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A Relieved Cardinal Nation

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 7:41 AM
Filed Under: Miami Marlins | New York Mets | St. Louis Cardinals
While the Cardinals did play yesterday and actually scored, snapping another of those long scoreless streaks, the best news that came out likely was in Derrick Goold's weekly chat.  Goold noted that there was no truth to the idea that the Cardinals were currently looking at either Bud Norris or Lucas Harrell, that the club might have asked in the winter but more as an informational move (gauging the market for one of the Cardinal arms) than actually wanting to deal.  When asked about the depth of interest in Yuniesky Betancourt, Goold replied "not even kiddie-pool depth."  Goold also twists the knife with "the Cardinals already have a shortstop better than Betancourt on the roster. Ronny Cedeno."  This, of course, after often hinting in the chat that Cedeno is not long for the Cardinals.

I think we all knew that there was nothing much in either of these.  We knew--or at least we were hopeful--that the Cardinal front office was smarter than that, especially in the case of Betancourt.  We've come a long way from fearing that every scrappy veteran on the market was going to be picked up and become a crucial part of the strategy.  In Mo we trust, right?  So far, John Mozeliak isn't indicating we should change that philosophy.

On the field yesterday, Jake Westbrook looked like the pitcher we saw a lot of last year, throwing six innings and just making one mistake, a two-run home run to Lucas Duda.  If Westbrook can put up numbers similar to his pre-contract extension 2012, that helps out the rotation quite a bit.  Marc Rzepczynski, making his second appearance since whacking something off his eye, gave up a double and a single to let the Mets take the lead that decided the game.  Both of those hits were from right-handers, though, which Scrabble probably won't see a lot of during the season.

Speaking of the bullpen, Edward Mujica and Jason Motte got closer to their regular season roles--Mujica threw the eighth instead of the seventh and both came in while the team was behind--and they seemed to respond, both throwing scoreless innings.  With just two weeks left until the season starts, seeing the bullpen come in and be effective relieves some heartburn that we have been having this spring.

Goold indicates, as many have suggested, that the final roster spot is going to come down to Cedeno and Matt Adams.  Cedeno did get two hits and has raised his average to .290 for the spring, but Adams doubled in a run and scored one as well, keeping his average just over the .300 mark.  Mozeliak has indicated that this is Adams' battle to lose recently and so far, he's not lost it.  I think I should have made Jon a bet during our conversation this weekend on who would take that last spot!

Chris Carpenter made a surprise visit to Cardinal camp yesterday, as his family talked him into swinging by on their way home from Puerto Rico.  It sounds like he'll be around for a week or so, starting to get adjusted to the baseball afterlife.  There's been no change in his condition and he's really not expecting that to change, though he is still willing for a miracle and will be consulting doctors shortly to see if there are any real options barring surgery, which he says he's not going through again.

It's tough not to read that story and really feel for Carp.  To have what you love taken away from you suddenly with no real hope of regaining it because of something that no one completely understands has to make for a difficult adjustment.  I didn't fault him for not going to Jupiter this year, because it's likely going to take some time to get used to this new reality.  That said, I'm glad his son talked him into going this year.  Maybe it'll help the healing process and make it easier for him to come into camp in the years to come as an instructor.

Cards get the Marlins today before the last off day of the spring tomorrow.  Shelby Miller gets to start this time with Joe Kelly relieving, so you have to expect they'll both be bringing all they can to this one.  Game is on Fox Sports Midwest if you have the opportunity to watch.  Come back this afternoon for the Pirates Playing Pepper!

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Heroes
Carlos Beltran (6)
Yadier Molina (5)
Matt Holliday (4)
Jon Jay (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Pete Kozma (3)
Shelby Miller (3)
Adam Wainwright (3)
Allen Craig (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Tyler Lyons (2)
Edward Mujica (2)
Jake Westbrook (2)
David Freese (1)
Joe Kelly (1)
Seth Maness (1)
Trevor Rosenthal (1)
Michael Wacha (1)
Ty Wigginton (1)

2012 Top Hero: Matt Holliday (17)
2011 Top Hero: Lance Berkman (24)
2010 Top Heroes: Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols (24)
2009 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (28)
2008 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (25)

Goats
Jon Jay (6)
David Freese (5)
Mitchell Boggs (4)
Joe Kelly (4)
Pete Kozma (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Allen Craig (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Yadier Molina (3)
Matt Adams (2)
Carlos Beltran (2)
Matt Carpenter (2)
Matt Holliday (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Seth Maness (1)
Shane Robinson (1)
Fernando Salas (1)
Adam Wainwright (1)
Jake Westbrook (1)

2012 Top Goat: Rafael Furcal (11)
2011 Top Goat: Ryan Theriot (12)
2010 Top Goat: Brendan Ryan (14)
2009 Top Goats: Rick Ankiel and Todd Wellemeyer (13)
2008 Top Goat: Troy Glaus (13)

Cardinal Nation Approval Ratings (March 2013)
Yadier Molina 96.2% (up 8.8%)
Chris Carpenter 89.8% (down 0.3%)
Derrick Goold 89.1% (up 6.3%)
Matt Holliday 88.4% (up 0.9%)
Allen Craig 88.3%
Adam Wainwright 88.2% (down 3.7%)
Jose Oquendo 87.1% (up 2.4%)
Jason Motte 86.9%
John Mozeliak 86.5% (up 1.1%)
United Cardinal Bloggers 85.2% (up 6.3%)
Bill DeWitt 85.1% (up 5.3%)
Mike Shannon 85.1% (down 0.2%)
John Rooney 84.5% (up 3.0%)
Mike Matheny 84.4% (up 3.3%)
David Freese 82.9% (down 2.6%)
Jon Jay 81.8% (up 10.7%)
Lance Berkman 80.6% (down 8.0%)
Jenifer Langosch 79.5%
Lance Lynn 79.5%
Dan McLaughlin 76.0% (up 8.0%)
Jim Hayes 73.0% (up 1.1%)
Ricky Horton 65.5% (down 2.0%)
Jaime Garcia 64.1%
Albert Pujols 59.2% (up 4.3%)
Ballpark Village 58.3%
Joe Strauss 54.3% (down 13.4%)

2012
Tony La Russa 88.2% (up 17.4%)
Mark McGwire 82.6% (up 20.1%)
Skip Schumaker 73.3% (up 9.2%)
B.J. Rains 69.5% (down 0.9%)
Kyle Lohse 68.9% (up 13.8%)
Al Hrabosky 66.4% (up 3.2%)
Colby Rasmus 46.5% (down 35.3%)

2011
Dave Duncan 87.9% (up 0.9%)
Matthew Leach 85.5%
Pop Warner 76.7%
Ryan Franklin 72.8% (up 3.1%)
John Vuch 68.9%
Jeff Luhnow 66.4%
Dan Lozano 58.7%

2009
Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%


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