Tag:Matt Holliday
Posted on: June 8, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 11:39 pm
 

Boston catcher doesn't have appendicitis

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jarron SaltalamacchiaRed Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia hads tests at a New York hospital to determine whether he has appendicitis, but it was determined he did not, the Boston Globe reports. Instead, the Red Sox are calling his ailment a "stomach illness."

Saltalamacchia was scheduled to catch Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield, but was scratched, forcing Jason Varitek to catch Wakefield for the first time in several years. Varitek is actually wearing a first baseman's mitt to catch the knuckleballer. In the past, Varitek has struggled catching Wakefield's knuckleball.

During the first weeks of the season, both St. Louis' Matt Holliday and the White Sox's Adam Dunn missed time after undergoing appendectomies.

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Posted on: June 1, 2011 5:33 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 5:43 pm
 

Holliday, McClellan headed to DL for Cards

By Matt Snyder

The injury woes for the NL Central continue to mount, this time to the division-leading Cardinals. Left fielder Matt Holliday and starting pitcher Kyle McClellan will be placed on the disabled list Thursday, according to general manager John Mozeliak (Derrick Gould via Twitter).

Holliday has played sparingly since suffering a quadriceps injury about a week and a half ago, last getting a pinch-hit appearance Monday. He underwent an MRI Wednesday, and apparently the Cardinals didn't like what they saw. He's a huge part of one of the NL's strongest offenses, as he hits between sluggers Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman. Holliday is hitting an NL-best .342 with 31 RBI, 31 runs and a .975 OPS. With Holliday down, look for John Jay to start in left field while Berkman sticks in right. Of course, there's always the possibility that Tony La Russa will put Pujols at third, Berkman at first, Jay in right and Allen Craig in left.

McClellan finally got his shot to start this season due to Adam Wainwright's injury, and he hasn't disappointed. He's 6-2 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. He has scuffled a bit in the past month but was still productive at times. He has a hip injury and is expected to be out until the middle of June. Lance Lynn will get the start for the Cardinals on Thursday. Lynn, 24, is 5-3 with a 4.06 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 62 innings for Triple-A Memphis.

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Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:44 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 3:49 pm
 

NL All-Star balloting update: Cards lead way



By Matt Snyder


Major League Baseball has issued a press release with the first All-Star balloting update of the season, and the NL starting lineup would include three Cardinals if the voting ended right now. The leaders by position (including three outfielders, of course): Albert Pujols, Brandon Phillips, Placido Polanco, Troy Tulowitzki, Buster Posey, Ryan Braun, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman. (Full ballot update at MLB.com)

A few things immediately jump out:

- Jose Reyes is the most qualified candidate at shortstop, despite Tulowitzki's hot start. Reyes leads the NL in hits, doubles, triples and stolen bases and is hitting .335 with an .876 OPS. He doesn't even have half the votes Tulo does. Oh, and Jimmy Rollins (.265 with a .698 OPS) is second. At least Reyes is in third, but it's odd to see a player in New York so under-represented in the voting.

- The starter at first base has gotta be Joey Votto over Pujols. It's not even close this season. Votto is second, trailing by about 182,000 votes. Prince Fielder (third) and Ryan Howard (fourth) should also be ahead of Pujols. Remember, it's for the 2011 season.

- Speaking of which, Chase Utley is third in voting at second base.

- Dodgers outfielders Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp have very strong cases in the outfield, and they check in at spots four and five in the voting, respectively. Still, who are you going to bump between Braun, Holliday and Berkman? Maybe we can petition to move Braun to third base in order to maximize the offense?

- The biggest snub appears to be Jay Bruce. The young Reds' slugger was been an absolute man-child in May and leads the NL in home runs, RBI and total bases. He's 12th place in votes for outfielders. Looks like Reds fans need to get over to MLB.com and support their team. Phillips leads at second because there aren't many good candidates, but Votto and Bruce should be starting and aren't yet in that position.

- Obviously, Posey can't start because of his season-ending injury and NL manager Bruce Bochy will name a replacement if Posey wins the voting. So the catcher voting -- at least as long as he's at the top -- is irrelevant.

Voting continues on MLB.com through June 30 at 11:59 p.m. ET. There will be an update on AL voting Wednesday.

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Posted on: May 29, 2011 2:56 pm
 

Holliday closer to return

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Matt HollidayMatt Holliday has been used in both of the Cardinals' last two games against Colorado as a pinch hitter, but wasn't in the lineup on Sunday. Still, with the two at-bats, Holliday is close to returning to the lineup for the first time since May 22 because of a strained left quadriceps.

"Make sure when we get him back, he's 100 percent," LaRussa told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "Hopefully tomorrow. We'll get him back tomorrow or early [against] San Francisco."

