ineffective, despite a 3-0 won-loss record, Kyle has an ERA of 9.60 after eight games and has given up 16 earned runs in just 15 innings. He has struck out seven and walked seven as the organization is becoming concern about his approach to the game and his aggressiveness on the mound.

With the loss Wednesday the Cardinals are now 18-12-2 in Grapefruit League action.





NOTES AND QUOTES

--- 3B Troy Glaus met with doctors and team officials Wednesday is now expected to miss at least two months following a setback in his rehabilitation from arthroscopic shoulder surgery in January. As we have consistently reported here from day one, we expected Glaus to be out until mid-May or early June. With this breaking news, I wouldn't get my hope up at seeing Glaus at third until around the All-Star break.

--- SP Chris Carpenter, won't start Friday's exhibition game at Class AAA Memphis because of a mild left calf strain. P.J. Walters, who has been optioned to Memphis, will take Carpenter's turn for the Cardinals. Trainer Barry Weinberg called Carpenter's strain "very mild." My take on this is, an exhibition start for Carpenter at this time wasn't necessary as spring training was about a week too long anyway. The regulars are ready for the season to begin. Carpenter is expected to make his first regular start of the Major League season, next Thursday against Pittsburgh.

--- The Cardinals are just under a week out from Opening Day as they open at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, April 6. All of the festivities surrounding the 3:15 start have not been announced, however a pep rally is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in front of Ballpark Village on Clark St. Kicking off the pregame activities inside Busch Stadium will be the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales.

--- Former St. Louis Closer Jason Isringhausen, now with the Tampa Bay Rays, will begin the season on the disabled list to continue building strength after his elbow surgery. The Rays will likely have to make a trade or have member of the bullpen suffer an injury, before they'll have for Izzy to return to the 25-man roster.

--- Former St. Louis Cardinals' second baseman Adam Kennedy has accepted a minor league assignment with the Tampa Bay Rays and will be playing for the Triple-A Durham to start the season.

--- Gary Sheffield, just released by the Detroit Tigers, could end up playing in the NL Central. Sheffield will meet with the Cincinnati Reds today and could be a backup leftfielder and first basemen for the old Red Machine.

RECORD NUMBER

The win Tuesday gave St. Louis 18 wins this spring, the most ever since St. Louis began calling Roger Dean Stadium home (1998) and the most since 1997 (21). The Cardinals have won 17 spring games in Jupiter five times, with just one game remaining the team will not be able to match the spring record in wins of 21 set in both 1956 and 1997.

By the way, the team finished in fourth place during the regular season in 1956 and 1997, so much for spring training records being a factor on predicting the success of a team in the regular season.



COLBY RASMUS WATCH

Did not start, entered the game to play center field and went 0-for-1 on the day, leaving two runners stranded on the basepaths.



COMING UP

The Cardinals wrap up Grapefruit League play, but not the exhibition season, on Thursday. St. Louis will play as the visiting team in its own ballpark when it faces Florida in a 12:05 p.m. CT game. Todd Wellemeyer will pitch against the Marlins' Josh Johnson. The Cards will leave Florida the next morning in order to play two exhibitions with their Triple-A affiliate in Memphis.



FSN MIDWEST

Broadcasts coming up; April 3 tilt, exhibition game at Memphis.

 

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