Friday, April 18, 2008
Cards Notes: Carp set for BP
February 25, 2008 -- Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter (center) and pitching coach Dave Duncan.
SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED
The Cardinals' stadium operations staff looked over the downtown ballpark Friday for signs of how the early-morning earthquake might have left its mark. The only sign of possible damage was a half-inch separation in the concrete near Gate 1, an official said. "Both sides of the gate have separated a little bit," said Mike Bertani, the director of stadium operations. "We're looking into if it's part of natural settlement or something that happened (as a result of the earthquake)."
The Cardinals looked over the video from the 114 cameras stationed around the stadium to see if any signs shook loose or other hints of damage.
CARPENTER SET FOR BP
Chris Carpenter threw a 60-pitch bullpen session Friday and afterward pitching coach Dave Duncan called him ready to face hitters. Carpenter will return, as scheduled, to the Cardinals' facility in Jupiter, Fla., on Sunday. He'll throw his first live batting practice session Monday against the hitters at extended spring training. Though it might shorten the length of his rehab from elbow surgery, the Cardinals are not considering bringing Carpenter back first as a reliever so he can build toward a late-season return to the rotation.
Manager Tony La Russa dismissed that same notion for Mark Mulder, who will make his second rehab start Sunday.
RYAN ON DECK
Mending infielder Brendan Ryan had four hits, including a home run, in Class AA Springfield's victory Thursday. The game was Ryan's first for Springfield as he continues his rehab climb through the minors.
La Russa toed his standard line Friday, saying that the second-year infielder "has not done enough yet to give him guarantees." Ryan is playing his way back from a ribcage muscle strain that forced him to miss the final stretch of spring training and kept him out of games until just the past couple of weeks. Playing pain-free is a start, La Russa said. Ryan also has to play well to return to the position he won in spring — a utility role and primary backup to Troy Glaus. Ryan started at third base Friday.
"I just think he's got to play, has to respond well to all the different things that playing entails," La Russa said. "He needs to get in really good shape. Whatever time he needs to play as good as he can play."
Catcher Jason LaRue made his fourth start of the season, spelling starter Yadier Molina. The veteran catcher had yet to have his first hit of the year entering Friday's game, and last season he hit .148 for Kansas City. "His knee was a mess," La Russa said. "He's going to do fine offensively." LaRue had knee surgery at the end of the season and the Cardinals are cautious with how much they play him so as not to tax it. ... The last time the Cardinals had a game the same day as an earthquake hit St. Louis was Aug. 19, 1934. According to research done by the club's media relations staff, the Cardinals split a doubleheader that day against the Boston Braves, losing the first game 10-9 and winning the second 3-1. ... The last time the Cardinals got five series into a season without losing one was 1994. The Cardinals went the entire month of April that season without losing a series.