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The Hot Corner Cardinal

Posted on February 24, 2009 at 7:49 AM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals | United Cardinal Bloggers
As the players start their last day before games, a few news items stand out.

Matthew Leach Twittered that he thought Joe Mather had the lead at third at the moment and he followed that up with a story on the official site.  I knew Mather had been mentioned about taking over for the injured Troy Glaus, but I really didn't think much about it, focusing instead on David Freese.  Obviously, no matter how good he is, it's not a permanent switch, unlike Skip Schumaker's transition to second, but as Leach points out, having utility on a Tony LaRussa ballclub is a great thing for job security.

Getting his right-handed bat into the lineup wouldn't be a bad thing either, assuming he's over the wrist injury.  The Cardinals, with the potential of a all-southpaw outfield, could use a little pop from that side of the plate. Well, pop from other than the first baseman, of course.

Mather is also getting a little boost in the third-base derby by the fact that Brendan Ryan is having to sit out a few days of hitting with tendonitis.  He can still field, but hitting seems to bother him.  Since Ryan's going to need to be able to hit, probably, to outshine some of his competitors, that could be a rough thing for him.  I believe Ryan's out of options, though, so there's a good chance he'll make the roster as a utility guy at least, even with this setback.

Josh Kinney wasn't exactly as sharp as he wanted to be in BP yesterday, but when you are coming back from not playing the game, you don't worry as much about balls in the dirt. Kinney's fairly assured of a job, I'd think, assuming he doesn't have a terrible spring.  He does have options, so he might be moved if they think he could use a little work in AAA, but I'd expect to see him riding the convertibles on Opening Day in St. Louis.  Once he works out the kinks on the delivery, he could be an effective option out of the pen.

Apparently Adam Wainwright is having no such issues, though.  His last live BP session had him looking good, even against Pujols.  I honestly can't wait to see him and Carpenter on back-to-back days.  This team hasn't had such a 1-2 punch since, what, maybe Darryl Kile and Matt Morris?

The latest UCB roundtable transcript has gone up.  Cardinal Nation Globe asked us, if we could choose anyone in baseball, who would you replace Albert Pujols with as franchise player of the Cardinals?  It was a tough question, but there were numerous good responses.

Today's Playing Pepper looks at the Mariners and the Dodgers, so be sure to check in for that! 

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2 Comments | Leave a comment

Any chance Carpenter returns to his dominant form every again? It would be nice to see, but with the injury problems that guy has faced it wouldn't surprise me if he never does return to his old self.

I'd be surprised if Carp was a top 5 pitcher again. Even without the injuries, it's been three years since he was at the top of his game and he'd probably have slipped some in that time anyway.

I do think he can be a #1 or #2, though, and give very good work. Just may have a few more rough outings mixed in there.

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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%)
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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%)
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Al Hrabosky 66.4% (up 3.2%)
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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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