Garcia is a valued backup but if/until the Cardinals decide that Kolten Wong is not their regular second baseman, Garcia will remain in a backup role. But backups can win you games, a la Jose Martinez last night.
You may be right. This is something I would have to look into.
I saw Grichuk not get too crazy when he was down 0-2 in the count before the home run. I also saw him patient enough to get a pitch he wanted at 2-0 in the ninth. The barometric reading on Grichuk this year is how long will his droughts last. Will he chase, chase, chase for two or three weeks at a time or be more consistent, limiting his skids to just two or three games when he isn't showing strike zone discipline. His power is unquestioned. But he must be more selective.
Grichuk did some of his best work hitting eighth last year. I'd leave him in the bottom part of the order _seventh or eighth _ until is it is clear that those ahead of him are not producing to the same level as he is. When he batted fourth or fifth last year, he seemed to apply too much pressure to himself.
I thought it was an error although the scorer, a good one in Gary Mueller, was factoring in the wet conditions and that Carpenter had lost his grip on the ball as he attempted to go to second. But it likely was more of an error in judgment with Carpenter because he had an easy out at first base and , thus, the tying run wouldn't have been at the plate.
This is a question being asked in several quarters. Mike Matheny said he trusted Oh to retire such lefthanded hitters as Schwarber and Rizzo, and then to pitch the ninth, too, with a day off today. But chances are that when a similar situation arises, you will see Cecil or Siegrist in the eighth.
Yes, but that is not saying much. Kelly appears to have decent speed for a catcher because he really hasn't been a catcher that long. He was an infielder in high school.
For all the Kolten Wong fans, he made some marks with some decent at-bats Sunday night and I'm sure he will be at second base Tuesday and Wednesday. All he has to do is hit something.
Ultimately, I expect to see Piscotty hitting fourth and Grichuk no lower than sixth. But Peralta has more sting in his bat this spring than Piscotty and Grichuk seems to prosper hitting lower in the order.
Lou was missed last night. He has been suffering from some back pain in recent weeks. But I do not believe anything more serious is in play here. .
I wouldn't hit for Martinez in the sixth inning of any game in which he's pitching as he was last night. Don't forget he hit .237, highest on the staff, last year, and he had some lengthy at-bats on Sunday.
As long as Matheny was going to leave Martinez in the game to hit, a bunt by Wong would have created second and third with one out and Grichuk would have been walked intentionally to load the bases, rather than the walk he drew to load the bases anyway. Matheny does not often have his position players bunt and, sometimes, not even the pitchers.
After Martinez, I am most confident in Mike Leake over the short haul, at least, because he isn't coming off any significant injury of the last couple of years. But, at the moment, I don't see any reason to worry about Lynn or Wacha and Wainwright should be all right, too.
I don't like to match starting pitchers against other teams' starting pitchers, especially this early in the season. You're going to need all five of your starters to be effective, so just roll them over. Later on, you might find managers either using or not using starters against certain teams because either of past success or past problems.
Somewhere down the line this year, Alcantara could turn into last year's Alex Reyes. He is too raw right now but 100 is 100. If he can throw strikes and has a secondary pitch or two, he'll be here before you think. Reyes started in the bullpen last year and he might even have been there this season if he hadn't been hurt in the spring.
Piscotty's production with runners in scoring position since he came up in August of 2015 is estimable. He is a far more advanced hitter than Wong.
Delving into the Piscotty matter more fully, the Cardinals easily could have waited to do this another year but this is the pattern they have shown with young position players, notably Craig, Carpenter and Wong. The club wouldn't have done this if there wasn't some benefit at the other end, i.e. no salary arbitration and a year or two into potential free agency.
The scorer has no ability to award a win to a pitcher who pitched in superior fashion once the lead that he left with has been lost. All managers are going to be criticized for their curious uses of their bullpens and fans legitimately can argue the merits of last night's moves by Mike Matheny. Seems people were criticizing Joe Maddon's bullpen moves last October and they're going to be raising the gonfalon next Monday night at Wrigley.
Peralta did have one hit his last time up on Sunday. Kris Bryant also struck out his first three times, you might note. And he will be not taken out of the lineup any time soon. Peralta probably will not fourth all year. I expect Piscotty to end up there.