September 21, 2019

A Pain in the Back

March 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Cardinals split up the squad yesterday and wound up with two wins, including a huge eighth inning that brought them from behind against the Red Sox.  So what’s the major story today?
Albert Pujols’s back, of course.  The man gets a hangnail, Cardinal Nation hyperventilates.  With good reason.

This is starting to trouble me just a bit.  I know that the front office is saying they aren’t concerned, and obviously they would know much more than I do on the subject, but to have this happen again this spring just seems disconcerting.  While it sounds like if this was the regular season he’d probably play, it worries me that this will be something that carries into the season. As most of you probably do, I get the twinges in my back and wouldn’t want to try to be swinging a bat with that kind of discomfort.

Everything will be fine, right?  It’s only spring, it’s only spring…..However, with AP not being able to go yesterday, we weren’t able to see Pujols and Holliday back-to-back.  Matt Holliday was back in the lineup, which helped alleviate some concerns, because if both of them hobble to the starting line, there’s going to be a lot of concerned Redbird faithful.  Holliday seems to be completely healed up from the rib cage strain, swinging at full speed and getting a double against the Red Sox.

The biggest on-the-field news came on the pitching mound, though.  Jaime Garcia threw against the Astros and was very solid, allowing only one run over four innings.  As a pitcher, if you get Yadier Molina testifying for you, that has to go a long way.  Garcia has done all he can this spring to get a roster slot and it does sound like Tony La Russa is watching.  If Kyle McClellan or Rich Hill gives them a reason to send him down, they might, but right now Garcia might have edged in front of both of them.

Adam Ottovino got his relief appearance in and did fairly well.  He struck out two, though he did allow a run.  I don’t think he pitched himself out of contention for a slot at all.  As we examined yesterday, it’s possible that he and Garcia would go north, though it’d take some other work to make that happen.  I still think he’s a bit of a longshot, but it could happen.

There are 31 left in camp after the Cards sent out some players yesterday.  That leaves six more to remove, mainly in the pitching staff with Ruben Gotay getting sent down.  Just two more weeks until the bell rings!

Two more Cardinal Approval Ratings to get to.  Last year, Colby Rasmus was an unknown quantity, which was reflected in his low 66.0% score.  After a full rookie season, Cardinal Nation has warmed somewhat to the quiet outfielder, bumping him up over ten points to 76.8%.  Colby topped out at 95 and bottomed out at 49 over the 66 ballots.

John Rooney also was ranked last year, pulling in a 80.9% score.  A number of voters didn’t express an opinion this year, as he only showed up on 60 ballots but he stayed fairly steady, slipping down to 76.2%.  Rooney hit both extremes, with one 100 and one 0.

Off-day for the Cardinals today, so hopefully Pujols will be back to work tomorrow!

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