Tag:Kyle McClellan
Posted on: March 13, 2011 1:08 pm
 

McClellan the favorite for Cards' rotation

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Kyle McClellanKyle McClellan appears to be running away with the race for the Cardinals' fifth starter position, but it doesn't seem Tony La Russa is going to declare him -- or anyone -- the winner anytime soon.

McClellan's main competitor, rookie Lance Lynn, has struggled in his last two outings, allowing five hits and four walks in four innings.

"Just because somebody has a tough start … there's still [a competition] here," La Russa said on Saturday, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "One of the younger guys could live up to his potential earlier than they have to."

McClellan has allowed one run and five hits with four strikeouts and a walk in seven innings this spring. The 26-year-old right-hander has competed for a rotation spot each of the last two years, only to end up in the bullpen.

This time, though, McClellan said a similar move would be different.

"It would be a lot tougher to take," McClellan said.

Still, he added, "Given the situation in front of me right now, I kind of like my chances."

McClellan hasn't started regularly since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2005. He's started 51 minor league games, but nine since 2007. A ground-ball pitcher (49.7 percent groundballs , he seems well-suited to filling the Cardinals' rotation. He has four pitches and a career 4.12 xFIP. He also pitches better against left-handers than he does right-handers. Lefties have hit .214/.306/.315 against him in his career, while righties have hit .253/.318/.378. He's no Adam Wainwright, but he should be able to fill out the rotation.

Lynn made 29 starts at Triple-A Memphis last season, going 13-10 with a 4.77 ERA in 164 innings.

Others supposedly in the race -- P.J. Walters and Adam Ottavino -- have already been optioned to minor league camp.

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Posted on: March 5, 2011 6:48 pm
 

3 Up, 3 Down for 3/5: McClellan fights for spot

By Matt Snyder

Ah, another day of relatively meaningless spring games. Of course, there are guys fighting for a job -- like our top entry here -- otherwise we need to keep the date in mind. Skills are being honed and the results often aren't important at all, just the work that was done.

3 UP

1. Kyle McClellan, Cardinals. If the Cardinals don't go outside the organization to fill the rotation spot vacated by Adam Wainwright -- and it looks like they won't -- the best option would seem to be McClellan. The 26-year-old right-hander worked three scoreless innings Saturday against the Astros, allowing only two hits and striking out three. Another outing or two like this, and the audition for the job will be closed.

2. Chipper Jones, Braves. The veteran connected for his first home run since August 6 of last season. More importantly, he reported to Saturday being the first day he didn't feel any pain in his surgically repaired knee. Needless to say, this day mattered to Chipper, when normally a March 5 at-bat couldn't be more meaningless.

3. Bryce Harper, Nationals. The teenager got his first RBI of the spring, and it came against his childhood favorite team to boot. He's taking small steps forward seemingly with each game. It doesn't mean he's going to make the team or even play in the bigs this year, but he's gaining confidence at the professional level, which is all that really matters at this point.

3 DOWN

1. CC Sabathia, Yankees. The big man was shelled by the Nationals. His line couldn't have looked more brutal: 2 2/3 innings pitched, six hits, five earned runs, two walks, one strikeout. Of course, it doesn't matter. It's spring training and he's still a horse. Reading anything into it would be folly. In fact, I noticed a tweet today that said something like, "if CC is the one reliable member of the Yankees' rotation, what does that tell you?" My answer: absolutely nothing. It couldn't mean less.

2. Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox. He was just as bad as CC, coughing up six hits, seven runs (five earned), two walks and a wild pitch in three frames. You don't wanna draw too many conclusions based upon this, but he's always struggled with command -- or been way too much of a nibbler, depending upon your point of view. So, no worry yet, but he'll need to get things together within the next three weeks.

3. Johnny Damon, Rays. Apparently this was the AL East version, by total accident. Anyway, Damon went hitless, dropping his spring batting average to .182 and also dropped a fly ball in the outfield. Hardly a banner day but, again, hardly a worry at this point. If he does go on to have a disappointing campaign, it will be due to his age -- not a bad spring.

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Posted on: February 23, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 12:47 pm
 

Who replaces Wainwright?

Dave Duncan

While there's not exactly a great time to lose a pitcher that's been in the top three of the Cy Young voting each of the last two years, February may be one of the better times to get that kind of bad news.

