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New Spring Worries

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 11:15 AM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals
We always want spring to be this time of excitement, of renewal, of getting ready for the season ahead without having to deal with the issues that might bring us down.  This is the fun time, right?

However, real life tends to not go like that and yesterday we saw Shelby Miller be shut down with tightness in his shoulder.  Joe Strauss, noted curmudgeon, tweeted out a remark that the rotation competition had gone from eight pitchers for five spots to, with the removal of Chris Carpenter and the Miller news, six for five.

While that seemed quite the overreaction, especially when Miller was back out playing catch today without any problems and the club was terming the shutdown as temporary and preventative, it does raise some concerns.  After all, it was just last spring that Jordan Swagerty had an elbow issue that was first termed mild inflammation and wound up needing Tommy John surgery.  The mild injuries of spring don't always stay that way.

Now, often they do.  I mean, these guys have kept in shape during the winter but they may not have been going through the same drills and contorting their bodies in the same way or as much as you'd see during the spring.  So there's no need to cross Miller off the starting rotation competition list just yet, but it's definitely something to keep in mind.  If you want to worry about injuries, I'd still put Rafael Furcal at the top of that list.  Miller can be a little behind that.

Since the Cards have finished up dealing with their arbitration-eligible players, it's time to get deals done with those that don't have that leverage.  Jon Jay missed eligibility by five days, meaning that he really had to take what the Cards offered him.  No financial information has been released, but since he already made more than most of the players in his group, he probably did OK.  If nothing else, he's saying that he's happy in public and there's really no reason to doubt him.

We are only two days away from Cardinal baseball, folks, and we know who gets to throw out the first pitch of the exhibition season.  Trevor Rosenthal will be taking the first couple of innings on Saturday against the Marlins.  (Hey, just a question--how will we know when the Marlins have taken their starters out of the game?)  That means Rosenthal gets to make the first impression on the fifth starter race and I'm sure will come out firing.

Rosenthal will be followed up by Michael Wacha, who seems to have the potential to be the breakout star of the camp.  Mike Matheny and John Mozeliak like what they see out of him and his maturity could play big dividends for him.  He's got Adam Wainwright helping him out with his curveball, which is his third pitch.  If he can really corral that, he could be in the big leagues much sooner than we expected.  I was surprised to read that there's a chance he'll start at Memphis instead of Springfield.  If that happens, he's really someone to keep an eye on as he might be forcing the rotation issue faster than expected.

Boston Red Sox Playing Pepper this afternoon, so come back for that!

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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)

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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