February 19, 2020

Gaining On The Off Day

July 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Cardinals hit the Big Apple yesterday.  They saw the sites (Ryan Franklin went to the Statue of Liberty with his family, according to the official Cardinal Twitter feed), made some appearances (more on Albert Pujols in a bit) and picked up a half-game on the Reds when Milwaukee beat them 3-2.  In other words, just a fine day over all.

Stayed up and watched Pujols on David Letterman last night.  It was interesting to see him out of his normal environment, as it were.  He seemed to be trying to hide his nervousness, but overall came off well, talking about some of the Mets players and his son playing baseball and wearing him out before games.  Then he went out and hit some dingers.  Well, maybe not dingers, but he did show his batting eye, not swinging at a lot of Denis Leary’s junk.  He got plunked once and made like he was charging the mound, which was great.  (BTW, while Dave is batting, you can see intrepid St. Louis reporter Derrick Goold taking pictures.  He’s in the grey shirt and shorts.)

The odds of Roy Oswalt continue to dim, as now he has come out and said that location isn’t a big deal, meaning Philadelphia is, at least publicly, still in the mix.  He also has stated that the option for 2012 needs to be picked up, though some of the money can be deferred.  That could be another drawback for the club.

Bernie Miklasz thinks it was a good thing that John Mozeliak stated that the Cardinals probably couldn’t get him and that he didn’t think there’d be a deal.  The thought is that Houston may come down on their demands if people start backing off.  That’s a possibility, because having an unhappy Oswalt in the Houston clubhouse after the deadline may be a problem, not only for this year but for the years to come.  Houston could still deal him in the offseason, but you’d figure they’d get more for him right now.

From what I hear on Twitter, there’s not any plans to move him before his start Friday in Houston.  I think about the only way St. Louis will get him is if 1) Houston decides he has to be dealt at all costs and 2) Philadelphia falls out of the race this week or decides to go in a different direction.  I don’t know if either of those will come to play.  For the record, Matthew Leach doesn’t expect the club to get him either.

Which may mean that the reinforcements may have to come from within.  The first step on that path was taken last night, as Kyle Lohse made his first rehab start for Memphis.  The results were pretty strong (3 IP, 3K, 0 BB, 2 R, only one earned) and Lohse reported none of the swelling/pain issues that he’d been having prior to surgery.  It very rarely pays to be optimistic about a return to health of a Cardinal, especially a pitcher–just look at Brad Penny–but I feel that if Lohse is recovered, he can get to something approaching 2008 levels.  Which would be a huge boost for the back of the rotation.

Further dampening any big trade talk was last night’s performance by Shelby Miller.  Miller went seven innings, allowing only three hits.  If the front office was iffy on his potential, if they were thinking that he might not pan out and so they should ship him off, that kind of dominance would make them think twice.  Miller has had some exciting peripherals this season, so it’d be a shame to lose him and I think the Cardinals are going to be very, very hesitant to put him in any kind of deal.

A couple of links for you.  First off, More Hardball has a look at Double J (yes, I’m going to keep using that until it sticks or someone tells me not to) on their blog today.  I think they overestimate Jay just a bit, but it’s nice to see him getting a little attention.  You have to figure he’s one of the biggest trade chips the Cardinals have.

Also, keep an eye out over at Mets Gazette today.  I answered some questions for them about the Cardinals and the upcoming series this weekend for my fellow BBA member.  I expect they’ll be up later this morning.

Cards get the Mets tonight, looking to put together another winning streak.  Adam Wainwright pitching in New York, even if it’s a different stadium, brings this memory to our minds.  You think Carlos Beltran might ask for the night off?  Jonathan Niese goes for the Mets.  He looks to be having a good year, and in his career he’s thrown 1.2 scoreless innings at the Redbirds. Could be a good matchup.  We’ll see if Dave passed along any hitting tips to Albert last night!

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