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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