Yesterday I tackled my April Grades for the Cardinals’ position players and today I will tackle the grades for the Cardinals’ pitching staff and the manager. Chris Carpenter is still out and we’ve kind of forgotten that he even exists with how great the staff has been so far in 2012.
Manager Mike Matheny – Matheny was my #1 choice to take over for Tony La Russa after he announced his retirement. We’ve long heard about his potential as a manager. However, I didn’t really like that he had zero managerial experience. It’s something I held heavily against Jose Oquendo. But I felt that Matheny always had the ability to be a good manager, and so far he has been.
It’s hard to take over for a probable future Hall of Fame manager, but he has and he’s done it by making it into his own team. Over the last few years, I felt that the Cardinals had strayed from that “Play Like a Cardinal” ideal and become flat with their on field play. This year, I see some excitement. I see some of that baseball that I recall seeing earlier in La Russa’s tenure coming back. It’s a fun time to be a Cardinals’ fan. Grade: A.
Without even making a single toss yet this season, Scott Linebrink will likely be making a trip to the DL according to the Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Goold. Goold tweeted this afternoon that Linebrink has been sent back to St. Louis to have an MRI on a sore lat. The Cardinals are expected to add Victor Marte to the 40 man roster and bring him to St. Louis, taking the 40 man roster spot of Adam Ottavino who was claimed earlier this week by the Rockies.
I’d read earlier this week people congratulating him on Twitter for getting the call to the majors. I was confused at the time, but I guess we now know why.
For Linebrink, this really concerns me. He hit the 15 day DL with Atlanta last August for what was termed a “lower back strain.” After much searching, I haven’t found anything more specific, but Linebrink had a 2.95 ERA in the 42.2 innings before the DL stint and a 6.17 ERA in the 11.2 innings after it. What will this mean for him going forward and will this be something that plagues him the rest of the year and affects his performance.
In addition to the 40 man roster, major league teams typically invite other players in their organization to participate in Spring Training as non-roster invites. The Cardinals have invited 19 additional players to Jupiter. The 2011 list includes 10 pitchers, 5 catchers, 4 infielders, and no outfielders.
This doesn’t mean that guys like 3B Zack Cox and OF Adron Chambers aren’t invited, they are already on the 40 man roster and therefore should already be there.
Teams also usually invite a large number of catchers from the organization because they have a lot of pitchers needing to get their work in.
The Cardinals have also invited RHP Carlos Martinez and OF Oscar Taveras along with OF Lance Jeffries, OF C.J. McElroy, OF Charlie Tilson, and IF Kenny Peoples-Wall to report early for major league camp.
Pitchers: LHP John Gast, LHP Nick Greenwood, RHP Tyrell Jenkins, RHP Joe Kelly, RHP Victor Marte, RHP Shelby Miller, RHP Trevor Rosenthal, LHP Kevin Siegrist, RHP Jordan Swagerty, and LHP R.J. Swindle.
Catchers: Luis De La Cruz, Koyie Hill, Steven Hill, Cody Stanley, Robert Stock
Infielders: 1B Matt Adams, SS Ryan Jackson, 2B Eugenio Velez, 2B Kolten Wong