We're back for our regularly scheduled chat Live!!! from Jupiter, F-L-A. Today's workout was abbreviated by a late-morning monsoon. Most pitchers got their work in but there wasn't much accomplished by position types. Games are approaching, which is always a good thing for those scribes who have been in town for a week or four. Enough salutation. The ChatMeister knows its' the Wave you crave. So let's climb the Tsunami for our weekly thrill ride.
I don't dispute there is an abundance of righthanded relievers. However, to handicap a trade at this time is a bit presumptuous. The Grapefruit League has yet to begin. Injuries have yet to become a major issue in most camps. Expect movement once teams assess their weaknesses or deal with injuries. Kyle McClellan's name could become more prominent. Mitchell Boggs is another arm who may receive heavy scrutiny from other clubs. Scott Linebrink's performance the next several weeks will further define the bullpen's ability to deal from a position of strength. Good question.... Just a tad early, especially since Roy Oswalt won't be entering camp.
Weak effort by the producer.
Braun is one of the league's most complete talents. It would be a bit unfair to say anything less than an MVP repeat confirms that he was a PED user. Fielder's absence may have a greater impact.
Freese's foot and ankle probems are well-chronicled. Safe to say when a guy can't comfortable put himself in a crouching position it may affect his ability to move laterally. Freese's footwork could be better, and he does appear to fight his backhand at times. But most would agree that he showed improvement last year, albeit not enough to prevent TLR from replacing him in late innings with Daniel Descalso. Freese may be taking more grounders than any projected member of the 25-man roster with the possible exception of Tyler Greene.
Ignore them or scream your frustrations from a rooftop, the ruling isn't going to change. Braun skated. He maintains his innocence. I do find allegations of tampering against the sample runner highly irresponsible. The levels of testosterone and synthetic testosterone found in Braun's samples certainly give pause.
Ryan Jackson has impressed several bigger flies with his defensive fundamentals. As stated in the camp preview, Jackson may be the most gifted infielder in the system since Brendan Ryan.
Kind of a tough description to use within a largely intact clubhouse. I believe Matt Holliday is poised to have a monster year. Jake Westbrook should be better for a number of reasons, conditioning and awareness of some tipping tendencies among them. More importantly, can Puma and Berkman approximate their strong 2011 performances?
I'm sorry. Puma and Beltran.
I assume you mean Oswalt. If so, the club is pursuing a responsible course barring some undisclosed injury with Carpenter. Carp' did not throw with anything close to maximum effort Tuesday. He will skip at least one Grapefruit League start. Let's see what is said and done this time next week. My information is that the conditioning of his lower half is more of a concern than his upper half.
The guy just oversaw a World Series championship after pulling off a transformative deal at the trade deadline. Tough room! Sure, Mo' has his detractors. As I recall, so did Jocko'. Mo' is walking the point after siding with a first-time manager. The club allowed the most dynamic player of his generation walk. Greater emphasis is being placed on pitching and defense. What made John Schuerholz and Pat Gillick great GM's is that they were able to win despite consistent "churn" within the clubhouse. The Cardinals will have to address that issue when they lose Lohse, Westbrook and Berkman after this season. The club appears willing to base its future on a much-improved player development system. That may ultimately be how Mo's legacy is determined.
I'm not reporting numbers beyond a 5-year framework because I honestly don't know how the money would be apportioned. It's a safe bet that deferred money is involved. The deal could also impact this season, which currently offers Molina $7 million. The $75 million being floated is legitimate. Less certain is how it is apportioned. Things should clarify by Friday.
Your takes are valid. For all the bleacher critiques he received, TLR was a master of maximizing his roster. That's a talent that usually comes with time. Running a clubhouse and a game are responsibilities that frequently come with "growing pains." Even Mo' has used the term. Health and a bottom-heavy division could minimize those pains. I'm looking forward to the late March exhibitions. Why cling to a preconceived notion? Discerning Matheny's tactical approach will be fascinating.
Is that really your biggest concern this week? C'mon.
Well, Baseball America still considers Lance Lynn and Eduardo Sanchez prospects. If you don't count the two relievers, I (and BA correspondent Derrick Goold) believe Shelby Miller stands the best chance because of Jordan Swagerty's lingering arm issues. That said, I wouldn't expect to see Miller before September.
What else: bueno. My only concern is that he hits a wall at some point this spring after initiating his Florida program on January 12. He'll have thrown plenty of pretend innings before camp breaks.
That's a reach. Furcal, 34, appeared to wear down a bit last September after playing daily throughout the team's stretch drive. The Cardinals should be thrilled with 120-125 starts. Furcal's total starts the last four seasons: 35, 141, 91 and 83.
Sanchez looks very good. He was buoyed by his performance in the Venezuelan Winter League. Linebrink projects as a match-up guy. He looks like a guy who knows himself. My early vibe: a solid pick-up. He'll fit somewhere if not in St. Louis.
I better not see that on a billboard.
Your point applies to the team as a whole. A very high ceiling supported by potentially shaky pillars.
Second base needs definition. JC Romero becomes a huge figure. If he falters, Matheny's flexibility with Marc Rzepczynksi becomes compromised. Worse, there is little organizational depth there for the near-term. Those issues are relatively minor if the rest of the cast is sound. But that, too, looms as a major factor.