Cards Philly Cheese – July 26, 2009

Sunday roster changes, pitching changes in the wind, Rasmus sits again and more, direct from Philadelphia.

Manager Tony La Russa acknowledged that he "put a lot into trying to hold" onto Saturday's ugly 14-6 loss. So Sunday is a "day you may have to hang with (starter Todd) Wellemeyer."


I asked Tony if generally he was considering altering the rotation with the days off coming in August. He said "yes", that he would "make some adjustment for the off days", but would not be specific other than to say it will be decided a series at a time. The four pitchers for the Dodgers series are Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Joel Pineiro and Kyle Lohse on Monday through Thursday.


After pitching on two consecutive days, Jason Motte (and perhaps Brad Thompson) is unavailable on Sunday. I asked Motte if that changed his preparation. He said, "No. I try not to get too up or too down. I prepare the same every day." A good approach.


La Russa bristled a bit when it was asked if Matt Holliday's arrival meant less pressure for Rick Ankiel and therefore better results for the latter. "We like pressure," snapped TLR. Ankiel feels better, swinging better, feels he has a better chance. Gotta' keep producing, said Tony.


John Mozeliak and La Russa made the decision Saturday night to send down Josh Kinney and promote Blake Hawksworth, Memphis' original Sunday starter. There was a delay in posting the Sunday lineup until La Russa could call Kinney into his office to inform him. Hawksworth will be available in the pen for Sunday duty.


Remembering there is a personal and logistical side to the game, after leaving the manager's office, Kinney's next stop was to speak with traveling secretary C.J. Cherre and equipment manager Rip Rowan, two of the cadre of professionals that support the club behind the scenes. The likely subject was how to get himself and his belongings to meet up with the Memphis club.


TLR on Lasergate: That is best policed by the fans. TLR thought a similar incident might have happened previously, but he could not recall when. La Russa said he has enough to think about today so he is not going to be disturbed about what happened the day before.


Colby Rasmus is sitting again on Sunday. He is scheduled to get his bruised heel checked on Monday in St. Louis. The rookie is "playable", but La Russa chose not to. Ankiel gets another start in center.


TLR called new Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson to offer his best wishes on the latter's induction. "Well deserved. Nobody quite like him." As his manager, La Russa said he almost always give Rickey the green light to steal, unless the game conditions dictated not. TLR mentioned Henderson had a lot of keys that he used that helped him in stealing.


After we left his office, La Russa was preparing for his weekly St. Louis radio show. Asked if he thought fan callers would he happy, La Russa doubted it. "We haven't had a winning road trip… I'm a fan and I am not happy. Why would they be happy?"


Hitting coach Hal McRae really doesn't care what number he is assigned. He gave up number 8 for Troy Glaus and then passed on number 15 to newly-acquired Matt Holliday. Hal now wears Chris Duncan's old number 16.


Speaking of Glaus, the scuttlebutt is that potential trade partners want to see Glaus at first base, since that is the best position for a player with a hurt shoulder. Whether or not the Cards trade him may depend on the value of the player received. Since they are already on the hook for Glaus' salary, he does have some value to them as a pinch hitter, if it is viewed he can offer more than the last hitter on the bench, currently Nick Stavinoha.



Link to Saturday's report: Cards Philly Cheese – July 25, 2009

Link to Friday's report: Cards Philly Cheese – July 24, 2009



Brian Walton can be reached via email at Catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.


© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories