Monthly Archives: June 2011

Dickson gets the call

After the news of Ryan Franklin‘s release settled yesterday, the question of who would replace him on the active roster began to get asked.

I assumed that it would be Bryan Augenstein, since he is already on the 40 man roster. Rather, the Cardinals decided to add Brandon Dickson to the roster according to a Joe Strauss tweet.

Dickson, 26, was a non-drafted free agent that signed with the Cardinals in 2006. After going 11-8 with a 3.26 ERA for Memphis last year, he got his first shot at major league hitters during this season’s Spring Training.

Once there, he struggled. In 9 innings this spring, he allowed 12 hits, issued 3 walks, and was tagged for 6 earned runs. That’s good for a 6.00 ERA and opposing hitters were teeing off at a .316 average against him.

Dickson was returned to Memphis again this year where he got off to a rough start. In April and May he had 10 starts and posted a 1-6 record and a 4.60 ERA. However, since the beginning of June, he is 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA in 5 starts and a relief apperance. He allowed fewer than 2 earned runs in 4 of those 5 starts.

Through his years in the minor leagues, Dickson has made just 9 relief appearances over the last two years. He has spent most of his time as a starter. Which, with the Cardinals saying that Lance Lynn will get an opportunity to be a regular member of the bullpen, rather than the long reliever, Dickson can fill that role and eat innings if the need arises.  It should be interesting to watch how he performs.

He will become the eighth Cardinal to make his major league debut this year. Also the 11th Cardinal to get the call from the minor leagues this season. The Cardinals are also 43-38 and just a game out in the NL Central. Not to shabby for a team who was listed as the 7th worst minor league system before the season started.

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Franklin to be released

The story out of St. Louis according to reports from the Post-Dispatch’s Joe Strauss is that Ryan Franklin is set to be released by the St. Louis Cardinals today.

The embattled closer has failed to reclaim his reliability out of the bullpen and is on his way out. Through 27 innings this season, Franklin sports an 8.46 ERA. He has allowed 9 home runs this season, the same as he allowed in the previous two combined.

After reclaiming some reliability during an 8 inning run from mid-May to mid-June, he posted a 2.25 ERA with 7 strikeouts and just 1 walk. Things looked to be turning around for him. Thoughts were entertained that he was over his issues and would once again take an important role in a bullpen that was still reeling from the loss of it’s closer. However, in his last four appearances, Franklin has allowed 5 homers in 6 innings of work and has a 13.50 ERA.

While many in Cardinal Nation will be screaming “Finally” and “What took so long” to this news, I find it difficult to rejoice in a player’s hardships. Let alone one that has given up money and performed so well for us. While it may be good for the team that Ryan Franklin won’t be pitching out of the bullpen for the Cardinals, he is hardly the only issue in the bullpen. This team is better off with a successful Franklin than without a struggling one.
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Bell, Bartlett on Cardinals’ radar

According to the New York Post, the Cardinals are looking closely at the Padres’ Heath Bell and Jason Bartlett.

It’s well known that the Padres are willing to sell off players this year and have plenty of young reliever talent to sell. That’s something the Cardinals are in urgent need of, but will the benefits outweigh the costs?

From all reports, it appears that the Padres are interested in getting Cardinals top prospect Shelby Miller and more in return for Bell and Bartlett and that has a lot of Cardinals fans (and I hope Cardinals management) balking at the deal.

Miller, 20, was the Cardinals first round draft pick in 2009 and was the #13 prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball American’s annual top prospects list. He was also by far, the Cardinals top prospect. In his 5 starts since being promoted to Double-A Springfield, Miller has a 1.69 ERA in 32 innings with a 1.062 WHIP. In what many call the toughest jump in the minor leagues, from Single-A to Double-A, Miller has dominated more than he has at any other level.

Who are the Cardinals looking at?
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Young Pups Report: June

After a lot of dedication to the MLB Draft I am back to give an update on our Young Pups. I can’t remember another year in recent memory that you have seen so much movement of our youth this early in the year. We have guys getting promoted to the big league club due to injuries, guys getting promoted and demoted in the minor league system and others getting released. We also have had the Short Season clubs getting kicked off over the past week or so which gives a lot more players to try and keep your eye on and follow which can get crazy at times…but I love it! Let’s take a look at the good in our system thru late June! Continue reading

Valdes up as Cardinals continue changes

The Cardinals continued their renovation of the bullpen today as they called up Raul Valdes from Memphis and optioned Maikel Cleto back to the minor leagues.

The move really reflects just how poorly the Cardinals bullpen has pitched in recent days. Cleto, I believe, had the Cardinals’ longest active scoreless innings streak at 1.1 innings.

Valdes, however, hopefully will solidify the Cardinals’ issues against left handed batters. While he struggled in the starting rotation in Memphis, once he moved to the bullpen, he has been magic. 16.1 innings pitched, 6 hits, 1 walk, 1 earned run.

Yeah, I’ll take that.

That means the Cardinals are currently carrying three left handed relievers, which could signal that another move will be forthcoming for the Cards in the bullpen. In the Cards bullpen the left handed pitcher is really what people like to call the LOOGY, which stands for Lefty-One-Out-GuY. You bring him in against a left handed hitter to give you an out before you bring in a right handed reliever to finish the rest of the inning. This is done for matchup reasons.
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Batista released, Lynn on his way back

The surprise news came down just over half an hour ago from the Cardinals official Twitter.

Miguel Batista has been given his unconditional release from the organization. To fill his spot on the roster, Lance Lynn has been called up from Memphis and will be available out of the bullpen tonight.

Batista, 40, was a statistical anomaly early in the season. He seemed to get hit up when given situations where men were on base, but never found himself tagged with many earned runs. Over the first two months of the season he carried a 2.01 ERA over 22.1 innings of work.

However, June has been tough on Batista who has thrown 7 innings and allowed 10 earned runs on 7 hits and 5 walks. That’s good for a 12.86 ERA over 7 appearances. Last night’s appearance seemed to be the final straw for the club as Batista failed to finish out the inning, instead getting tagged for three earned runs without recording an out.

With the release, you have to wonder if that’s the last we see of Miguel Batista in a major league uniform.
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