This stop brings us to Pitchers Hit Eighth in St. Louis. Another cleverly named blog with the content to back it up.
FBHS: Hamsters love to get on the wheel for no reason. By the same account fantasy baseball people love to get their hands on the next great prospect and many of them were running on that wheel to nowhere with Colby Rasmus last season. So far LaRussa has shown no consistency with the rotation in the outfield. Is Rasmus going to be a regular by May?
PHE: Short answer? No. Consistency and LaRussa go together like water and oil. Bernie Miklasz determined yesterday that Tony LaRussa has used 1712 different lineups during his tenure with the Cardinals. The most he has used one lineup in any given season? Nine. Rasmus is a great talent, no doubt. He has earned his way onto this team. But at least until the trade deadline, TLR is going to make his outfielders dance like puppets for at-bats. They will have a four-man rotation based upon matchups and Tony’s instincts until either someone is dealt or 2010. The other wild card in the equation is Skip Schumaker, who may or may not stick at second base. The Cards management have supposedly put a May-ish evaluation point on whether to continue trying Schumaker at second, or giving up. Schumaker’s bat is valuable to the Cards in the leadoff role, so moving back to the outfield permanently would really muddle things up out there. Regardless, Tony will continue to massage lineups late in games to get the best defensive lineup out there, so another thing to consider fantasy-wise is being pulled in the sixth or seventh and losing at-bats. Good news for Rasmus is that he’s quick, has a good glove, and is versatile enough to have already played every outfield position in the first four games.
FBHS: Jason Motte’s picture on his Yahoo page is pretty funny. His line on Opening Day wasn’t. Was too much made of this guy during Spring Training? Or is too much being made of one poor outing?
Too much made of one poor outing. I’m on record in several places saying that Dennys Reyes should’ve been up in the bullpen and probably in the game. The Pirates have a cavalcade of left-handed hitters that made things hard on Motte.
It’s a conundrum of claims, really. LaRussa claims that Motte is “not their closer” but apparently was stubborn to the point of showing absolute faith in the kid on Opening Day. Can’t have it both ways. Either the kid is your closer and he goes in every save situation, or he’s not, and you have to use the best guy to get outs.
Dennys Reyes got the nod and the save on Thursday, and I hope Motte doesn’t look too much into it. It was the right call. Pirates had LH, SH, LH hitters coming up. If Motte isn’t your bonafide ninth inning guy, use your best to get outs.
I still think Motte will be fine, I still think he has confidence from the manager and staff, I still think he has potential to get 30 saves. Development of his slider will be key.
FBHS: Who will finish with more wins Chris Carpenter or Adam Wainwright?
PHE: Chris Carpenter. *knocking loudly on wood* Carp has been very sharp through spring and his start against the Pirates, allowing only one hit through seven strong innings. If his defense hadn’t let him down a bit, he may have pushed on. I think there will be a delicate balance early on between letting Carp really get into a groove and trying to protect him, but at some point, they’ve got to just let him loose, right?
I have all the faith in the world in Adam Wainwright, but seeing what I’ve seen from Carpenter in spring and his first regular season start, he’s got that old bulldog look about him again. Assuming health, Carp wins this one running away.
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