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Everything's Coming Up Waino

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 8:02 AM
Filed Under: New York Mets | St. Louis Cardinals
The day back from an off-day and Adam Wainwright decided he'd dominate the news.

First, he took on the Mets and looked pretty much like the Wainwright we hope to see once the season starts.  He did walk three in his 4.2 innings (and you'd have probably liked to see him get a little deeper into the game as well) but he struck out three and only allowed two runs, both on a triple by a guy named Matthew den Dekker.  I'm betting Wainwright didn't have a scouting report on that guy and Yadier Molina wasn't behind the plate to help him figure one out.  Plus he drove in the first run with a long single, so he helped his own cause.

Wainwright made an interesting analogy when talking about his stuff this year versus last year.  Last year, according to Waino, his arm was like a brand-new glove.  If you start trying to catch with a new glove, "you'll be clanking balls all over the place," which is what he felt like he was doing last year.  Now, the arm is "broken in" and he feels much better about where he is now.  It really sounds like we'll see more of the '09-'10 Wainwright pitching this season, which is outstanding.

While it was fun to see Wainwright on the mound and pitching fairly effectively, the real news came off the field back in Jupiter, where Wainwright's agent met with the Cardinal ownership.  Both sides agree that they want to get a deal done in the next 10 days (before the season starts) and that both sides are motivated to make that happen.  Actually, even quicker than that, because Waino would like to know either way before his next start, which is scheduled to be Tuesday the 26th against the Mets again.

Can a deal get done?  It sounds like it.  Wainwright's agent felt like there was some momentum started in this batch of discussions and neither side has made it personal or added any bitterness into the mix.  If they are as close as it sounds like they are, I would expect that a deal will get done in the next couple of days, which will be a relief to Cardinal Nation.  There's few that want to see this whole thing go into the regular season and there's no better time for both sides to come together and get it done.

Some solid relief work in this one as well.  You saw Seth Maness, Maikel Cleto, Fernando Salas and Jason Motte combine to shut down the Mets the rest of the way.  It does seem that since Motte has moved back into pitching later in the games and the season is getting closer, he's back to his dominant closer self, which is good to see.  Spring training can make for some ugly ERAs, but thankfully everything starts over with that first pitch in Arizona a week from Monday.

Looking at Cleto's numbers, his spring hasn't been terribly bad.  He's got a nice ERA, he's struck out more than one an inning, you start thinking maybe this guy is making some progress.  Then you note he's walking one per inning, basically, and you put a lot of those thoughts away.  Command has always been the biggest bugaboo in translating Cleto's stuff to the majors, because if he doesn't have command, it doesn't matter what else he does have.

Just looking at the box score, you have to be a bit concerned with Randy Choate's outing.  He gave up two hits and walked a batter, which is not something you want to see out of your lefty specialist.  Could be just a bad game, probably is, especially since Choate's had a pretty tolerable spring.

In other news, it looks like if you don't care for Al Hrabosky and Rick Horton in your game experience, well, you are going to have to work a bit harder to avoid them.  Mike Shannon is acknowledging that, surprisingly, he's not getting any younger (he honestly doesn't look like he's getting much older!) and will ease up on the broadcasting this year, missing about 30 games instead of the 15 in the past.  That means Al and Rick will be filling in for him instead of Mike Claiborne, who will tend to fill in when John Rooney gets a break.

Finally, it looks like former Cardinal shortstop Edgar Renteria has called it quits.  I didn't realize that he didn't play last year, but I still remember not only his time with the Cardinals (I seriously hated the way he left here--it's a bit surprising he didn't get more grief for that) but him as a young kid in Florida.  Of course, he debuted while I was in college, so I'm going to spend the rest of the day mourning the passing of my youth, if you don't mind.

If you missed it yesterday, I've got a contest going for you to win a free Egraph.  It'll be a lot of fun, so I hope you'll participate.

Jaime Garcia goes for the Cards today against the Astros, trying to keep his great spring going.  That's something to look forward to, isn't it?  Enjoy the weekend!

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David Freese (1)
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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)

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%)

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%)

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%

Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%

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