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

Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Battle of the brews

Weekly St. Louis Cardinals-focused chat on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Late Friday afternoon, I joined Ken Miller on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines in our regular series to discuss the St. Louis Cardinals, “Cardinal Talk.” This time, we discussed the pitching situation with the club as well as several slumping position players.

Cardinals followers in central Iowa can again catch St. Louis Cardinals radio broadcasts on KXnO as well as my regular segment each week throughout the season, either over the air or via streaming. Or, if you miss it live, you can always catch the replay right here at The Cardinal Nation blog.

Click here for audio: Brian Walton with Ken Miller – KXNO 5-3-13 (12:36)

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43 Responses to “Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Battle of the brews”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    Finally the matchup we have been looking for, Old Wiggy against an LHP. We finally are going to get our money’s worth.

    The pitcher thows three balls out of understandable fear, before daring a strike. Then another. And finally, Mighty Wiggy has done struck out.

    • Nutlaw says:

      Epic confrontation, indeed.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Old Wiggy can find it hard to catch up to an overpowering 88 mph heater positioned over the center of the plate.

        • Bw52 says:

          Wiggington will help this team this year.Too early to give up on him.

          • crdswmn says:

            He didn’t help the Phillies all last year. They couldn’t wait to get rid of him.

            • Bw52 says:

              So what?So he`s your favorite whipping boy this year.That matters how?

              • Bw52 says:

                For the record here are Cards Pinch-hitters so far this season.
                Wiggington 1-11
                Robinson 1-6
                Cruz 0-2
                Curtis 0-2
                Jackson 0-2
                Adams 1-2
                JJay 1-1
                Beltran 0-3
                Descalso 0-2

                So far all the RH PHS have had a rough season so far.Where`s the outcry over Shane Robinsons struggles? Its been quiet on that front hasn`t it.
                Carpenter 0-1

                • Brian Walton says:

                  From my view, the differences include these:

                  Robinson has defensive value backing up Jay. He can also pinch run. Wigginton is completely duplicated defensively by others. If he does not hit, he has no unique value to the team.

                  Robinson had an extremely strong spring training. Wigginton struggled then as he is now.

                  Robinson could be optioned to the minors today if needed to get reps. Wigginton is committed to receive $5 million this season and next. Expectations are higher because he was once a productive major leaguer.

                  Of course, to replace anyone, there needs to be a better candidate ready in the minors.

                • crdswmn says:

                  What Brian said.

                  You, BW52, are literally THE ONLY person I know that likes him.

                  When even Jumbo can’t defend a player there is no redeeming value to him.

                  • Bw52 says:

                    Glad I am the one defending him.Refuse to join the rabble carrying pitchfolks and torches.

                  • JumboShrimp says:

                    I am pleased to recall that I was skeptical and mortified to hear of the signing of Old Wiggy. My feeling is that when Wigginton is the answer, somebody asked the wrong question.

                    Brian favored a Hairston. My guess is Mo wanted to resolve the roster spot in December, while Hariston did not sign until late, hence Mo accepted the less attractive Wigginton.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    Awesome 8th by Seth Maness. Wow. 6 pitches, all strikes, 3 outs. I loved the three pitches to Braun. Seth made pitching look easy that inning. Whereas Rzepcynski, Boggs, and Kelly make pitching seem impossibly difficult.

  3. JumboShrimp says:

    So the Cards are in a good position, headed into May.

    Despite losing Motte, C Carpenter, and Furcal, they are in first place. The starting rotation has been surprisingly superb. The pen has struggled, but is getting sorted out. As the weather warms, batted balls carry further, so cold bats will warm up. This team could win a bunch of games, provided there are not a rash of injuries..

  4. Bw52 says:

    It would be nice to see Craig`s power come back.He`s hitting better now so the power should happen.Why not Romak instead of Curtis?

    • Brian Walton says:

      A guy hits a rough spot at the start of the season and everyone notices. If it had happened in June, it would have been no big deal.

      Why not recognize a good organizational soldier when it is the last spot on the bench for a couple of weeks? Plus, Curtis had 17 RBI in 17 games, so he was playing well, too.

  5. crdswmn says:

    So, thoughts about Chris Carpenter trying to return to pitch in the bullpen?

    I am just curious if there is a medical reason for the failure of the surgery. It worked for others. Maybe too much damage to the nerves?

    • Brian Walton says:

      Good for him. The timing of the news offers hope at a dark time for the bullpen.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Many relievers were previously starters, like Eckersley, Isringhausen, and Ryan Franklin.
        We are paying Carp $10MM this year, whether he plays or not. Because he has pride in his work, Carpenter wants to contribute something for a huge salary. It remains to be seen, however, if his arm/shoulder/nerve system can handle the lighter stress of reliever.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          Mo says he is “candidly optimistic” about Carpenter. This may imply some of his other optimisms are not quite so candid. Happily, this time, Mo’s optimism is different. Its candid.

