Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Carp to throw today; Cardinals torn between Waffle House and IHOP

Citing it as the 'bullpen session upon which the rest of the season rests', Chris Carpenter will throw today to test his sore tricep. For the first time, at least to my eyes, Carp admitted there was more than just muscle discomfort that drove him from his 11 August start against Chicago; there's discomfort when 'he raises his arm to a specific position'.


So Carp may be on the shelf for the rest of the year. OK, no problem; we've got Wainwright waiting in the wings. the Post-Dispatch story is accurate about when the Cardinals need a fifth starter next (2 Sept at Arizona). Assuming LaRussa/Duncan leave the rotation as is (which they may not, given the 6 off-days the teams has from now until the end of the year), here's how it stacks up. August opponents are here, September ones here.

19 Aug - Looper
20 Aug -Wellemeyer
21 Aug - OFF
22 Aug - Piniero
23 Aug - Lohse
24 Aug - Looper
25 Aug - OFF
26 Aug - Wellemeyer (Brewers)
27 Aug - Piniero (Brewers)
28 Aug - OFF
29 Aug - Lohse
30 Aug - Looper
31 Aug - Wellemeyer
1 Sept - Piniero
2 Sept - TBD
3 Sept - Lohse
4 Sept - OFF
5 Sept - Looper
6 Sept - Wellemeyer
7 Sept - Piniero
8 Sept - OFF
9 Sept - Lohse (Cubs)
10 Sep - Looper (Cubs)
11 Sep - Wellemeyer (Cubs)
12 Sep - Piniero
13 Sep - TBD
14 Sep - Lohse
15 Sep - OFF
16 Sep - Looper
17 Sep - Wellemeyer
18 Sep - Piniero
19 Sep - Lohse (at Wrigley)
20 Sep - TBD (at Wrigley)
21 Sep - Looper (at Wrigley)
22 Sep - Wellemeyer
23 Sep - Piniero
24 Sep - Lohse
25 Sep - TBD
26 Sep - Looper
27 Sep - Wellemeyer
28 Sep - Piniero

Later on in the Post-Dispatch story, this gem of a quote appears, attributed to John Mozeliak:

General manager John Mozeliak doesn't want to feed speculation. Yet
Mozeliak admits Carpenter's status directly affects how and when starter
Adam Wainwright returns from a 2½-month absence.

"I don't see it as that big a deal," Mozeliak said Monday about Carpenter's
toss. "I think it's important to get both guys back. (Today) might define how
Wainwright could be used. But in terms of how the next two weeks shake out,
I don't think it makes that much difference."

You're kidding, right? Not that big a deal? Having Wellemeyer (ok) and Piniero (crapshoot) start the two most important games remaining on the schedule (against the Brewers, based on current standings) is OK, vice having Wainwright or Carp potentially start one of them (and Carpenter is eligible to come off the DL 26 August)? WOW. Agreed, to throw Wainwright against Milwaukee in a high leverage, high intensity game right off the bat isn't ideal; nor is throwing Carp in the same situation his first start back off the DL, but I think even Mozeliak would agree both are better pitchers than Piniero.

The other thing I can't believe from that article is the idea that Wainwright, if not shifted to the back end of the bullpen (and Perez/McClellan have so far proven up to the task of closing out games), would be used in long relief:

"Different" doesn't necessarily mean Wainwright would return immediately as the Cardinals' closer. Rookie Chris Perez's positive showing since inheriting the closer's role from Jason Isringhausen means Wainwright could be activated to work in long relief.

I almost spit coffee on the screen after reading that sentence. We're fighting for a playoff spot, Wainwright has been the team's best starter since the all-star break last year, and the best thing for this team is to relegate him to long relief?


What in the name of Ken Reitz is going on here?

1 comment:

Cardinal70 said...

Completely with you. It's rare when you see this organization make a move that almost everyone disagrees with and can't understand the logic of. Either there's more that we don't know or we've got some fairly clueless people in charge, and I don't think it's the latter (though I could easily be misproven).