Tony La Russa, Dave Duncan (above) and John Mozeliak at least have time to assess their options.

First off, it puts more pressure on Kyle Lohse, who goes from the highest-paid No. 5 in the league to the highest-paid No. 4 ($11.875 million both this season and next).

For now, La Russa said (from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch), "We're not going to look outside the organization. The answer is here."

So what's the answer? Here's a multiple choice.

Kyle McClellan1. Kyle McClellan -- One of the Cardinals best options out of the bullpen the last couple of years, McClellan came up as a starter and was even in the race to make the rotation last season before being beat out by Jaime Garcia. He has the arsenal to start -- including a slider he's shelved the last two years in the bullpen -- and is likely the favorite.

2. Lance Lynn -- A big right-hander (6-foot-6, 250), Lynn was 13-10 with a  4.77 ERA at Triple-A Memphis last season. He struck out 141 batters in 164 innings last season. He pitches in the mid-90s and also has a decent curveball and changeup. Having spent more than a year at Triple-A, he's likely to debut sometime this season, regardless of what happens out of the gate.

Ian Snell3. Ian Snell -- The Cardinals signed the former Pirate to a minor-league contract this offseason, hoping he'd be Duncan's next reclamation project. Snell was a 14-game winner for the Pirates in 2006 (with a 4.74 ERA), but has gone 23-39 with a 4.74 ERA since. Last season he started eight games for the Pirates and appeared in four more, going 0-5 with a 6.41 ERA.

4. P.J. Walters -- Walters started three games for the Cardinals last season, going 2-0 with a 3.94 ERA. Walters gave up nearly a hit an inning, but also managed to miss bats, striking out 11 in 16 innings as a starter. He was less successful as a reliever, but showed promise as a starter. He went seven innings on Sept. 29 against the Pirates, allowing just three hits and no runs.

5. Adam Ottavino -- Like Walters, Ottavino started three games for the Cardinals in 2010. He went 0-2 with a 7.53 ERA in his two starts, allowing 12 runs in 14 1/3 innings, while walking eight. He was taken off the team's 40-man roster this offseason. He was 5-3 with a 3.97 ERA in nine starts at Memphis last season.

Shelby Miller6. Shelby Miller -- Miller breaking camp probably isn't going to happen -- and shouldn't. Miller is the team's top -- and some say only -- prospect. Miller has a bright future, but his only experience so far is 26 games in the low-A Midwest League. Last season he went 7-5 with a 3.62 ERA for Quad Cities. He has a good fastball and curveball, but has yet to show command of his changeup. Miller will be in St. Louis soon, just not this soon.

Sure, they say they're looking in-house first, but they may not like what they see and decide to go outside. It wouldn't be the first time La Russa said something and then did the opposite. There are a few available options:

Kevin Millwood1. Kevin Millwood -- The veteran has been holding out for a big-league contract, perhaps anticipating such an opportunity as this. Still, Millwood may not get that big-league contract from the Cardinals. He was 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA for the Orioles last season.

2.  Joe Blanton -- The Phillies have said they're holding on to their fifth starter, but the Cardinals could be tempted. The problem is St. Louis' system isn't very deep and may lack the prospects to land Blanton, unless Philadelphia is looking to give him away.

3. Yankees castoffs -- The Yankees have certainly searched the scrap heap to replace Andy Pettitte, signing Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. If either -- or both -- of those veterans are jettisoned before the end of spring training, the Cardinals could bring either in to work with Duncan.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: January 15, 2011 9:20 pm
 

Arbitration deals trickle in


With more than 100 players still on track toward arbitration, and salary figures to be exchanged by Tuesday, expect to see dozens of deals reached in the next three days. Few players actually go to a hearing, and most who settle do so before the exchange of figures.

A few deals were struck Saturday, presumably during a pregame show or halftime:

* Outfielder Ben Francisco, Phillies, one year, $1.175 million.

* Reliever Kyle McClellan, Cardinals, one year, salary not available -- he was the Cardinals' only arb-eligible player.

* Reliever Carlos Villanueva, Blue Jays, one year, $1.415 million.

* Reliever Brad Ziegler, Athletics, one year, $1.25 million.

If you're really into arbitration -- and who wouldn't be, really? -- a good place to track the status of all arb-eligible players is this tracker at mlbtraderumors.com.

-- David Andriesen

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