St. Louis Cardinals: Take the Good, Take the Bad

Daniel ShoptawAnalyst IFebruary 28, 2009

Cards win, Cards win!  Always nice to get that zero out of the win column, even if it is just the first week of spring training games.  And, really, is it ever bad to beat the Mets?

That said, it definitely wasn't an unqualified success.  For the second straight day, a starter has trouble in his second inning of work. Todd Wellemeyer gave up three runs, but had command as he didn't walk anyone. 

You have to figure (and hope) that it's still a little rust, a little about not having pitched in competition in a while.  But next time around, you'd like to see better results.

Adam Ottovino and Royce Ring didn't do much in the relief department either.  Ring allowed a bomb to a right-handed batter, something that probably doesn't happen in the regular season. 

Tony LaRussa has to know Ring's splits, that he's almost worthless against righties. However, if someone like Charlie Manning shows he can get the occasional righty out, Ring may be on the outside looking in at the end of camp.

The other lefty, Trever Miller, had a good start to his Cardinal career.  One scoreless inning with a strikeout.  PJ Walters isn't going to make the team, but he at least got some attention with his two innings yesterday. As pressed as the Cardinals apparently are for arms, he may get more innings than normal.

What he does with them may draw enough focus that he could get a cup of coffee at some point this year.

Offensively, it was a day to forget for Colby Rasmus, who so far isn't having the spring training he had last year.  An 0-5 dropped his average under .200 and an error didn't help matters.

Lots of time to make that up, of course, but with him having options, any kind of outfield squeeze could have him starting in Memphis.

Rick Ankiel, Jared Hoffpauir and Jon Jay all had two hits yesterday. TLR apparently thinks that Ankiel should be protection for Albert Pujols, which is understandable.  Assuming Rick's not traded this spring, of course. Ankiel held that protection job down some last year and did a fairly good job with it. 

It's going to be hard to pitch around Pujols if Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick are following him. They aren't Pujols, of course, but they can definitely hurt you more often than not.

Today's game against the Nationals will get a lot of attention because Chris Carpenter takes the mound. Carp's just thinking about it as just another game, which is good, because that means he feels like his a pitcher, not a rehabber. 

Still, it'll be very good to see him on the mound and see what he's got.  The game should be on XM 176, though yesterday's game was supposed to be on XM and for some reason wasn't.  KTRS is covering the game as well.

Matthew Leach has his first projections for the 25-man roster up at his blog. There's not much to quibble with there.  I'd really like to see Brian Barton make the team, as I believe his right handed bat and his speed give a dimension to the team that's missing with all those southpaws in the outfield.

He also has Jason Motte losing out in the bullpen numbers and Ring making the cut, but part of me still feels like we should keep an eye on Manning.

Enjoy the game today!