    • blingboy says:

      “I am just curious if there is a medical reason for the failure of the surgery. ”

      Maybe a combination of his age and damage from having it going on to some extent for many years.

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        Could be something they aren’t even considering. He has inflammation issues. They tried to make that a none factor with the surgery. Did he change is weights regiment? Should he? Has he looked at diet. What happened in Brazil? He needs to rethink his approach. He should see Jumbo’s Chinese medicine practitioner. Acupuncture and Yoga. No more weight training.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          Hey you guys, he has nerve problems. These are electrical. The nervous system is the way the mind distributes commands from the brain to muscles via electrical messages, like a land line phone. In Sept 2004, some arm muscle stopped firing as a result of a nerve system communication problem. IIRC, it returned in 2008 when he tried to speed back from Tommy John surgery. Some expression of this must have returned in 2012 and shut him down. He had very unusual surgery involving the removal of a rib, in hopes this would remove a constriction or pressure on a nerve. The surgery was successful in the sense Carpenter was able to get back to the mound in Sept/Oct.

          After all Carp has been through, during a long career, when there were problems again this spring, he decided to take it easy. Skin discoloration does not sound good. His problems are very difficult to diagnose and even harder to know how to help. The body’s electrical plumbing is not well understood. Carps problems are not straightforward like a broken bone or an elbow tendon that is frayed.

          So could he pitch for one inning? Maybe. We shall see. Hes gonna try to do something, because he does not like collecting $10MM for doing nothing.

          • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

            Jumbo…… they widened the groove where the nerve bundle leaves the spine………. they removed the rib…one of the small ones at the bottom of the ribcage so that his abdominal and other muscle groups used in his pitching motion would exert less “influence” on the a fore mentioned vertebra. It should have worked. If he hadn’t made that stupid try at rejoining the team last year…… it might have…….he developed a false sense of confidence…….and rejoined Rosenthal in full body and strength building this winter………………… In all likelihood ………. those activities are the real issue here………. in other words……he is incapacitated from activities other than pitching……..and probably doesn’t realize that still……… massage and acupuncture (electrical intervention) would likely have him doing some pitching,……….. its 12million……..and I doubt if they really want him coming back for obvious reasons……..that’s just hero talk…….

            • Brian Walton says:

              If Carpenter is healthy, I cannot see a single reason why the Cardinals would not want him back. Not one.

            • blingboy says:

              The rib removed was the upper most on the right side. It is under the collar bone.

              Maybe the insurance company is refusing to pay up. Carp has already said he wouldn’t risk causing himself health problems in the future, which is what he will be doing, to some degree at least. That said, it would be either awesome or heartbreaking, depending.

              Carp my not like getting paid for doing nothing, but he is used to it. He already holds the all-time franchise record in that catagory.

              • Brian Walton says:

                I figured you were better than to harp on his injury bad luck while ignoring his two World Championships and one Cy Young.

              • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

                That’s not my understanding BB………… That is where they widened the nerve access. (Thoracic outlet) Taking out a rib there would do more to destabilize and put more stress on that Vertebra than anything else. If that’s what they wanted to eliminate. Why not fuse those vertebra? I’m going to look into it.

                • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

                  You might be right……….watch this…….

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_jBR0J_sSo

                  • blingboy says:

                    It was explained to me by a good authority back when Wainy Carp had the procedure.

                    I’ll give him a call to see what he thinks about Wainy Carp saying the symptoms had returned but now seem to have eased.

                  • blingboy says:

                    I have had a folllow up conversation. This guy is long retired and has not followed the Carp situation, but based on what I told him about the timeline and the goings on this is what he told me.

                    Carp’s reaction when the exertion of pitching for real caused a return of symptoms suggests he was either not properly briefed on what to expect, or did not properly listen.

                    The presense of scar tissue, connective tissue and other things associated with a healing surgical site can mimmick the original condition, and can irritate the nerve in the same way when the area is subjected to exertion.

                    Given an appropriate physical therapy/ rehab regimen, this will normally improve over time.

                    The frequency, intensity and duration of nerve irritation flare ups should show a clear downward trend.

                    It is possible that the nerve can sustain permanent damage. In this case there would be a permanent effect on function. In that case, therapy and diligent work can sometimes allow for a ‘work around’ type thing, with non affected structures compensating for affected structures. He said this can usually be diagnosed fairly soon after surgery and so is likely not the case with Carp.

                    He said that if Carp has been doing the work, it should surprise no one that the symptoms have eased over time. The whole thing sounds like a completely normal and expected post operative experience. He did caution that successful surgery and rehab does not ensure that previous qualities of function will be restored 100%.

                    • Brian Walton says:

                      Very interesting. Thank you for sharing your research.

                      FWIW, in my most important fantasy league, NL-only format, I just picked up Carp for $1 to stash away – just in case. Cannot count him out.

  6. JumboShrimp says:

    Another road win today. A beautiful thing.

  7. blingboy says:

    Another road will for Garcia. He seems to be cured.

    Wonder how they liked our mop-up guy in the ninth?

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