Thursday, February 12, 2009

Arm and Hammer

We got some good news and some ho-hum news yesterday.

First the good news: Carp threw off the mound for about 10 minutes and reported no discomfort. That's the best news this week for Cardinals fans. Of course, with the adrenalin pumping and the excitement of being able to throw from the mound, everything feels great; how he feels physically this morning will be the real test. Duncan correctly pointed that out in the article.

The Cardinals aren't taking any chances with Carp. Kyle McClellan is prepping as if he'll be a starter this spring, and his workouts are the same day as Carp's. Nice planning. If Carp suffers a setback that prevents him from starting the 28 Feb game, McClellan will be ready to step in.

Next step, according to Carp, is to mix in some off-speed stuff and see how the arm responds.

If (and although yesterday's news was encouraging, it's still a big IF) Carp is ready to start the season with the big club, the rotation may shake out to be

Chris Carpenter
Adam Wainwright
Kyle Lohse
Todd Wellemeyer
Joel 'punching bag' Piniero

One thru four were pretty good last season. Not to drink the Kool-Aid, but all indications are Piniero worked his butt off getting ready for this season (oh yes, it is the final year of his contract), so he could be much improved over last season, which would make this a very good rotation.

The ho-hum news is all the banter about Rick Ankiel's arbitration hearing, scheduled for today. Seems the Cardinals offered him $2.35M and he wants $3.3M. I'll tell ya, in this economic environment I'll take the $950K difference and be quite happy thank you very much, but that's not how this cookie crumbles.

So it's Scott Boras and his stat-heads against the Cardinals. The Cardinal front office apparently has a couple of guys who worked arbitration issues for MLB in the past (John Abbamondi specifically, and he specialized in this stuff for 4 years). Boras is 3-5 in his past 8 arbitration hearings, and is widely considered to be an ass, so I'm sure that won't help Ankiel.

Rick is in Phoenix today for the hearing.

Yes, Phoenix. Apparently the hearing's in a hotel.

I find this incredibly funny. MLB is a multi-billion dollar operation, but they don't have an arbitration room/wing/floor in their coroprate offices to hold these kinds of hearings? Does the MLB players association not have an office building where they could do this kind of hearing? They have to do it in a hotel room?

I wonder if this is the notification Ankiel got: "Hey, your hearing is 12 Feb 09 at the Days Inn. Take 10 West out of the airport past Avondale. It's the first Days Inn you see off the highway. We're in the room with the Mystery Machine parked in out front."

8 guys crammed into a room with 2 queen-size beds deciding how much Ankiel gets paid next season. That would be hilarious.

No comments: