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Tag:Adam Wainwright
Posted on: March 10, 2011 1:07 pm
 

Dodger rotation open after Garland oblique strain

PHOENIX -- The Dodgers now face the unpleasant duty of becoming the latest team in baseball to re-plan its rotation after an MRI exam confirmed that right-hander Jon Garland has a strained left oblique and will be sidelined approximately a month.

Veteran Tim Redding and John Ely become the top two candidates in line for rotatoin temp work until Garland's return. Manager Don Mattingly said trainer Stan Conte told him that Garland likely will be sidelined 30-32 days.

As things line up, the Dodgers do not need a fifth starter until April 12. The Cardinals (Adam Wainwright) and Brewers (Zack Greinke) also have been scrambling after significant pitcher injuries this spring.

Garland has not been on the disabled list in a decade, has not missed a start in nine years and has worked 190 or more innings for nine consecutive seasons. It was this durability that led the Dodgers to Garland after they were seriously short of pitching behind Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley last season. Vicente Padilla was their opening day starter in 2010, and journeyman knuckleballer Charlie Haeger even made a start during the season's first week.

In Garland, Kershaw, Billingsley, Ted Lilly and Hiroki Kuroda, the Dodgers' rotation already lines up far better now than it did then.

Padilla, expected to be out with a sore elbow until sometime in April, lines up as the long man out of the bullpen in 2011.

Realistically now, by the time he heals and re-builds arm strength, Garland, who was 14-12 with a 3.47 ERA in 200 innings pitched for San Diego last summer, probably won't be able to start for Los Angeles until at least late April.

"I've had it," Mattingly said of an oblique strain. The first seven or eight days, you don't want to turn wrong in bed, or cough. There's not a whole lot you do where you're not using that (oblique)."

Ely, a 24-year-old right-hander who went 4-10 with a 5.49 ERA in 18 starts for Los Angeles last season, is having a very good spring. In six scoreless innings, he's 2-0 with seven strikeouts and no walks. Redding, in camp as a non-roster invitee, has thrown eight scoreless innings. An eight-year veteran, Redding, 33, finished last season pitching in Korea after pitching for the Mets in 2009.

"Both of been good down here," Mattingly said of Ely and Redding. "We've seen John last year when he was really good early, and then he struggled toward the end of the year. Down here, he's been back to how he pitched early.

"Tim is a guy who knows how to pitch. He knows what he's doing. You've got a pretty good idea of what you'll get with him."

 

Posted on: February 25, 2011 1:50 pm
 

Mets look to former All-Stars for rotation help

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- With ace Johan Santana not expected to be ready to roll until at least June, the Mets are going to have to get awfully creative behind Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese and veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey to hang around in a beastly NL East.

Awfully lucky, too.

It could start with the return to form of a couple of former All-Stars.

Right-hander Chris Young and lefty Chris Capuano are here, both are on the comeback trail and both say they physically feel the best they've felt in years.

Whether that translates into full and productive seasons in the rotation remains to be seen.

But, as first-year general manager Sandy Alderson says, "So far, so good. They've both thrown a number of sides, they’ve thrown live batting practice, they've kept on the same rotation as everyone else."

Young, an All-Star in 2007, missed nearly all of last year following setbacks after he underwent shoulder surgery in August, 2009. After starting a game on April 6, Young did not reappear until mid-September.

So far, he's thrilled with where he's at.

"My arm strength is better and my breaking stuff is sharper," Young said. "My life on the ball has been good.

"I'm very, very happy with my progress. It was great to spend the off-season working on pitching instead of rehabbing."

Capuano, an All-Star in 2006, is nearly 18 months past his second Tommy John ligament transfer surgery. Though he made 24 appearances for Milwaukee last year, he started just nine times.

"Last year was the year I came back from injury," Capuano said. "I pitched a full season with no setbacks. This is not a coming-off-of-injury year for me. That was last year."

Capuano underwent his second Tommy John surgery in May, 2008.

"I'm still primarily a fastball, breaking ball, changeup pitcher," said the former Duke University pitcher. "I try to throw all of my pitches to both sides of the plate, in any count, and not be predictable."

He should fit right in with the Mets, given the utterly unpredictable nature of their rotation. Dickey came out of nowhere last year to go 11-9 with a 2.84 ERA in 174 1/3 innings pitched.

Oliver Perez, meanwhile, is still hanging around the clubhouse, entering the final season of a three-year, $36 million deal, and appears to have as much chance of pitching in the Mets' rotation as Mayor Bloomberg.

