Posted on: January 29, 2012 4:37 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
The Cardinals are "actively shopping" right-hander Kyle McClellan, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Joe Strauss writes, but general manager John Mozeliak told him he expects McClellan to be with the team when pitchers and catchers report next month.
According to Strauss, the Orioles are the leaders if the Cardinals do indeed move McClellan, who is due $2.5 million next season. The Padres and Diamondbacks are other teams who have expressed interest. However, an Orioles official told MASNSports.com's Roch Kubatko that he didn't expect the Cardinals to move McClellan.
The 27-year-old McClellan began 2011 as a starter, but moved back to the bullpen after the team acquired Edwin Jackson. He was not on the team's roster for the division series or World Series. Overall, McClellan was 12-7 with a 4.19 ERA in 43 games and 17 starts last season. He was 6-6 with a 4.21 ERA in his starts and 6-1 with a 4.14 ERA in 26 games. He struck out 76 batters in 141 2/3 innings.
McClellan was a starter in the minors, but didn't start a game in the majors until 2011. He had a 2.27 ERA in 68 games in 2010 with 60 strikeouts in 75 1/3 innings. He's 19-22 with a 3.61 ERA in his career, picking up six saves.
THe Cardinals have a surplus of relievers, with Eduardo Sanchez, Lance Lynn, Fernando Salas and Mitchell Boggs as right-handed set-up men for closer Jason Motte, with lefties Marc Rzepczynski and J.C. Romero.
The team could also use the money saved on McClelllan, a St. Louis native, for starter Roy Oswalt, who has expressed interest in joining the Cardinals.
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Posted on: December 22, 2011 10:57 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.
While most of the teams on our list would love a do-over for 2011 -- or at least part of it, the season somehow worked out pretty well for the St. Louis Cardinals, a team that took advantage of an epic collapse and capitalized upon its chance by winning the World Series. The moves made by both the current management team and former executives, all worked out for one glorious season in St. Louis, so it's another example of why the exercise is for fun only. But there's one thing our Homegrown Cardinals have that the 2012 version doesn't -- Albert Pujols.
1. Jon Jay, RF
2. Placido Polanco, 3B
3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Allen Craig, LF
5. Colby Rasmus, CF
6. Yadier Molina, C
7. Brendan Ryan, SS
8. Skip Schumaker, 2B
1. Dan Haren
2. Jaime Garcia
3. Kyle McClellan
4. Chris Narveson
5. Lance Lynn
Closer - Chris Perez
Set up - Mitchell Boggs, Fernando Salas, Luke Gregerson, Blake Hawksworth, Eduardo Sanchez
Notable Bench Players
The bench has some interesting players -- you have defensive replacements in Jack Wilson and Coco Crisp, some pop in Brett Wallace, J.D. Drew and Rick Ankiel, as well as some versatility in Daniel Descalso. Daric Barton's there, too, but not sure where or when he'd ever play considering Pujols is still a Cardinal here.
Any lineup with Pujols is not bad -- but it's not overwhelming, either. While lacking some of the firepower from Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman, there are still some passable players. While there's no Chris Carpenter or Adam Wainwright, there is Dan Haren and the top two of the rotation are good. The strength of this team -- and Tony La Russa would certainly love this -- is the bullpen. Not only are their Cardinals holdovers of Motte, Boggs, Salas and Sanchez, you also add Perez, Gergerson and Hawksowrth, giving this team plenty of relief options.
After the top two in the rotation, the rest are pretty pedestrian. McClellan is not only in the rotation -- where he started in 2011 -- but he's also going to be either a No. 3 or No. 4. The outfield isn't terrible, but when you take away Berkman and Holliday, it's going to pale in comparison.
Comparison to real 2011
Let's just get to the point, the margin for error for the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals was razor thin, but they stayed on the right side of it just enough to go on to one of the most exciting, improbable runs of all time to capture the World Series title. There is no way this hypothetical team could do anything close to what the real Cardinals did. The offensive firepower isn't the same and there's no Chris Carpenter. No, this team doesn't just fail to win the World Series or make the playoffs, it fails to reach .500 and probably finishes in the bottom half of our made-up NL Central.
Next: Ranking the Homegrown teams.
