December 11, 2019

Garcia Makes a Statement

March 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Even though the Cardinals lost to the Nationals yesterday, they were able to take something away from it.  Jaime Garcia isn’t interested in Memphis.

Garcia struck out seven batters in three innings, allowing no runs and just one hit and a walk.  Of  course, you adjust that for competition, since the Nationals aren’t known for a dominating offense and some of those that Garcia faced won’t be in the big leagues to start the season, if ever, but seven out of nine is a pretty good ratio in any league.
On Twitter, Matthew Leach, Andrew from Pitchers Hit Eighth, and I discussed Garcia’s role with the team.  Leach said that his preference was to have Garcia go down to Memphis, be the staff ace, and be ready in case anyone faltered or was injured.  Andrew was ready for him to take the fifth slot, something that I championed in the offseason.
I think I’d still like to see Garcia in the last slot in the rotation, but I can understand the concern that he won’t be able to give enough innings that way.  I’m really expecting to see him go north with the team, but as the long man in the bullpen.  He won’t get many innings behind Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, but the rest of the rotation could use a solid long reliever behind them, I think.  I know Tony La Russa has mentioned possibly using him as they did Wainwright, letting him be the bullpen guy before transitioning into a starter role.  And, hey, that’s the way the Cardinals do it, right?  Always taking from the pen to fill the rotation?

Apparently Washington figured out something.  After 11 walks on Sunday, they didn’t issue a single pass in yesterday’s game.

Bill DeWitt is happy with the team and feels that it is deep enough to be successful.  He’s got a point, since Memphis did win the PCL last year.  Of course, any injury to Albert Pujols would be a major blow, but there’s no way to get enough depth to offset something like that.  There seems to be enough in the middle infield, especially since Brendan Ryan really does look like he’ll be back for Opening Day, and the back end of the rotation and the bullpen should have some spare parts hanging around in Memphis.

What was most welcome to hear out of that article was the fact that the Cards are planning to spend quite a bit of money on the draft.  I think they’ve really learned their lesson from the Rick Porcello/Pete Kozma decision and they’ve seen what spending on a top player can get for them in Shelby Miller, whose stay in his first Cardinal camp has been much more extended than expected.  So root for some talented players to slip through on signability issues!

Let’s take our next two in the Cardinal Approval Ratings, Matt Holliday and Cardinal broadcaster Al Hrbrosky.  Obviously, Holliday wasn’t asked about in the prior year, as he was sitting in Oakland (even thought St. Louis had pursued him).  I was interested to see how fans would balance his production and his return against his big money contract and his holding out for the same.

The contract, etc. may have had an impact, but Holliday still comes in with an adequte 84.5%.  For a guy that has yet to establish a huge connection with the best fans in baseball, that’s not too shabby and it will probably go up next year.  A couple of 100s for the guy, with a low of 50 out of the 67 voters.

Hrbrosky did get a rating last year, a low mark of 53.9%.  That was actually the worst rating anyone got back in 2009.  So, another year of Al in the booth, and how did people take to it?  Not well, it would appear.

Hrbrosky dropped to a 46.2% level this year.  It looks like there are a lot of people that mute the TV when they are watching FSN.  Out of the 64 that registered an opinion, there were at least three zeros and only one 100.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone.  I have to say, I am so glad that the Cards are off today.  I seriously hate those green jerseys and hats they break out for this day.  If you want a more reasonable way to get in the mood, check out Fungoes today!

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