The Cardinals start a four-game series against the defending World Series champions on Monday at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals are 3-2 without Holliday in this stretch, but will certainly improve when he returns. While Lance Berkman has stolen the headlines, Holliday is having another excellent season in St. Louis. In his 42 games (he's been limited by his quadriceps and also missed seven games after having his appendix taken out last month), he's been fantastic, hitting .347/.440/.533 with six home runs. With Albert Pujols struggling -- or struggling by his standards -- Holliday and Berkman have been able to pick up the slack.

Holliday also told Goold that his running has improved. He's been swinging the bat fine during batting practice, but his ability to play in the field is the issue.

The one thing the pinch-hit appearances have done is taken the option of the disabled list off the table. Holliday has gone 0 for 1 in his two pinch-hit appearances against the Rockies, being intentionally walked on Friday.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 20, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2011 1:42 pm
 

Who will DH in interleague for NL teams?

Soriano

By Evan Brunell


Interleague play is upon us, which means that we'll be seeing some players in the National League get more at-bats over the weekend (and later in June, when interleague play really gets going) while AL teams will grouse about losing one of their best bats in NL parks.

“Any time that you get to interleague play and get the opportunities to get the guys some more at-bats is big,” Astros manager Brad Mills told the Houston Chronicle. “Get some guys some playing time and to have [Carlos Lee] DH is really nice for when we start playing National League games again and having those guys have at-bats under their belt.”

It's pretty easy to figure out which players in the American League will lose playing time -- just look at whose been DHing the most all season and go from there. The NL, though, is a different story, who now have to fit someone from the bench into the starting lineup. Looking at just this weekend only, which players stand to benefit from interleague play?

Cubs vs. Red Sox
: Alfonso Soriano (pictured) is a man without a position, even though he'll go down in history with well over 700 games in left field to his name once he retires. But for the next three days, DH will be his home. Soriano still doesn't have an OBP over .300, but his power stroke is still going with 11 bombs so far. Tyler Colvin was recently demoted, so he won't get the playing time in left, so that job will fall to both Reed Johnson and Tony Campana. Johnson will absolutely be in the lineup Friday against a lefty, but with right-handers going the next two days, Campana could earn his first two starts of the season. Jeff Baker and Blake DeWitt could also figure into the equation.

Nationals vs. Orioles: Bank on Matt Stairs DHing, as manager Jim Riggleman termed him the "leading candidate" to the Washington Post. The pinch-hitting extraordinaire has just 21 at-bats on the year with two hits, but regular at-bats could get him going. Other contenders include Mike Morse, who has lost a lot of at-bats in left field to Laynce Nix lately, so this would represent an opportunity to get Morse going.

Reds vs. Indians: Jonny Gomes, despite recently being pushed into a three-way platoon, is the favorite to DH all three games in Cleveland. Gomes has been the DH in 16 of the last 18 interleague matchups for the Reds and will assume that position again in Cleveland which frees up left for Chris Heisey; Fred Lewis will likely also grab some at-bats.

Mets vs. Yankees
: Manager Terry Collins says that Fernando Martinez will DH the first two games with Carlos Beltran going on Sunday to take some pressure off his creaky knees, the New York Post writes. The Mets didn't want to call up F-Mart so he could get regular at-bats in the minors, but were forced into the move earlier. This will allow the Mets some type of justification for the move by getting Martinez into a game.

Astros vs. Blue Jays: As Mills alluded to, Carlos Lee will be the DH in Toronto, with Brian Bogusevic and Jason Michaels picking up outfield starts as a result. Anytime the Astros get Lee out of the field, they become a much better club. Granted, that still leaves them in bad shape. Lee is hitting .245/.274/.390 in 168 plate appearances in his second straight year of struggling. There's only one year left on his deal, which the 'Stros can't wait for to end. He notched his 2,006th hit last Saturday.

Dodgers vs. White Sox: The Dodgers will probably go with Jay Gibbons, as he's been working his way into more and more playing time in left. With the DH around, though, Gibbons should slide over to make room for Tony Gwynn, Jr.'s move into left field. Gibbons hasn't really gotten going yet, and this weekend series will be a great way for him to focus on just hitting while L.A. doesn't have to worry about sacrificing defense.

Cardinals vs. Royals: The Cardinals get some fortuitous timing of interleague as both Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday are hobbled due to injury. Only one can DH, but it will still get one of the two best bats on the team in the lineup. Bet on Holliday, who had a sore left leg. Berkman's injury is a bit more severe, with a right wrist sprain that limits his ability to swing a bat. John Jay, who earned starting time last season, has found the going much tougher this year, collecting just 78 at-bats despite appearing in 48 games. Jay tends to enter games as a defensive replacement, but has received four consecutive starts because of current or previous injuries to Holliday, Berkman and Colby Rasmus.  He's at .302/.397/.460 on the year.