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Tags: Adam Wainwright, Albert Pujols, Allen Craig, Blake Hawksworth, Brendan Ryan, Brett Wallace, C. Trent Rosecrans, Cardinals, Chris Carpenter, Chris Narveson, Chris Perez, Coco Crisp, Colby Rasmus, Dan Haren, Daniel Descalso, Daric Barton, Eduardo Sanchez, Fernando Salas, Homegrown, J.D. Drew, Jack Wilson, Jaime Garcia, Jon Jay, Kyle McClellan, Lance Lynn, Luke Gregerson, Mitchell Boggs, NL Central, Placido Polanco, Rick Ankiel, Skip Schumaker, Tony La Russa, Yadier Molina
Posted on: May 14, 2011 5:13 pm
By Evan Brunell
Another day, another closer for the Cardinals.
At least, that's what it feels like.
Pitching coach Dave Duncan announced, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, that rookie Eduardo Sanchez has been removed as closer, both due to inefficiency and a loss of velocity. Sanchez blew a save Friday night against the Reds by allowing two hits and a walk to push over a run, in the meantime tossing up a fastball that registered 91.1 mph. Compare that to his career average of 93.5 mph. Salas also saw his walks spike and his pitch efficiency decline, indicating that he may not yet have the chops for the job.
Salas (pictured) is the fourth de facto closer of the season, following Ryan Franklin, Mitchell Boggs and Sanchez. Salas will get the majority of saves although Boggs could figure into a few.
"If you look at what he did and how he pitched before we put him in the role he's in now, he was really an effective pitcher," Duncan said of Salas. "So it may best serve him and us to put him back into that type of situation for the time being."
Salas, who has three saves on the year, was serving as a bit of a long reliever, fusing his duties with late innings. He tossed two strong innings Friday night between the seventh and eighth after Miguel Batista and Trevor Miller were unable to get a batter out in a two-run seventh against Cincinnati.
"I just don't feel comfortable right now," Duncan said of the bullpen as a whole." You've got [Jason Motte] basically a one-inning pitcher. You've got Boggs basically a one-inning pitcher. You've got Salas who you really don't want to use more than one inning. And you've got Sanchez, who is a one-inning pitcher. That's a lot of limitations on you. And you can't use them every day," Duncan said. "That's why Batista, or the person who plays that role, has to be able to go in and do that job."For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 13, 2011 10:26 am
By Matt Snyder
BASEBALL TODAY: Excited about rivals getting together? Danny Knobler joins Adam Aizer to look at some exciting matchups as the weekend approaches. Watch the video above.
FOUR INNINGS FOR WEBB: Brandon Webb made another start in extended spring training Thursday and pitched four innings. The big issue thus far in his rehab progress has been velocity, specifically a lack thereof. Thursday he reportedly averaged around 84 m.p.h. and topped out at 86. That's still pretty bad for someone who wants to be an effective major-league pitcher -- unless he plans on being a great knuckleballer -- but it is an improvement from what we've heard over the course of the past month, when he was sitting high-70s and low-80s. Considering he's still pain-free, maybe some progress is being made. (ESPN Dallas)
SQUEEZED: Based upon data from PitchFX, BaseballAnalytics.org checked out which pitchers have had the fewest percentage of called strikes within what is supposed to be the strike zone. It's pretty interesting, because one of the biggest problems with the strike zone is how many of the umpires seem to have their own interpretation. Topping the list of the people who have been the most squeezed is Nelson Figueroa. As the site pointed out, if we had robot umpires, maybe he'd still be pitching for Houston instead of Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Cardinals BULLPEN SORTED OUT: Since removing Ryan Franklin from the role, the Cardinals had not really named a closer, but it's a pretty foregone conclusion at this point that young Eduardo Sanchez is the closer, as he's saved four games in four chances. Hard-throwing right-hander Jason Motte is their put-out-the-fire guy. "Last year he was very successful doing that, coming in in the middle of an inning and pitching out of it," pitching coach Dave Duncan said. "You have to kind of remember what he did there. Because there is a need for a guy like that." (MLB.com)
WHAT ABOUT THE Braves? After Craig Kimbrel went out and blew his third save of the young season Wednesday night, a Braves beat writer (AJC.com) brought up the subject of having Jonny Venters be the closer -- or at least be part of a committee with Kimbrel. He makes a good piont that Kimbrel is the long-term closer and has elite-closer stuff, but that Venters has been so dominant and the Braves are trying to win now. So it's a conundrum. It wasn't a save situation, but Kimbrel's outing Thursday night should stave off any temporary concerns for the time being. He struck out all three batters he faced in a tie game and ended up getting a win.
BUMPED: This is at least mildly humorous. The Mets were forced to stay an extra night in Colorado due to a rainout (I'm sure Carlos Beltran is now fine with the decision), but they had to relocate to a new hotel because they were bumped ... by the Padres, who face the Rockies in a weekend series starting Friday and arrived a day early. It really does seem like the weirdest stuff always happens to the Mets, whether it's due to self-sabotage or uncontrollable outside factors. (ESPN New York)
WALK-OFF WALKS: The boys over at Big League Stew have put together a compilation of everything you've ever wanted to know about walk-off walks. For example, did you know two pitchers issued four walk-off walks in their respective careers? Hall of Famer Goose Gossage did it three times. As for hitters, Jorge Posada is the active leader with three career walk-off walks. I better stop now, lest I reach my allotment of saying "walk-off walk" for the entire season in one paragraph.
GREAT SKIPPERS: ESPN.com's Sweetspot blog ranked the top 10 managers of all-time. The highest active manager (well, the only one) on the list was Tony La Russa, who checked in at sixth. Interestingly, Joe Torre was eighth while Bobby Cox was third, rankings sure to draw the ire of the people who put a good amount more stock on the postseason than the regular season.
WORST HAT EVER: Jim Caple of ESPN.com offers up his pick for the worst cap in major-league history -- the Seattle Pilots' 1969 monstrosity -- and he'll certainly get no argument from me. Man, that thing is awful.
CASHMAN'S CONTRACT: While everyone is concentrating on CC Sabathia's contract situation at the conclusion of this season, when it comes to the Yankees, there is another contract negotiation that will occur. General manager Brian Cashman's deal is going to expire after the season. Though both Sabathia and Cashman figure to stay put, the always-thoughtful River Blues Avenue opines that the Cashman negotiations will be "messier," most notably because ownership went over his head in the Derek Jeter and Rafael Soriano signings.
ANOTHER SLOW START: Adam LaRoche has been pretty terrible for the Nationals thus far, but he's trying not to worry about it from an individual perspective. There's a good reason for that, as he's been there, done that. “I wouldn’t say I’m stressing over it, because I’ve been there so many times in my career,” LaRoche said (Washington Times). “But the frustrating part is not what the average is, it’s the fact that you look back and think, ‘Man if I’d have been doing a little more, we may have won two or three extra games.’” Not only does LaRoche have several awful starts under his belt, but he's one of the most drastically streaky hitters in baseball. He'll get hot. And then he'll go stone cold again. It's a cycle with LaRoche.
HUMBLED STAR: Andrew McCutchen was benched Thursday night for not running to first on a dropped third strike the previous night. It was a good move by manager Clint Hurdle to make sure it didn't become a recurring problem, and it doesn't appear it will. "I know that's not the type of person I am," McCutchen said on Thursday. "I let my emotions get the best of me. I took it out on my bat and myself when I shouldn't have been mad. I was just frustrated at the time and not focused on the game, not focused that the ball was in the dirt with two strikes and I needed to run to first." (MLB.com) I feel like it's important to note that McCutchen is generally a hustler and this shouldn't be discussed any further. He's a good guy and a good player who made a mistake. End of story.
NO RETIREMENT: Dodgers relief pitcher Hong Chih-Kuo is one of the better relievers in the game when he's mentally right. It's just that he seems to suffer from the yips on occasion. He's currently on the disabled list with anxiety disorder as the Dodgers have reported he's too scared to take the mound right now. Kuo's agent did say Thursday that there are no plans to retire, though, and he's going to battle his way back. It's one of Kuo's traits, actually, as he's had four surgeries, including Tommy John surgery twice. He always comes back, so this time won't be any different. (MLB.com)
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Tags: Adam LaRoche, AL East, AL West, Andrew McCutchen, Bobby Cox, Brandon Webb, Braves, Brian Cashman, Cardinals, Craig Kimbrel, Dodgers, Eduardo Sanchez, Hong Chih-Kuo, Jason Motte, Joe Torre, Jonny Venters, Jorge Posada, Mets, Nationals, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Padres, Pirates, Rangers, Ryan Franklin, Tony La Russa, Yankees
Posted on: May 4, 2011 5:46 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2011 5:47 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Greinke's debut -- As soon as the Brewers traded for Zack Greinke, they went from also-ran to NL Central favorite -- but Greinke's hoops dreams got in the way. Now Greinke's back and making his Brewer debut tonight against the Braves in the second game of the doubleheader. Greinke faces Braves ace Tim Hudson in his first start. With the Brewers entering the day within three games of the first-place Cardinals, he may just be motivated to try, which is good news for Milwaukee. Brewers at Braves, time TBA.
All's Wells that starts Beckett -- Vernon Wells' early-season struggles have been well chronicled -- he's hitting just .176/.227/.269 in his first year with the Angels (not exactly what you want for $86 million). But there's good news, in his 47 plate appearances against Red Sox starter Josh Beckett, he has five home runs and is hitting .293/.383/.756. Angels at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET
Little help please -- St. Louis' Chris Carpenter is one of the game's best pitchers. So far this season he has 3.89 ERA with WHIP of 1.216 and 29 strikeouts in 37 innings. He has thrown five quality starts in his six outings this season, but has yet to win a game. It wasn't until his last start that the Cardinals actually won a game he started, although he left down a run in the seventh and Eduardo Sanchez picked up the win against the Braves. Javier Vazquez (2-2, 6.39 ERA) starts for Florida. Marlins at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. ETFor more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: April 13, 2011 7:14 pm
Edited on: April 13, 2011 7:15 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Both right-handers were injured in Tuesday's loss to the Diamondbacks. Augenstein suffered a strained right groin. Tallet suffered a fracture in his right hand when he and Arizona shortstop Stephen Drew collided on a play at first base (right).
The Cardinals recalled right-handers Fernando Salas and Eduardo Sanchez to replenish the bullpen.
Salas, 25, had a 3.52 ERA in 27 appearances last season for the Cardinals and made three scoreless appearances for Triple-A Memphis. Sanchez, 22, has not played in the big leagues before and hasn't allowed a run over three innings and two appearances for Memphis this season. Last season he had a 2.38 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 53 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.
Augenstein, 24, appeared in five games for the Cardinals, allowing six earned runs (seven total) and 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He'd also walked three and struck out six.
Tallet, 33, appeared in five games this season, allowing one earned run (two total) and four hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked three with four strikeouts.
Posted on: April 13, 2011 5:20 pm
Edited on: April 13, 2011 7:16 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
You may remember Hamilton blamed Rangers third base coach Dave Anderson for his injury on Tuesday after trying to tag up on a foul ball to the third baseman.
On Tuesday, Hamilton said it was a stupid play and that he didn't want to go not he play, but "I listened to my coach and I went."
Wednesday, Hamilton had a closed-door meeting with Anderson.
"I appoligze to him for letting my emotions get out and getting ahead of myself and letting my emotions show through," Hamilton told reporters, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I could have taken a better route as far as cooling down before I spoke."
Hamilton added: "I see where I need to take responsibility for it. I appreciate Dave having confidence in my ability that I could make that play. I was just frustrated more for getting injured."
Earlier in the day, manager Ron Washington said he approved of the aggressive play, but didn't say much to reporters about what Hamilton said, standing by his coach.
"He's got a right to feel what he feels, but I'm certainly not going to blame David," Washington said (also from theStar-Telegram). "I think Josh has to live with what he said."
Anderson would not discuss the specifics, calling them moot. He did say he told Hamilton to be ready. He said he won't hesitate in the future because of the injury to last year's AL MVP.
"That's not going to happen," Anderson said. "Injuries are part of the game, but part of the game also is being aggressive. The issue is he got hurt. If he doesn't get hurt, we're not spending a lot of time talking about it."
Hamilton usually plays the game aggressively, as he showed the play before, sliding headfirst into third base on his triple. A player with Hamilton's speed has a good shot of beating Victor Martinez and Brad Penny -- could his concern about his own body and safety and ability to make had something to do with his inability to make it? Did he hesitate out of fear? I'm not saying he did, but I saw the play happening and thought it was a good, aggressive play that didn't work out in two important ways -- Hamilton was out on the play and now out for six to eight weeks. I'm not so sure at the time Anderson didn't make the right call.