Happy Easter

Sorry I haven’t posted in a couple days but I was gone for a couple days.  The Cardinals won their first series down at Houston.  Thank you, Astros.  Seeing Pujols face Lidge, the only thing I could think of was this. It was nice to see the offense put some runs on the board.  You knew sooner or later, and I felt sooner, that Pujols would get going.  Wells looked good again.  Bad news on the Carpenter front.  He had swelling in his elbow and was sent for an MRI.  Looks like prospect Blake Hawksworth will make his debut.

So we are a week into the season and here are my thoughts so far.  Chris Duncan is picking up where he left off last year.  Leave him alone and let him play.  Jim Edmonds looks old.  Rolen looks lost.  I hope Yadi can keep hitting this way.  He is hitting .263 and I think everyone would be happy if he ended the season in the .260’s.  Preston Wilson has 6 K’s in 19 ABs.  I have said it before, he shouldn’t be on this team.  Wells has been strong so far.  If he stays healthy he can be a capable number 2.  Wainwright looked sharp on Friday night.  I think he has the potinetial to be a future number 1.  I have been a Reyes fan for a while.  He looked really sloppy on Saturday night.  His biggest weakness is consistency.  He can look like Cy Young one game and very mediocre in the next.  The left side of the bullpen and Ryan Franklin has been very good.  Izzy has been Izzy. 

I went to Nashville over the weekend and watched the Sounds (Triple A rep of the Brewers) take on the New Orleans Zephyrs (Mets).  Tim Dillard pitched for the Sounds and was impressive.  He seemed to be really locked in and looked sharp.  He went 6.1 and gave up 2 runs.  Jason Vargas pitched for the Zephyrs and also gave up 2 runs and went 6 innings.  Ryan Braun, one of the top prospects in baseball, played third for the Sounds.  He looks really good with the bat but uncomfortable in the field.  His defense is what is keeping him out of  Milwaukee right now.  During warm ups, he seemed to goof off and not take it too seriously.  Carlos Gomez played center for the Zephyrs.  Rated the Number 60 Prospect according to Baseball America, Gomez is an awesome athlete.  He is tall and lanky with plus speed and a terrific arm.  He projects to hit with good power and a good average.  With Carlos Beltran in the picture, he will probably move over to right when he reaches the Majors.  There were some blasts from the past if you are a Cardinal fan.  The Zephyrs catcher was Mike DeFilice.  Rightfield was manned by former Cardinal prospect Ben Johnson.  Remember the Cardinals traded him for catcher Carlos Hernandez.  Hernandez was catching when Ankiel had his meltdown against the Braves.  The Zephyrs thirdbaseman was none other than Mr. Two Grand Slams in one inning, Fernando Tatis.  Former Cardinal relief pitcher Luther Hackman is in the bullpen for the Sounds. 

Greer Stadium, the home of the Sounds, is an older ballpark with some character.  Built in 1978, it has seen players from Don Mattingly to Rob Dibble to Prince Fielder play on its field.  One of the unique features of the park is the guitar shaped scoreboard in left field.  The staff was incredibly friendly.  The crowd was into the game even though they were few and very cold.  And you have to love a stadium that has a concession stand named after Willie McGee.  I will have pictures up later.

I was also able to get down to Hawkins Field, home of the Vanderbilt Commodores, and check out Super Prospect David Price.  He was as good as advertised.  Even in the cold he dominated Alabama.  Price pitched a complete game, three hitter while striking out 10.  Vandy beat the Crimson Tide 3-0.  Hawkins Field is one of the most impressive college parks in the country.  Here is a picture from the Vandy website.  With a facility like this, Vanderbilt should be a top notch program for years to come.

The minor league season has started and some of the Top Cardinal Prospects are off to good starts while some are not.  Top Prospect Colby Rasmus is off to a slow start hitting .083.  But in each of his previous stops Rasmus has started slow.  Chris Lambert is repeating Double A and had an impressive debut pitching six shutout innings.  Jon Jay is hitting .333 at Double A. 

Sikeston native Blake Dewitt is repeating High A, this time at the Inland Empire.  So far he already has 2 HRs and maybe more, as his game is in progress.

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