St. Louis Cardinals: Who's Hot, Who's Not

Gabe SimondsContributor IJune 8, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 31:  Brendan Ryan #13 of the St. Louis Cardinals bats against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on May 31, 2009 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Who's Hot

*New rules: SP must have pitched good (QS) in back-to-back starts, minimum 10 ABs

SS Brendan Ryan- This was a close one for me. He only managed one RBI, one steal, and struck out a whopping five times in seven games. What? That's not much right. Well he went 7-19 (.368) with one extra base hit. Average alone got him in this list.

CF Colby Rasmus- This was extremely easy decision. Almost too easy. In fact, he would be on this list if it was the majors Who's Hot/Who's Not. 9-18 with one homer, five doubles, one RBI, and five runs scored.

SP Chris Carpenter- I really hope this is like a weekly thing. Putting together his last two starts you come up with these numbers: 15 IP, 9 hits allowed, one walk, eight K's, three earned runs (1.80), two quality starts and a complete game. Hey All-Star game? Does 4-0 with 0.71 E.R.A. qualify?

Honorable Mention- Joe Thurston 7-20 (.300), but has went 0-10 recently, Albert Pujols cranked two homers with 9 RBI but had a modest .291 average

Who's Not

*New rules: Must have bad back-t0-back starts; for a RP must have multiple appearances with earned runs, 10 AB limit

SP Todd Wellemeyer- I'm not gonna lie, I haven't even looked at the stats yet. Now I will and here they are: 12 IP, eleven hits, five walks, 10 K's, 9 earned runs. Well, I'll give him one thing: he gets his strikeouts and innings even when pitching awful.

With a 5.52 E.R.A., its starting to get to the point where we should seriously consider bringing up Mitchell Boggs, who won't give us many innings, but we are 4-0 in his starts. Wellemeyer's starts: 6-6

SP Joel Pineiro- Is it really an surprise that when multiple SPs get on this list, the Cards are losing. Pineiro's stats: 9 IP, 16 hits, 2 walks, 7 earned runs. This wouldn't look as bad if this wasn't two combined starts. 7 earned runs is bad enough, but when you failed to go six, its worse.

C Yadier Molina- 2-16 with two walks, one homer, one RBI, three runs scored. How the heck is he getting walked at all? By the way that is a .125 average and his season average is now .259.

Honorable Mention- Adam Wainwright allowed seven earned runs and lost twice in two starts but he pitched 13 innings. Rick Ankiel batted .192 but he was only hitless in two games and I felt Yadi was worse (stats support that) and emphasized the bad pitching.

Ryan Ludwick, but I felt it would be harsh cause he's coming back from an injury and has a three game hitting streak.

As a side note, you will be hard pressed to find Tyler Greene on the Who's Not (second favorite Cardinal) and Chris Duncan on the Who's Hot (I hate him). I would say Khalil Greene on WN, but I don't believe he will ever get there in the first place.


A lot of action here. I decided to add this in case you didn't know who was up and who they are.

Jess Todd- Well, was he our dummy boy our something. He took one for the team and he isn't even on the team anymore. In an 11-4 loss Friday, he pitched 1 2/3 IP, allowed 2 earned runs (10.80), and struck out and walked two apiece. He was sent back down the next day.

For the record AAA stats: 3-1, 2.96 E.R.A., 11 saves, 32 K's in 24.1 IP. Blaine Boyer was demoted to AAA even though he has no options. Suprise? Nobody claimed him.

Blake Hawksworth- Well, good move Cards. He pitched even worse in a 10-1 loss to finish the game. He went two IP, allowed 4 earned runs on three hits and a walk. To be fair to him, he had one hitless, scoreless inning in the eighth. He went up, and Todd went down. Expect a demotion this week. I'm half-kidding, but who knows.

Tyler Greene- Finally, logic took over. The best shortstop on the team and the best all-around player not named Albert Pujols. Sorry to Ludwig (glove), Ankiel (K's), Schumacher (power)....well you get the picture.

Comment on someone who you think does. Glaus doesn't count either. He's got slightly worse defense than Brendan Ryan with more average and power. Plus he's got speed. Kyle Lohse was placed on the DL to allow this to happen.

Minor League Report

I will add AA to the picture now, but that is it. I won't include him AA in Stock is Rising/Falling however. So if you see an unrecognized name, I will point out his name and age (cause normally younger than 25 and he's a prospect).

While we're here, I just have to ask why we have a 30 year old RP in AAA. Is it because he's from Japan? We also have two lefties down there who are 28 and 29. But both have pitched in majors before.

Stock is Rising

Mitchell Boggs- How convenient that I just happen to mention above to bring him up. Well his last two starts are gems: 13 IP, 16 hits (yikes), 2 earned runs, 12 K's (10 in one game alone) and two wins.

Ok, I didn't watch these games but at first glance, it seems in the first game, he didn't have his stuff and came away with 6 IP, 1 earned run and nine hits and two strikeouts. Second game was much better with 7 IP, five hits, and 10 K's. So the hits look much worse than they are.

Jarrett Hoffpauier- 11-27 (.407), two doubles, seven RBI, and five runs scored. If Schumacher leaves, he's a possible replacement so even if he has no shot at making team, a good season and he will be considered. It can't come soon enough: his 25th birthday is in 10 days.

Joe Mather- THE ROAD TO .200!!! He's close at .192. He's batting 8-20 (.400) with one homer and seven RBI and two doubles. He's slumping so badly that that was his FIRST homer of the year.

Mark Shorey- He's not just hot. There's another word for going 11-21 (.524) with a homer and three RBI. In case you were keeping count, this is the last AAA guy. The following will be AA.

