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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Cardinals Washington Whispers: 04/30/09


Newest Cardinal Tyler Greene arrived in Washington about 11:45 a.m. and taxied over to the team hotel. As evidenced in this photo and about a dozen others I took, the new number 27 can’t stop smiling. Hard to blame him. Other than a handshake and a “congratulations”, I decided to leave him alone before the game. Already enough going on.

Tony La Russa on what he told Greene: “It’s what I tell all the young players when they come up here. Just trust your ability and not try to do too much. Nothing too complicated.”

TLR on why he started Greene on his first day: “You usually bring up a guy when you need him. If he’s a spare part, then I don’t find a way to start him, but I have two shortstops hurt. I think it’s good to get him out there.” No, I didn’t ask him what that says or doesn’t say about how he feels about Brian Barden at short.

We may see Blaine Boyer pitch Thursday evening, as he is one of the “hot” relievers. TLR: “The best laboratory is actual games.”

TLR on Chris Carpenter “feeling better” and his work in the training room: “I’m encouraged…. But no predictions when he can play.” As I was coming off the field before the game, Carp was standing on the stairway watching the pitchers take batting practice in the cage under the stands. I asked the obvious – “Wish you were out there?” The answer was equally predictable.

I am posting up for Scout.com subscribers a discussion I had today with Brendan Ryan about his hamstring injury. He thought he had clearance from the trainer to take batting practice today, but as I was talking with bench coach Joe Pettini, he told Ryan “no”. Khalil Greene concurred with the decision. A former MLB middle infielder himself, Pettini has a lot of experience with this kind of injury. On a side note, Ryan’s brother Paul had to scrap his planned trip to DC for the weekend with “The Boog” placed on the DL.

I asked Colby Rasmus about the outfield turf in Atlanta. Not making an excuse in any manner, he answered the question by holding his hands about a foot apart saying that the ball actually “snakes” to the left and right as it passes through the grass. Rasmus acknowledged that it is not easy to spot on television. He had an estimated 150 friends and family from Russell County, Alabama in Atlanta. Colby exclaimed that fortunately he didn’t have to buy all of the tickets! P.J. Walters also mentioned that he had a contingent up from Pensacola, Florida.

Hitting coach Hal McRae was giving some tips to Joe Thurston before the game. I asked the coach how his recovery from the flu is going and if it is spreading through the team. On the latter question, he said, “Thankfully, not yet.” He just took his fifth daily dose of antibiotics but is expecting a total of seven to ten days with it “no matter what”. Ryan Ludwick’s minor ailment is apparently unconnected.

Did you notice that Yadier Molina is wearing a different style batting helmet than the rest of his teammates? I did, so I asked about it. It is one of the modern-looking Rawlings Cool Vent models with indentations and slots on the sides. Turns out Yadi tried it out during the World Baseball Classic and decided to keep it. Says it keeps his head cooler. Whether real or imagined, it doesn’t matter. The rest of the club opted to stay with the traditional models when asked several years ago when they first came out.

I passed Nats television play-by-play man Bob Carpenter in the tunnel and we exchanged greetings. The former Cardinals broadcaster looks great. His sister Judy Carpenter-Barada is a long-time key member of the Cardinals front office with the official title of Director of Major League Administration.

Cards-focused scribes on this assignment include Joe Strauss from the P-D and locally-based Lisa Winston of USA Today Baseball Weekly and MiLB.com fame covering for Matthew Leach with MLB.com. Look for their articles during this series. The FOX Sports Midwest crew includes producer Tom Mee and his fine crew in the truck as always, along with Dan, Al and Pat Parris. Rick Horton is also with the club along with John Rooney on the airwaves.


Minors matters
: I updated the Roster Matrix with the latest moves, including the activation of outfielder Paul Cruz with Quad Cities. Unfortunately catcher Blake Murphy’s elbow is causing him problems again, so he returned to the DL.

Donovan Solano was promoted from Springfield to Memphis to replace Greene. Pitcher Marco Gonzalez moved in the opposite direction. That keeps Springfield whole, but Memphis would seem to still be one player short. Here’s how that was apparently solved. Outfielder Shane Robinson is shown on the DL by MiLB.com while catcher Brandon Yarbrough and reliever Fernando Salas are now active.

Shortstop Pete Kozma is heading from Palm Beach up to Springfield on Friday, reports Ray Mileur at Scout.com. Kyle Mura is moved onto the Springfield DL with Trey Hearne taking his spot in the rotation. Springfield now has five players on the disabled list and one on the temporary inactive list. Palm Beach’s addition to replace Kozma is not yet known. (Edit: See update below.) I did notice that regular Domnit Bolivar (currently hitting .224) is out of the Quad Cities lineup on Thursday evening, but that could be coincidence (Edit: It wasn’t!).


On a personal and negative note, I am having monitor problems with my laptop and am hoping that far away from home, my machine will be kind to me this weekend. If I do disappear, do not assume foul play is involved!

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