While Young and Capuano work on returning to form, there are other candidates floating around for the Nos. 4 and 5 spots: Rookie Dillon Gee, the organization's top prospect who impressed last September, D.J. Carrasco and Pat Misch, to name three.

Young and Capuano have earned the most stripes. Young is 48-34 over seven big-league seasons and Capuano is 46-52 over six years.

"Those are performance guys," Alderson says. "They're not going to light up a [radar] gun, but they've done it [successfully pitched in the majors].

"They're All-Star-caliber players, and if they're healthy, we may be the beneficiaries."

Sunblock Day? Definitely, continuing a perfect streak since mid-February. Sun, 80s ... just like you'd draw it up for spring training. Only change is, there's a lot more wind today.

Likes: Joe Torre as an executive vice-president in the Commissioner's Office in charge of on-field matters. Him, Bobby Cox, Lou Piniella ... these are people who should remain involved in the game. ... Being able to catch the final launch of the space shuttle Discovery from some 150 miles south through my hotel room window. Even from far away, you could clearly see the bright orange fire in the sky launching the rocket into space. Positively breathtaking. ... Late-night Seinfeld reruns while winding down after a long day of work. They're still the perfect tonic. Last night's episode was the one where Elaine was dating a guy obsessed with the Eagles' Desperado. Classic. ... Funny, after seeing Seinfeld for the first time in a long time last night, I rounded a corner today at the Mets' complex and there was Keith Hernandez, sitting on some steps while talking on the cell phone. Wonder if the Hernandez episode is the one that will be on tonight? ... The Oscars this Sunday night. Always look forward to them. I've seen seven of the 10 best-picture nominees. Really liked The King's Speech, The Social Network, Winter's Bone, The Kids Are Alright, True Grit and The Fighter. You can have Inception.

Dislikes: Adam Wainwright is a fabulous pitcher and a class act. I hope his surgery goes smoothly. ... The fried chicken smell dominating the elevator and the hallway in my hotel much of yesterday afternoon and evening. It was like Colonel Sanders had the room down the hall. ...

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Don't your feet get cold in the winter time?
"The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine
"It's hard to tell the night time from the day
"You're losin' all your highs and lows
"Ain't it funny how the feeling goes away?"

-- The Eagles, Desperado

 

Posted on: February 24, 2011 11:19 am
Edited on: February 24, 2011 11:57 am
 

Devastating news: Wainwright done for 2011

JUPITER, Fla. -- Ace pitcher Adam Wainwright is done for 2011 and is expected to miss much of 2012 as well. St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak confirmed what the club believed a day earlier: Wainwright will undergo Tommy John ligament transfer surgery.

"I don't want to be melodramatic here, but you're losing an ace," Mozeliak said late Thursday morning as the Cardinals worked out. "It's not something you're going to replace overnight, but we have four capable pitchers who can step up.

"It's not as if we have no bullets. Everybody moves up one and now you have to fill the fifth spot."

Together with Chris Carpenter, Wainwright was a huge part of a Cardinals team expected to contend again in the NL Central. With Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook and a healthy Kyle Lohse, Mozeliak made clear that the club is not cashing in on 2011 before it even begins.

"As far as our expectations of the season, nothing changes," the GM said. "We still expect to be good. The talent level in the clubhouse is still very high."

The Cardinals first will look internally to fill the gaping void, with Kyle McClellan the odds-on favorite to move from the bullpen into the rotation. The club will take a look at several other pitchers in these early weeks of spring as well: Adam Ottavino, Brian Tallet, P.J. Walters, Lance Lynn and Brandon Dickson among them.

Miguel Batista could be in that mix as well. But it might make more sense for McClellan to step up and then Batista to fill his late-innings role.

Wainwright, 29, was second in NL Cy Young voting last season, won 20 games and pitched 230 1/3 innings. His wins ranked only behind Philadelphia's Roy Halladay, and his innings-pitched workload ranked only behind Halladay and Carpenter. Wainwright's career-low 2.42 ERA trailed only Florida's Josh Johnson.

Once they were eliminated from playoff contention, the Cardinals shut Wainwright down early last season, skipping his final start, when he complained of soreness near his elbow. The diagnosis came back forearm strain, and Wainwright was put on a rest-and-rehabilitate schedule.

He has a history of elbow problems going back to 1998, and they occurred again in 2004.

"We didn't think it was going to go away," Mozeliak said. "We always knew that there was this risk.

"I don't think he would have changed anything. He pitched very well with it."

The Cardinals just picked up Wainwright's two-year, $21 million option through 2013, but language in the deal allows them to void it if the right-hander is on the disabled list with an arm injury at the end of the 2011 season.

"News of this is so fresh, in terms of contractual obligations and 2012, we're just trying to get through the day," Mozeliak said. "We'll have time to reflect on that."

Speaking earlier in the day, manager Tony La Russa said, "It's much more unfortunate for Adam, and it's really tough on us. You make adjustments. One key thing is how deep you are.

If you're not deep, a hit like this can sink you."

Beginning this week, the Cardinals will work like crazy so that this devastating injury does not sink them for 2011.

It will not be easy.

Posted on: July 2, 2010 9:11 pm
 

Jimenez, Price aligned for All-Star Game

If American League manager Joe Girardi chooses to start Tampa Bay's David Price in the July 13 All-Star Game -- a very real possibility given that Price led the AL in ERA (2.44) and wins (11) on Friday -- the coast is clear.

And if National League manager Charlie Manuel gives the nod to Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez -- which seems a slam dunk -- that should work, too.

In the first season in which baseball will deem ineligible any starting pitcher working on the Sunday before the All-Star break, the view from several days out looks pretty good.

Of the top AL starters, only the Angels' Jered Weaver (who leads the majors with 124 strikeouts), Tampa Bay's Jeff Niemann and the Yankees' CC Sabathia currently are projected to start for their clubs on that Sunday.

Among the NL's top starters, only the Mets' Mike Pelfrey is slated to start on Sunday, July 11. But depending on what manager Jerry Manuel does with his pitching on the club's off-day on Thursday, July 8, that could change.

Price, a serious candidate to start for the AL, is scheduled to make his final pre-All Star start for Tampa Bay on Wednesday, which would leave him plenty rested for the Anaheim game. And if Girardi looks in a different direction, Seattle's Cliff Lee (last first-half start next Friday), Boston's Jon Lester (Friday) and Clay Buchholz (Tuesday), the Yankees' own Phil Hughes (Friday) and Texas' Colby Lewis (Wednesday) all should be eligible.

Jimenez makes his final pre-All Star start on Thursday and, assuming good health, should be a foregone conclusion to start for the NL in Anaheim.

As for the rest of the NL's top starters, things are setting up very nicely for Manuel: Florida's Josh Johnson (final first-half start slotted for Wednesday), St. Louis' Chris Carpenter (Friday), Adam Wainwright (Saturday) and Jaime Garcia (Thursday), Philadelphia's Roy Halladay (Saturday), Atlanta's Tim Hudson (Friday or Saturday), Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo (Friday), the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (Thursday), San Diego's Mat Latos (Wednesday) and San Francisco's Tim Lincecum (Wednesday) and Barry Zito (Thursday)  all should be fresh for the game.

Likes: Great move by Texas acquiring catcher Bengie Molina. Look out, this is the strongest team the Rangers have had in several years. ... The wheels came off the wagon horribly in Arizona, but make no mistake: Fired general manager Josh Byrnes and manager A.J. Hinch are good people. ... New Arizona manager Kirk Gibson's first game in the dugout, of course, is against the Dodgers. Who else? ... The All-Star break just around the corner and Texas, Atlanta, Cincinnati and San Diego in first place. ... The new concert DVD from Bruce Springsteen and the E St. Band, Live in Hyde Park. Very, very good. Great song selections, tremendous playing and some breathtaking camera work of both the band's work and the crowd in Hyde Park. ... Quaker Oatmeal Squares for breakfast. ... Ben & Jerry's Milk and Cookies ice cream.

Dislikes: It's July, so here comes the July 31 trade deadline, a time that you would think would get a baseball writer's juices flowing. And it does mine, too -- it's fun to see the moves as they're made -- but it's also become one of my least favorite times of the year because there is so, so much wrong information that will be produced this month. And ferreting out the truth from the fiction is next to impossible. The sad, simple fact is the journalism bar at times is lowered today, and this is one of them.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Summer
"It turns me upside down"

-- The Cars, Magic

Posted on: May 27, 2010 10:01 pm
 

Cardinals may need pitching soon

With right-hander Kyle Lohse set for forearm surgery on Friday and a long season stretched out in front of them, maybe scoring runs shouldn't be the Cardinals' chief concern after all.

Right now, even with a rotation that ranks second to San Diego's in the National League with a 3.03 ERA, the warning signs are flashing.

While the Cardinals figure to get right-hander Brad Penny back when he's eligible to return from the disabled list June 7, there is no timetable -- yet -- for Lohse's return.

And though rookie Jaime Garcia (1.14 ERA, 11 consecutive scoreless innings) has been sensational, he underwent Tommy John ligament transfer surgery in September, 2008, and only pitched a total of 37 2/3 innings combined at three minor-league levels in 2009.

Which all likely will put St. Louis in the market for more starting pitching at some point this season. Seattle's Cliff Lee, Houston's Roy Oswalt, Cleveland's Jake Westbrook and possibly even Oakland's Ben Sheets are all among the names expected to become available between now and the July 31 trade deadline, though La Russa -- whose club acquired John Smoltz last year -- isn't allowing his imagination to run wild at this point.

"I think it will come from within [the organization]," La Russa said of any eventual pitching reinforcements. "Mo [general manager John Mozeliak], can answer that better, and maybe differently. But I haven't heard anything different than from within."

It isn't that the Cardinals are anywhere close to trouble now, even with Lohse headed into unknown territory to undergo surgery for an injury to which there apparently is no precedent in major-league baseball.

With co-aces Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright breathing fire, the Cardinals are in good shape. Garcia, so far, so good.

"I think we'll get Penny back [when his DL stint is up]," manager Tony La Russa said Thursday. "That means we'll have four solid guys. There's a question mark on Lohse. But everybody has problems."

Until the Cardinals get Penny back, they're down two-fifths of their rotation. As La Russa said, for one thing, that gives an opportunity to rookie P.J. Walters, who made just his second career start on Thursday in San Diego.

The kid stepped up to the challenge, throwing five shutout innings. He allowed four hits, struck out four and walked two.

Saturday in Chicago's Wrigley Field, Adam Ottavino, the Cardinals' first-round pick in 2006, is expected to make his first major-league start. Another opportunity.

Garcia, 23, certainly has made the most of his. He's worked six or more innings and allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of his first seven starts, and the last rookie to do that was named Fernando Valenzuela, back in 1981.

The issue is, if Garcia continues pitching this well, it's hard to see how there won't be a breaking point when he reaches a certain number of innings. What are the Cardinals going to do, allow a prized kid less than two years off of Tommy John surgery to, say, quadruple his innings-pitched load from last year? He's at 55 1/3 innings pitched so far in 2010.

"You can't speculate," La Russa said. "All you can do is watch closely. He never really forced it ... you really have to wait and see how the season develops. We're going to be really careful with him."

Lohse was diagnosed this week with exertional compartment syndrome, an uncommon, exercise-induced neuromuscular condition that causes pain and swelling in the legs or arms. As St. Louis Post-Dispatch beat writer Joe Strauss reported, it is most common in marathon runners and motocross drivers. Athletes in those sports generally have resumed activity within six-to-eight weeks, though, as a pitcher, Lohse is expected to take a longer.

La Russa said Thursday he figures Lohse will return "this year. Other than that, we just have to wait."

Posted on: January 5, 2010 11:15 pm
 

Cardinals: Full speed ahead with Holliday

Did St. Louis vastly overpay slugger Matt Holliday in his spiffy new seven-year, $120 million deal?

Are the Cardinals headed for serious turbulence given their colossal Holliday commitment when The Franchise, Albert Pujols, is hurtling toward free agency himself (his contract is up after 2010, the Cards hold a 2011 option on him)?

Is there impending doom just around the corner?

Legitimate questions, all.

But, man, are the 2010 Cardinals going to have some fun.

With a middle-of-the-order containing Holliday and Pujols, Lethal Weapons I and II, and with a top-of-the-rotation featuring Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, Tony La Russa again will be managing a Disneyland of a club.

The Cardinals just became heavy NL Central favorites. Yeah, yeah, the Cubs will be leaner and meaner having purged themselves of Mr. Oversized Baggage, Milton Bradley. Milwaukee still can score. Cincinnati? Pittsburgh? Houston? Please.

La Russa and general manager John Mozeliak are playing for keeps, and though this isn't a perfect team -- the Cards remain light at shortstop (Brendan Ryan) and rookie David Freese currently is the Lone Ranger on the depth chart at third base -- there is too much else to like. Besides, even with Mark De Rosa off the board (signed with San Francisco), the Cards will scoop up someone. Otherwise ... Ryan Ludwick, Colby Rasmus (who now comes with a year of seasoning), Yadier Molina and Skip Schumaker ... and did I mention the Holliday-Pujols tandem?

Yes, the richest contract awarded this winter seems somewhat excessive, given the fact that the Cardinals' chief competition in negotiations for Holliday at this point seemed to be the Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars. Once the Mets signed Jason Bay, there essentially was just one chair left for Holliday, and it was in Pujols' clubhouse.

That said, for Holliday to earn an average annual value of $17 million, exceeding Bay's $16 million a year, is just one more feather in the already overstuffed and plumed cap of superagent Scott Boras. How does he keep doing this?

Mozeliak fretted some at the GM meetings in Chicago two months ago at the prospect of attempting to squeeze both Holliday and Pujols into one payroll. In the end, clearly, he decided the alternative -- losing Holliday -- was worse.

There will be lots of tightrope walking ahead, especially when negotiations open for an extension for Pujols. But you know what? That's another problem for another day, and there is every chance that Mozeliak and Co. will work around that and figure it out.

To all those who already are worrying that the Cardinals won't be able to afford Pujols down the line, I ask you this:

If the Cardinals don't make moves like they did Tuesday to retain Holliday and the team gets worse, do you think Pujols will want to stay in St. Louis then?

Play it too conservatively, don't field a World Series contender, and there's no guarantee Pujols stays.

Play it too aggressively, commit a ton of dough to Holliday ... and there's no guarantee Pujols stays.

Which way would you rather go?

The answer is obvious: Try to win while you figure out a way to keep Pujols.

Sure, eventually, the Cardinals may live to regret it. They now become one of only three big league clubs to employ at least two players making $100 million each -- the others, of course, are the Yankees (CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter) and the Mets (Johan Santana and Carlos Beltran). Sometime in the future, maybe they may find themselves looking to trade Holliday in order to keep Pujols. Maybe in the interim, they win a World Series, too.

At the risk of sounding overly naïve, the future will take care of itself ... and if need be, Mozeliak will massage and adapt and figure it out.

As for the present, the Cardinals made the right move.

Posted on: January 5, 2010 6:32 pm
 

Cardinals close deal to bring back Matt Holliday

St. Louis and slugger Matt Holliday have agreed to terms on a seven-year, $120 million deal that allows the Cardinals to cross a major item off of their winter to-do list, CBSSports.com has confirmed.

The deal, a major score for Holliday in that the Cardinals really didn't seem to have much competition left for his services at this point in the winter, also includes a full no-trade clause. It also should re-establish St. Louis as NL Central favorites, given the powerful one-two punch of Holliday and Albert Pujols in the middle of the lineup and co-aces Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright atop the rotation.

A return to St. Louis also will give Holliday the chance to re-write what would have been a highly unsatisfying ending to his stay with the Redbirds following his crucial error in left field during Game 2 in Los Angeles last October in the playoffs. The botched play helped position the Dodgers to sweep in three games and largely contributed to a stunningly premature end to the season for a team that had serious World Series hopes.

The Cardinals, of course, probably wouldn't have been in that position in the first place without Holliday, whose bat sent them on a torrid second half run after they acquired him from Oakland in late July. In 63 games with the Cardinals, Holliday batted .353 with 13 homers and 55 RBI.

 

Posted on: December 7, 2009 7:57 pm
 

Cardinals agree to terms with P Brad Penny

INDIANAPOLIS -- He isn't Matt Holliday -- that situation is still pending -- but the St. Louis Cardinals did bag a starting pitcher Monday, agreeing to terms with free agent Brad Penny on a one-year deal, sources with knowledge of the talks told CBSSports.com.

The deal, pending a physical examination on Tuesday, will pay Penny a base salary of $7.5 million, with $1.5 million in incentives attached.

Penny will join a Cardinals' rotation that was lacking after a strong top three of Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Kyle Lohse.

The big right-hander spent most of 2009 proving he again was healthy after battling a sore shoulder for most of 2008. In 34 starts for Boston and San Francisco in '09, Penny went 11-9 with a 4.88 ERA in 173 1/3 innings pitched.

The Giants were hoping to re-sign Penny and made a concerted effort but were informed Monday that he had decided to sign elsewhere. The Cardinals are hopeful that the news will become official by Tuesday evening.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com