Good news on Jay, Linebrink

Yesterday came news on two guys that the Cardinals could really use right now, but both find themselves on the Disabled List.

First and foremost, Jon Jay. Over at Cardinals.com, it was mentioned that Jay participated on Friday in his first workout since being placed on the disabled list on May 16th. He hit off a tee and did some soft toss. According to Jay, he is hoping to rejoin the team on the road trip that begins this week. And according to Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak, he should be ready within a couple days of becoming eligible to come off the DL, which would be Wednesday. So hopefully next weekend we will have our starting center fielder back.

Jay, 27, is one of the top-5 center fielders in baseball when he’s healthy. He was hitting .343 with a .395 OBP when he went down with his injury, a sprained right shoulder. [click to continue…]

McClellan and Craig headed to DL?

The Cardinals are expected to place Kyle McClellan and Allen Craig on the disabled list tomorrow before they open play against the Los Angeles Dodgers, that according to Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch.

McClellan, 27, has a 4.42 ERA in 15 appearances out of the bullpen this season, but has allowed 4 runs in his last 4 innings on the mound over his last 3 appearances. He left in the seventh inning of today’s game against the Giants with right elbow pain. His is expected to be a longer stint.

Craig, also 27, has a .373 batting average with 5 HR and 19 RBI in the 13 games he’s played since coming off the disabled list on May 1st. He apparently injured his left hamstring during Wednesday night’s game against the Giants. According to Strauss, the team has sent him back to St. Louis for further examination. Craig, though, seemed confident that it would be just a couple days to recover. [click to continue…]

New Stat: Hit Game Rate (HGR)

One of my favorite things to do is come up with stats that look at different things. I have my Runs Created stat that basically considers how many runs you were a part of during a particular season (Runs + RBI – HR). Tonight, I shall go over the Hit Game Rate and see how the current Cardinals team stacks up.

Now what is a Hit Game Rate, you might be asking? Very simply put, a Hit Game is a game in which you get a hit. Hit Game Rate, is how often you get a hit in any given ballgame. This isn’t like batting average where it measures how many hits you get. It simply counts how often you have a ballgame in which you get a hit, whether it be one hit or five hits.

The basic idea of the stat is to gauge whether a person is being consistent or whether their batting average might be inflated by one or two really hot games. After all, Player A who goes 1-for-4 for four nights will have a .250 batting average, but Player B who goes 0-for-4 for three games and then 4-for-4 the last will also have that .250 batting average. Each is a very different player and perceptions of the player will be different.
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Cardinals release J.C. Romero

It was a busy day for the St. Louis Cardinals on a transaction front. The team announced that they have released LHP J.C. Romero and recalled RHP Eduardo Sanchez. In an unrelated move, the team released minor league outfielder Amaury Cazana.

Romero, 35, signed a $750,000 deal with the Cardinals as the second left handed reliever out of the bullpen. He spent time with four different organizations in 2011 and likely was hoping for some security where he could settle in and rebuild his value. For the first month of the season, he looked to be well on his way to doing just that. Over 8 appearances he pitched 4 2/3 innings allowing 4 hits and no runs. However it all went downhill from there. In his last 3 appearances, totaling 3 1/3 innings he allowed 10 hits and 9 runs, all earned.

In his place, the Cardinals will call up reliever Eduardo Sanchez. Sanchez, 23, impressed in 2011, posting a 1.80 ERA over 30 innings. He even got a chance to close for the Cardinals before he began struggling with control issues. The Cardinals cut him during Spring Training to give him an opportunity to work on his mechanics and control, now he’s back with improvements made, says the organization.
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Who stays, who goes?

Who will stay and who will go is probably the question on a few players’ minds right now. The St. Louis Cardinals are due to activate Lance Berkman before tonight’s game against the Atlanta Braves, which means that they need to open up a spot on the 25 man roster. Any of the team’s bench players could find themselves on the block. Even pitchers may not be safe according to a few things I’ve read that claim the team is considering going with 11 pitchers for a little bit.

To lead off, I think going with 11 pitchers would be a really bad idea. The way Mike Matheny has utilized the pitching staff, we could probably exist that way for awhile. However, one or two bad starts by the rotation in a row, or a long extra innings game, and you’ll find yourself chasing your tail making roster moves for the next couple weeks (as once you demote a player he has to stay in the minors for at least 10 days).

The Cardinals are hitting the meat of their schedule with a 3 game set against the Braves (my preseason pick for World Series Champions) and then next week with the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. All three teams are quality opponents who will provide the Cardinals tough challenges. Going undermanned in the pitching staff could end up being a costly mistake.
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