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Elbowing Into The Conversation

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 7:09 AM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals
There are headlines in the spring that are fun to read.  "Wainwright Faces Hitters."  "Taveras Takes His Cuts."  Stuff like that is what we want out of our spring training coverage, especially in the first week.  We want to hear about the guys working out and going about their business.

Then there are ones that you don't care to hear.  "Elbow Continues To Limit Furcal" is right up there in that mix.

We all knew that Rafael Furcal's elbow was going to be an issue this spring.  When he decided against surgery, most fans cringed, knowing that the odds were not great that he'd be able to keep that surgery away for very long.  The Cardinals continue to maintain he'll be fine, but the concern among the faithful is growing.

As of yet, it's not a major problem.  Furcal may miss the first week of spring games and that's preferable to him missing time during the season.  (Plus, he was so terrible last spring that maybe we aren't missing anything.)  That said, this is the Cardinals and this is an injury.  So very rarely do these things have a happy ending.

All that said, I think the Cards need to have Furcal let loose sooner rather than later.  Obviously they have all the medical data and they know how he's responding, but from a roster management standpoint, you really need to know if you should be keeping an eye on other camps or starting to take some phone calls.  I believe the Cardinals realize that Ronny Cedano and Pete Kozma are not long-term solutions.  If Furcal is going to be out for a long period of time--and again, that's not the case right now, but if--John Mozeliak is going to have to work his magic.

At least Furcal has an instructor in camp who has been through similar issues.  We all know that Ozzie Smith played a majority of his career with a torn rotator cuff that was never repaired.  He adapted his style of play and worked on strengthening the shoulder as much as possible.  Ozzie has indicated he'd be willing to help Furcal if he could and I think Furcal would be wise to sit down and talk with The Wizard about this.  It may not be something that Furcal can adapt to being that it's an elbow versus a shoulder, but it can't hurt.

Speaking of better things, Adam Wainwright threw live batting practice yesterday as he gets into his spring routine.  One of the batters that he faced: Oscar Taveras.  Taveras only swung at two of the pitches, fouling one off, but that had to be an interesting site to see.  One of the media members (maybe BJ Rains?) Tweeted out a picture of Taveras in mid-swing and it looked very nice.  The odds are against him going north after spring training, but it's going to be fun to watch him until then.

We talked yesterday about knowledge being passed down from generation to generation (loved the comment on yesterday's post, BTW!) but the great thing about baseball, or at least the people that play it for the Cardinals, is that information isn't horded even with a person competing for your spot.  Daniel Descalso is out at camp helping Matt Carpenter with the intricacies of playing second base.  As Descalso put it, Carpenter is going to be out there sometimes, even if Dirty Dan gets the bulk of the playing time, so he should make sure Carp is ready to help the team.  Of course, where did Descalso get this idea?  From how Skip Schumaker treated him when they were both trying to get the job.  Baseball is a wonderful thing.

Day three of Playing Pepper this afternoon with the Baltimore Orioles, so look for that.  Don't forget to vote in the Cardinal Approval Ratings and to purchase your UCB Annual!


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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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