Braves vs. Angels: To no surprise, Chipper Jones will receive a respite from his balky knees over the next two games as he recovers from a slight meniscus tear that could eventually require surgery. He'll play third on Sunday, though, which will open up DH for someone else. The guess here is the injury-prone Jason Heyward draws a start at DH, with Joe Mather or Eric Hinske patrolling the outfield as a result.

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Posted on: May 20, 2011 1:39 am
Edited on: May 20, 2011 1:43 am
 

Injuries abound on Thursday

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Carlos GonzalezPlenty of injury news from Thursday night, here's a quick rundown:

• The Phillies are expected to put both Joe Blanton and Shane Victorino on the disabled list on Friday. Blanton was scratched from his start with elbow soreness. Victorino has been struggling with a hamstring injury since Saturday. He didn't play against until Wednesday when he was used as a pinch-hitter.

• In that same game, the Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez left with tightness in his left groin, but manager Jim Tracy said it wasn't serious and Gonzalez could be ready to play Friday in Milwaukee.

• The Rockies' Todd Helton sat out Thursday's game with a sore lower back, but his replacement, Jason Giambi, hit three homers and drove in seven. 

Red Sox starter Josh Beckett left after six innings with stiffness in his neck. Beckett downplayed it later, but he wanted to be cautious because the team already has starters John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka on the disabled list. He is scheduled to start again Tuesday in Cleveland.

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun left the team's game against the Padres after a fifth-inning popup with left shoulder soreness. He told reporters after the game that he didn't think it was serious, but didn't know if he'd be available for Friday's game.

• As for the Cardinals outfield -- Colby Rasmus was back in the lineup Thursday and Matt Holliday (quad) told reporters he thought he should be available for Friday, even if it's just to DH. However, Lance Berkman (wrist) will not be available, but shouldn't need a trip to the disabled list.

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Posted on: May 19, 2011 12:54 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2011 12:59 pm
 

Holliday, Berkman out Thursday for Cards

By Matt Snyder

The St. Louis Cardinals will play Thursday against the Astros without their two biggest bats -- at least the two biggest thus far in 2011 -- as both Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman will miss the game with injuries. (MLBlogs) Both outfielders exited Wednesday night's game with their respective maladies.

Holliday has tightness in his left quadriceps and was removed in the third inning Wednesday. He's the closer of the two to returning and is available in pinch-hitting duty Thursday. This seems like a pretty minor injury, so only expect Holliday to miss a day or two. He leads the National League with a .357 batting average, adding five home runs, 28 RBI, 30 runs, 13 doubles and a 1.002 OPS. This all came with him missing just over a week after having an appendectomy.

Berkman has a sore wrist and underwent X-Rays Wednesday night. He reportedly said they came back negative, but Berkman is still unavailable Thursday as the club awaits further evaluation by team doctors. If any of the evaluations determine Berkman needs to miss some time, it would be a huge blow to the Cardinals. Not only does Berkman serve as Holliday's protection in the lineup, but he's been one of the best hitters in baseball this season. He's hitting .349 with nine doubles, 11 home runs, 31 runs, an NL-best 35 RBI and an NL-best 1.138 OPS.

Allen Craig, Jon Jay and a returning Colby Rasmus -- who had been out the last several days with an ab issue -- will be the three outfielders Thursday for the Cardinals.

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Posted on: May 18, 2011 10:39 pm
 

Holliday, Berkman leave game with injuries

Lance Berman

By C. Trent Rosecrans


You see that picture above? It's obviously not from tonight, because the guy on the right missed his fourth straight game because of injury and then the other two left the game with injuries.

Center fielder Colby Rasmus wasn't in the lineup to begin the game, as an abdominal muscle pull has kept him from playing since Saturday. Then Matt Holliday left after the second inning, complaining of tightness in his left quadriceps. In the sixfth, right fielder Lance Berkman left the game with right wrist "discomfort."

Berkman made a diving catch to rob Chris Johnson in the fifth and was removed from the game for a pinch hitter in the sixth inning with the wrist injury. No word yet on the severity of either injury.

Holliday was replaced by Matt Hamilton, who was then replaced by Tyler Greene, who came in to play second base (and later right field). Berkman was replaced by Pete Kozma, who hits an RBI double in his first career at-bat.

Holliday is having as good of a season as anyone not named Jose Bautista, hitting .357/.444/.557 with five homers so far this season. Berkman may be baseball's biggest surprise, hitting .349/.455/.683 with 11 homers, in his first year with the Cardinals and his first year primarily in the outfield since 2005.

Rasmus is hitting .305/.393/.461 for St. Louis, as the three make up the best offensive outfield in the league (defense, well… that's another mater). But if they're on the bench, it may not matter.

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