Honorable Mention- Allen Craig with a .333 average in past week, but mostly because he moved to outfield.

Stock is Falling

Evan MacLane- The SP has a good season with 2-3, 2.85. But past two starts have been brutal. 12-2/3, 9 ER (6.43), 16 hits, 3 walks, and 3 K's. On the bright side, his streak of not pitching less than six innings is intact.

Adam Ottavino- This guy is only 23, but the dreaded b word might get attached to his name. I'll show his stats. 5 2/3, 9 earned runs, 9 hits, 7 walks, and 4 strikeouts. I'll tell you he was a first round pick in 2007. Can you guess the word now? BUST!!!

Brett Wallace- Ok now, this is where you don't take Stock is Falling literally. Yes, MacLane's went down with his recent numbers and Ottavino's definitely did too. But as a hitter, you will get in a slump. He's 6-28 (.214) with six strikeouts, but he managed to get his second homer in AAA.

Honorable Mention- Jess Todd, but mostly for his performance and then demotion.

AAA Notes

Ian Oustland was taken off the DL before Thursday's game.

Brett Wallace made his second consecutive Stock is Falling, but players seem to drop in performance immediately when entering a new level. This is Wallace's first time where he has really struggled. I think he needs this so he doesn't become too cocky.

I just noticed Shane Robinson is batting .244, BUT he has nine steals in just 35 games. Add in the bad average and its even more impressive. I say this in a good way when I say he reminds me of Kerry Robinson. Fastest player on the field, decent average, good fielding, but nothing more than a bench player,

AAA has an impressive pitching staff. Boggs (2-1, 4.50), MacLane (2-3, 2.85), Ottavino (good talent, but he's 0-7, 5.66 BUST), and P.J. Walters (2-4, 4.20).

Boggs has proven to me to be an adequate starter in the majors, Walters has all the physical requirements of a great pitcher at 6'5. MacLane just got promoted from AA in early May, and Ottavino is a first round pick. All are 26 years or younger with the youngest being Ottavino.

AA Notes

I noticed how bad the pitching staff is here. This is probably due to every good player is being promoted. 24 year old Brandon Dickson (2-4, 4.41), 25 year old Donald D. Hearne (4-1, 3.16), 24 year old David Kopp (1-0, 6.52), 24 year old Ryan Kulik (1-3, 5.82), and 22 year old Michael Lance Lynn (5-1, 3.76). So maybe not that bad when looking at the numbers.

A couple important things to know are Kopp recently got promoted and that shows just two starts. The rest are all season stats. I was more mad we had just one 22 year old here, although he's been impressive.

The other four all have birthdays later in the year so essentially they are older than they look. Lynn though just had his birthday, all the more exciting for his future.

In the bullpen, the bad consist of Thomas Brad Furnish (7.15 E.R.A.), Marco E Gonzalez (5.68), Kyle R. Mura (7.88), and Eduardo Nazareth Sanchez (7.20). Important things to know are Sanchez has pitched in just six games in AA, and Mura is on DL and has only pitched in seven games.

Shockingly Furnish has appeared in 13 games with his ummm...ERA. He also lost his SP gig and has pitched in 34 IP. For you non-Math geeks out there, that's 27 earned runs.

Another last note about the bullpen is that no one is really impressive. One guy has a 2.89 E.R.A. and that's about it. Just one guy who is younger than 24 again. Although Sanchez is just 20 years old. Yes, his stats are bad so far, but wow.

The starting catcher Steven Hill has hit 10 homers so far this year. That's about 25 homers in a AA season. However, he's 24 years old too and he has 23 year old Bryan Anderson and 26 year old Yadier Molina in front of him. Also, he hasn't hit a homer since May 23.

Cardinal Game

This was pretty awful again in all facets of the game. Hitting? Two runs so check. Starters? Just five innings with three runs and he got bailed out by Chris Perez so check. Bullpen? Four runs in four innings so check.

The Cards runs come right away with a Shumacher single, Rasmus' double, and then Pujols hit a sacrifice fly that, and this is a first for me, drove in both runners. Carlos Gonzalez made a diving catch, hit the wall, and laid down for a few seconds giving time for Rasmus to score.

Ubaldo Jimenez then promptly retired 17 straight hitters including Albert interrupted by another Rasmus double. Pineiro struggled mightily the whole five innings. He pitched through the first five only allowing one run.

Then things unraveled in the sixth. He gave up four consecutive singles before La Russa pulled the plug. McCllelan pitched a scoreless seventh and then gave up four earned runs in the eighth. As a side note, ESPN made a mistake in the recap. They said the Rockies swept us, but I believe we are playing them tomorrow.

No. 24 Todd Wellemeyer

2008- 13-9, 3.71
2009- 5-6, 5.32
Physical Features- 6'3", 205
Baseball Cube- Control- 31, K-rating- 87, Efficiency- 54

How Cards acquired him: Claimed him off waivers in 2007 from Kansas City
What 2009 Will Hold- Well this told me two things. One my suggestion of bringing Boggs up won't happen, because he has a one year 4.05 million deal. Two, his performance last season was better than I thought.

Also, I may have found something that isn't promising. His K/9 IP is steadily declining. In 2007 in combined seasons with KC and STL he has a 6.8 K/9 IP, in 2008 it was 6.3 and this year its 5.8. His BB/9 IP has also increased from 2.9 last year to 3.9.

The last stat is especially depressing because it seems that was a big reason from his surprising season. During seven seasons in the minors, he had a 4.0 BB/9 IP and in seven major league seasons he had a 4.3 BB/9 IP. That's bad because his career E.R.A. is 4.53.

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