Probabes: LAD-Derek Lowe RHP (8-9, 3.70) vs. STL-Joel Pineiro RHP (3-5, 5.04)
Birds’ Perch: The Cub and Brewers both won yesterday, the Cardinals keeping pace in the NL Central with their 11-inning win last night. The Cubs keep a firm grip on first place, the Brewers 5.0 games behind in second place; the Cardinals 5.5 games out and a 1/2-game behind the Brew-Crew.
Wainwright’s finger: Rehabbing Adam Wainwright threw a bullpen session at Busch Stadium yesterday, about 30 pitches. He may pitch one or two rehab starts, and most likely, will throw for the Memphis Redbirds, the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate, Saturday.
Phelps’ accolade: Class AAA Memphis Redbirds’ Josh Phelps continues to impress, named the Pacific Coast Leagues’ Batter of the Week.
Kozma to Palm Beach: Peter Kozma has been promoted to the Cardinals’ High-A affiliate, Palm Beach Cardinals.
Tummy taking longer: Rick Ankiel’s abdominal strain has kept him out of the regular lineup a little longer than expected. He will continue to be available for pinch-hitting duties versus the Dodgers in their current series, but is under orders not to lay on the after-burners when it comes to running.
Lopez the Nat now Lopez the Card: The Cardinals have signed Felipe Lopez, who was recently released from the Washington Nationals. Lopez was an All-Star in 2005, and has plenty of major league experience. He plays middle infield, mostly second base.
Ryan down: In order to make room on the roster for recent pickup Felipe Lopez, the Cardinals have optioned infielder Brendan Ryan to Triple-A Memphis.
Whatcha done for me lately? These minor leaguers in the Cards’ system have done something lately, in fact, yesterday.
Johnson City Cardinals (Rookie League)–Jose Mateo went 5-for-6, scoring one run and tabbing one RBI.
Johnson City Cardinals (Rookie League)–Osvaldo Morales went 1-for-4, scoring four runs, hitting a home run and collecting two RBIs.
Quad-Cities River Bandits (Low-A)–Brett Wallace went 3-for-4, scored one run, hit one double, and notched one RBI.
Memphis Redbirds (AAA)–Tyler Greene went 1-for-4, scoring one run, hitting one double, and grabbing one RBI.
Memphis Redbirds (AAA)–Josh Phelps went 1-for-4, scoring two runs and hitting one double.
Quad-Cities River Bandits (Low-A): Won in extra innings at Oldmobile Park in Lansing Michigan versus the Lugnuts.
In the eleventh inning, the Bandits’ Nicholas Peoples singled home Brett Wallace and Thomas Pham to beat the Lugnuts 6-4.
Coming on in relief to pitch the extra innings, Pete Parise grabbed the victory, his record now 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA. He gave up only one hit and struck out three.
Chuckie Fick had started, pitching the bulk of innings, two outs into the seventh after giving a home run, the Lugnuts tying the game at 4-all. Eduardo Sanchez relieved Fick and got out of the inning when catcher Roberto Espinoza threw out a base runner attempting to steal second.
Sanchez pitched two and a third innings, allowing no runs and striking out four.
The Peoples two-RBI single proved to be the game-winning hit while Parise was working his two innings.
Pham went 2-for-5 with a double.
Oliver Marmol went 1-for-4 with a double.
Also having a two-hit day were: Brett Wallace, D’Marcus Ingram, and Roberto Espinoza.
Day of rest over: After a day off yesterday, the Cards will begin a six-game road trip tonight with the first game of the three-game series with the Phillies.
Probables: STL-Joel Pineiro RHP (2-4, 4.52) vs. PHL-Cole Hamels LHP (9-5, 3.22)
Adam Wainwright was cleared by medical staff to begin throwing sessions. He had sustained a finger injury and had been on the DL.
Matt Clement has been cleared to throw and was optioned to Triple-A Memphis.
Chris Carpenter threw in a brief simulated game as part of his rehab assignment. He has not thrown in the major league since 2007.
Quad-Cities River Bandits (Low-A): The Quad-City Times reported a lot of offense in the Bandits 8-2 victory over the Peoria Chiefs. As for the college newcomers, Aaron Luna (9th round) marked his first professional hit after an 0-for-6 start; a home run.
Brett Wallace (1st round) tallied a couple of doubles. Ryan Kulik (8th round), a righthanded pitcher, notched his first win.
Tommy Pham executed a squeeze bunt to score a Bandits’ run. Adton Chambers tripled. Paul Vazquez homered.
Memphis Redbirds (AAA): According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Redbirds pounded the Zephyrs 11-4, on the road in Louisiana. Of note: David Freese hit his 14th home run; Nick Stavihoha went 4-for-6 with 2 RBIs; Jarrett Hoffpauir went 3-for-3 with 1 RBI; Josh Phelps went 3-for-5 with 1 RBI.
Pitcher John Wasdin recorded the win, improving to 6-6.
Today’s Redbirds’ start is slated for Clayton Mortensen RHP (4-1, 2.70).
Probables: Cardinals’ pitcher Todd Wellemeyer RHP (7-3, 3.86) will match up against the Cubs’ Sean Marshall LHP (0-2, 4.87).
Wellemeyer v Cubs: Todd Wellemeyer faced the Cubs on May 4, earning a win, pitching 5 innings, giving up only three hits while walking four and striking out four.
#50: The Cards have reached the fifty win mark, now 50-39.
How the Redbirds stand: With last night’s victory over the Chicago Cubs, the Redbirds have made up the ground they lost yesterday, now 2.5 games behind the Cubs in the NL Central.
Lohse no decision: Kyle Lohse got a no decision, his record remaining at 10-2.
