first things first: carp's back is acting up again, and he might miss his start this afternoon. if he does, it'll be a bullpen game, with hancock likely starting. if it comes to that, at least the schedule sets up conveniently; the pen sat yesterday (except for izzy) and tomorrow's an off-day.
Update [2006-5-24 11:53:50 by lboros]: miklasz says hancock will start:
I guess if Carpenter shows up and demands the ball, it's an open question. But they weren't planning on him starting.
jason marquis now leads the team in wins, with 6; i have no idea what kind of pitcher he is any more. during this little 3-game win streak he's on, he has recorded an equal number of groundouts and flyouts (32 apiece) and struck out only 5 guys. as far as i can tell, he's simply throwing it over the plate and hoping for the best. and his hopes have been fulfilled thus far: per fangraphs, he's allowing a BABIP (batting average on balls in play) of just .240, which is inordinately low. marquis' career BABIP is .284, well within the normal range for pitchers; he is almost certain to regress to that standard, which means more of the balls hit off him are likely to start finding holes. i'm not going to go into a deep discussion of BABIP here (we had a long one this off-season -- see parts one, two, and three), but the upshot is that a pitcher with an exceedingly low BABIP has probably been more lucky than good -- and hence unlikely to maintain his present level of effectiveness.
trade him now, while he still looks like an 18-game winner.
a thought on the scouting-dontrelle rumor, referenced yesterday: he has a career-long pattern of losing effectiveness as the innings pile up. in each of his first three seasons, his numbers dropped off after the all-star game -- dramatically so, in two of those years. last season he threw 236 innings, a 20 percent increase over his previous career high; then he disrupted his training this spring to pitch in the WBC. this season his command is way off -- not only is his walk rate higher than it has been since his rookie season, but he also has plunked 7 batters already. that's not to say that he can't right the ship, but it does give you pause.
here's a touching article about the scout who signed pujols. he now stocks shelves at a wal-mart in arkansas.
and here's a peek at joe sheehan's breakdown of the cardinals' early-season success, posted yesterday at baseball prospectus: