Spring Training Is Here!

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This picture almost makes it not seem as cold outside (Picture from Stltoday).  Spring training officially starts and the Redbirds are going to try and answer quite a few questions, most concerning their rotation.  I love how Pujols, arguably the best player in baseball, reports early to camp.  If you are an average/fringe big leaguer, or any player for that matter, how can you not want to put in that much more time and effort when you see one of the sport’s biggest stars already in Florida putting in his work.  I don’t believe that because you are an athlete that also makes you a role model, but every kid should look at how he prepares himself. By the way, Sttoday has quite a few good pictures as well as video posted on their Cards page.

Jayson Stark’s lastest piece over at ESPN.com has some in Redbird Nation upset.  He writes, “Has any defending World Series champ ever gone to camp with a prospective starting rotation that won 22 games (as starters) the year before? We can’t find one.  Last year, starters not named Chris Carpenter won 41 games for this team. Can the Cardinals find that many wins this year in a cast that includes Anthony Reyes  (five wins), Kip Wells (two wins) and a group that made a combined one start last season (Adam Wainwright, Braden Looper, Brad Thompson, and Ryan Franklin)? We know Mulder could be back in midseason. We know Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan always find a way. But with no real offensive upgrades, this is the shakiest any Cardinals team has looked in February in this millennium. ”  This is the similiar to what I wrote a couple days ago.  Those Cardinal fans that feel all is wonderful with the Cardinals have been drinking way to much of the Kool-Aid Bernie Miklasz sometimes talks about.  Now I don’t believe the sky is falling, but come on, let’s be realistic.  This rotation is shaky at best.  Could everything come together?  Sure, and I do believe there is a lot of talent to sort through.  But as we all know, pitching wins Championships, we all just need to reflect back to this past October.

Poor old Kerry Wood and those lovable Cubs.  Seems he fell at home getting out of the hot tub.  Unbelievably, at this point and time there is no report of him hurting his arm during the fall.  But this is Kerry Wood and the Cubs, so an arm injury from this incident has to appear at anytime. 

The Southeast Redhawks (why is this still so hard to say?) open up the 2007 baseball season on the road this weekend against Jackson State. The Redhawks and Tigers will square off in a doubleheader on Saturday. They will wrap up the series on Sunday.  All games will be on 1220 AM.  The SIU Salukis baseball team travels to the Southern Mississippi Baseball Classic, matching up with the hosts on Friday.  The Salukis then take on Northwestern State on Saturday and close out their trip with Louisville on Sunday.

Mizzou was handed their first loss of the season, losing 7-1 at 13th ranked Arizona State.  First time starter Ian Berger was on the mound for the Tigers and faced the minimum through the first four innings before a three-run fifth inning for Arizona State.  The Tigers and Sun Devils will face off again on Friday as both teams  are in the Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise, Ariz this weekend. Mizzou will take on ASU on Friday, Gonzaga on Saturday and Oregon State on Sunday.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Spring Training Is Here!

  1. seems like you and me are on opposite sides of the spectrum.in my opinion, i think the rotation has improved over last season.i mean, it cannot be worse than last season (with ponson in there and mulder sucking, etc.). carp is the hammer up front and i think both reyes and wainwright will be solid if not great in the 2nd and 3rd spot in the rotation. if dunc can get 25 starts and an era a little above 4 from wells then i will be really happy with that. the only problem i have with the rotation is that 5th spot. i dont like any of the favored candidates, but i do like chris narveson. i think he is the dark horse in the 5th starter competition.

  2. I think talent wise, this rotation has more upside than last year. It is that this rotation is unproven. I agree Wainwright and Reyes have more upside than any two pitchers we have had in a long time. Both have front of the rotation ability. But neither guy has done it as a starter for a whole big league season. Kip Wells was a signing that I looked at as being a possible great value high reward type, the kind of reclamation project that Duncan is very good at. It is that his health history is scary in recent years. I too like Narveson and think he has a lot of potential as a number 4 or 5. I think Franklin, if right like a few years ago in Seattle, could post double digit wins. It is just at this point and time, we have a lot of what ifs. This rotation has the potential and upside to be special, it is just it must come together and live up to its potential. It can be hard to get a couple of unproven guys to do that, much less four.

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