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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cards Notes: Pineiro on the move

Cards Notes: Pineiro on the move
By Joe Strauss
Joel Pineiro throws
February 16, 2008 -- Cardinals pitcher Joel Pineiro throws from a mound during Cardinals spring training.


HOUSTON — Joel Pineiro will make his rehab start as scheduled tonight. But he'll travel several hundred miles further south.

A forecast of poor weather caused the Cardinals to move the starting pitcher's assignment from Class AA Springfield to New Orleans, where the Zephyrs host Class AAA Memphis.

"It's kind of short notice, I realize," general manager John Mozeliak said. "We would've been fine pitching him in Springfield Wednesday, except it's an off day and in the minor leagues they don't make up games on off days."

Springfield begins a trip on Thursday, and the club would like to be able to decide whether to activate Pineiro or have him make a second minor-league start before then.

"We'll base the decision not just on his pitching line but on a number of other factors," pitching coach Dave Duncan said.

He added that his preference is to activate Pineiro only after he has enough stamina to throw 100 pitches in a start.


Cesar Izturis became the Cardinals' third leadoff hitter in seven games Monday, jumping from No. 9 in the order to a spot seemingly at odds with his career .295 on-base percentage.

"He's been swinging the bat well righthanded to me," manager Tony La Russa explained.

The switch-hitting shortstop entered Monday four for seven with two walks against lefthanded pitching, compared to one for nine with three walks against righthanders. Izturis appeared predominantly in the leadoff spot for three different clubs the past three seasons. Skip Schumaker and Brian Barton had split the role in the first six games.


The Cardinals expect infielder Brendan Ryan to take live batting practice today in anticipation of appearing in an extended spring game Wednesday. Ryan is on the disabled list with a strained right side, which allowed Rico Washington to open the season on the major league roster.


Ryan Ludwick awoke Monday morning the NL leader in triples, rarefied air for a guy with one triple in 637 major-league at-bats entering the season.

"I don't see myself as a triples guy. I'm more a doubles guy," Ludwick quipped Monday after reaching Washington Nationals reliever Luis Ayala in the eighth inning Sunday for his second triple.

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