Izturis set to return: Shortstop Cesar Izturis is due to come off the DL today. Izuris has a hamstring strain. With Aaron Miles swinging a hot bat and holding his own on defense, plus steady contributions from Adam Kennedy, the recently disabled Izturis might not get thrown right back in the lineup. Manager Tony La Russa wants to be careful with Izturis’s return to action as a precaution.
Reyes optioned: Pitcher Anthony Reyes is coming off a stint on the 15-day DL, and will be optioned back to Triple-A Memphis. Reyes had a right elbow strain.
Wallace hits first round-tripper: Recently signed top draft pick, Brett Wallace, hit his first home run for affiliate Quad Cities River Bandits (A) at Modern Woodmen Park. Wallace had tallied only two hits in 12 at-bats to that point. The homer came in a 9-2 victory over the Peoria Chiefs. Two relief pitchers threw a combined five-hitter in the win, Chuckie Fick and Wayne Daman.
Granny beats AAA-Redbirds: Not grandma, but a grand slam by Brian Buchanin of the Omaha Royals, according the the Memphis Commercial Appeal, beat the Triple-A affiliate Memphis Redbirds 8-6. Hitting his 13th home run of the season in the losing cause was David Freese.
Future Futures pitcher Jaime Garcia is scheduled to pitch for Triple-A affiliate Memphis vs. the Omaha Royals today. Garcia has recently been named to the Futures roster.
Colby Rasmus has been added to the Futures Game roster. He joins three other Cardinals who’ve made the grade: Jess Todd, Bryan Anderson, and Jaime Garcia.
Albert Pujols is still on Cardinal Nation’s watch list for milestones: 300th career home run.
Brett Wallace secured a $1.84 million signing bonus and is reported to Low-A Quad Cities today. Wallace is to start his duties as a third baseman. He has stated in multiple interviews that he is relieved to have the “business” matters taken care off (meaning contract) and is anxious to get to the baseball playing aspect. He took batting practice with the Cardinals’ players as an audience, admitting later that he was nervous on his first swings, but settled down when the players starting talking to him in a supportive manner.
Standings: The Cardinals remain 2.5 games out in second place, the Brewers two games behind them and the Cubs in first place.
Thieves to watch: 4thebirds never gets stat-heavy, but a quick scouring of the Cards/Mets numbers revealed at least one area of concern. Steals: The Mets are successful thieves, the Cards are not. The Mets have more than doubled the amount of Cardinals’ steals at 78 to 35. While Cesar Izturis, Brendan Ryan, and Skip Schumaker have a paltry six thefts apiece, Jose Reyes of the Mets has more than the Redbirds’ leaders combined at 28. Other notable Mets base stealers are Luis Castillo (13), Carlos Beltran (11), and David Wright (8).
Category 7: Not an off-the-scale hurricane rating, but close. Albert Pujols lead the Cards in seven of 15 tracked categories for offense as of today.
Nick Stavinoha has returned to his hot-hitting ways with the Memphis Redbirds, according to the Memphis Commerical Appeal. He went 2-for-4 in his first game back, has hit safely in 22 or his last 25 games, and is currently the #4 hitter in the Pacific Coast League.
Coach Dan Bilardello has a lot of good things to say about how hard Triple-A Memphis Redbirds’ catcher Bryan Anderson works. Bilardellow told the Memphis Commercial Appeal that Anderson is the type of player that has to get in a lot of work behind the plate, both in games and practicing techniques and skills. The catching coach explained that it isn’t as if Anderson isn’t a good catcher, but simply that he must maintain his workouts, as that is how he has improved.
photo by Chet Novak
Official St.Louis Cardinals Press Release
The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have signed their first selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, third baseman Brett Wallace.
The 21-year-old expounded in an FSN interview just how excited he was to see his name on the back of a Cardinals uniform. He admitted he was nervous for the first few swings he took in batting practice, with the whole team around. Wallace said that every player came up to him and made him feel welcome.
Wallace will likely be assigned to low-A Quad Cities, but is expected to work his way through the minor league system without much delay. As with any player picked first in the draft by a major league team, the expectations will be high, and there could be an unreasonable push by the media to see Wallace streamlined through the minor leagues. Considering how careful the Cardinals’ organization is regarding the placement of players into situations they believe they can handle before tossing them fully into the fire, Wallace should be able to learn his way through in an efficient manner.
Wallace is supposed to be working at third base, and if you see video on his first day at Busch Stadium, you might double-take at the number on his jersey.
Albert Pujols is still looking for his 300th career home run.
The lineup, as speculated, is (with the exception of the pitcher’s spot–eighth) is exactly the same. The 4thebirds preview on tonight’s game laid out strategy calling for Adam Kennedy to play second base and hit in the ninth spot for Brendan Ryan, pushing Aaron Miles over to shortstop. Last night’s lineup, however, is what will be, maybe falling into the category of: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
(photo by Barbara Moore, flickr.com)
The Cardinals’ highest draft pick, Brett Wallace, taken in the thirteenth round, is close to signing, according to general manager John Mozeliak.
Wallace could be signed sometime during the Cards’ current home stand versus the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs. Reportedly, a signing bonus of nearly $2-million has been offered. No other details of the contract have been released.
Contrary to rumor that Wallace might go directly to St. Louis, the Cardinals plan to send Wallace to Class A Quad Cities.
Manager Tony La Russa is re-calling pitcher Brad Thompson from Triple-A Memphis due to the Cardinals’ serious need of relief pitching going into the current homestand. Nick Stavinoha will be as much as trading roster spots with Thompson, returning to Memphis in order to make room for Thompson.