Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cardinals Win; Pujols Sidelined

I'm minding the store for my boss this week, as he is on travel, so this will have to be brief. Cardinals won last night in Cincinnati 7-2. The big news should have been Mitchell Boggs' first ML win, but instead it's AP's strained calf.

I saw the replay of him running out of the box on this morning; I wouldn't characterize it as 'pretty bad,' as Mozeliak said, but it certainly won't be something that he bounces back from before this weekend.

If he does have to go on the DL, what a crappy way to start the week - first Wainwright with his finger, now AP and his calf. I can't help but wonder, based on AP sitting most of the Washington series out last week with the calf, if he didn't rush himself back into the lineup too soon and do more damage.

And Rolen's calf injury in Sept 2004 immediately leapt to mind as I watched that replay. Rolen sat most of that month with the injury and (other than a superlative effort in the LCS against Houston, which was mostly driven by anger against LaRussa) wasn't himself the rest of that season.

Yikes. Keep a good thought.

Larry over at Vivaelbirdos has a great article on Wainwright's finger prognosis, which I won't try and top here; it's worth the read if you haven't seen it yet.

One final thought - the Cardinals announced Piniero will start tomorrow against Cincinnati, as he comes off the DL after a groin injury. I can't help but think this is a case of LaRussa hard-headedness and Piniero is going out there too soon after the injury. Here's why. As you know, I play a little softball in my spare time. About 5 years ago I strained my groin going after a fly ball in RC (which approximates how Piniero strained his). I sat out the rest of that game because I couldn't push off with my left leg; it took me a month to feel like I could run again comfortably, and another two weeks before I was willing to test it running full speed.

Clearly, although I'm in reasonable shape, I'm not a professional athlete in prime physical condition with access to virtually unlimited resources for medical care and rehabilitation. However, I play the outfield, where the action is somewhat sparse. I was playing 2-3 times a week at that point, and ended up not playing for almost a month. Piniero is a pitcher, at the center of each and every play in the game, and he's only been sidelined 3 weeks. He's going to put a lot more stress on that muscle immediately, and if it's a little bit tender he's going to damage it again.

Wouldn't Reyes be a better option in the short-term to protect Piniero long-term? Is LaRussa's anti-Anthony stance blinded him to his options here? If Reyes is considered that low of a prospect at this point, maybe the Cardinals would be better off DFA-ing him and moving on.

(When Piniero throws a 2-hit shutout today forget we had this conversation)

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