by now Valatan should have received his gold watch and plaque . . . . in case you missed it, yesterday was his last regular wednesday post. he'll still be hanging out in the comments and making the occasional appearance on the front page, but he's giving up the once-a-week gig. i want to add my thanks and appreciation to all the statements that were posted yesterday. V was one of the very first members of this community and has always been an active and positive agent in it. as far as i know, he's the only one among us who witnessed pujols' shot off brad lidge in person. while i do have to question his priorities (a doctorate more important than baseball??), i wish him all the success in the world. thanks for ev'ything, V man.
various and sundry items from around the world:
- rotoworld is reporting that the cards released mike maroth. too bad he didn't work out; maroth seemed like a solid guy.
- on the subject of left-handed F.A. pitchers: with tom glavine being touted as a potential signee by the cardinals, i decided to look up the all-time single-season leaders among 42-year-old pitchers (that'll be glavine's age next year). only 12 pitchers in history have won as many as 10 games at that age; however, 4 of those seasons came in the last 2 years (moyer, clemens, wells, and randy johnson), so it can be argued that 10 wins is now a realistic goal for a pitcher of that age. only 10 pitchers in history have thrown as many as 184 innings at age 42, but again, 4 of those instances happened in 2005 or 2006 (the same 4 guys who recorded 10+ wins). here's one that's not so easily explained away: only 10 42-year-old pitchers in history have posted an era of 3.89 or lower, and only 2 of those occurred within the last 25 years --- one by clemens, the other by nolan ryan. glavine has been a great pitcher, but he ain't no clemens or ryan. so it would seem prudent for whoever acquires him to assume a best-case scenario of 200 innings with an era in the low 4.00s. david wells at age 42 put up a 4.45 era; jamie moyer, 4.28. glavine's era last year was 4.45, and after june 1 (his last 22 starts) it was 5.03. his FIPs the last three seasons have been 3.98, 4.35, and 4.82. . . . . . lots more discussion in this diary.
- during joe strauss' chat yesterday, somebody asked if any current minor leaguers had a realistic shot at making the team out of spring training. strauss replied: "Here's a name to chew on: Mike Parisi as stealth fifth starter." and here i thought i was the only person who gave parisi even the most remote chance of ever pitching in st louis. but apparently at least one source inside the organization considers parisi a sleeper and dropped his name to strauss. (my guess is the name-dropper was mozeliak, who drafted parisi.) the kid also has been mentioned twice at Bird Land in recent days, as a player likely to be added to the 40-man and a guy with one very good pitch (his sinker). should we cheer the fact that a player of such limited achievements is being discussed, however fleetingly, as a longshot candidate for promotion? i think so. while parisi has never displayed the potential to be a good major-league player, i think he has a shot to be a useful one --- a guy who can haul innings and take some pressure off the payroll. better a guy like that than a guy like ramon ortiz (or mike maroth, for that matter). if parisi does make the team, it'll be a fluke; he'll come to camp listed 7th or 8th on the depth chart, as he should. but i was surprised (pleasantly so) by strauss' answer. if nothing else, the big-league coaching staff will be paying attention when parisi takes the mound next march.
- they'll be watching with even greater interest when mitchell boggs throws. derrick goold's blog entry about him this morning includes some praise from Baseball America's will lingo (who called boggs the cards' future workhorse). he doesn't look ready yet --- one set of 2007 MLEs that i saw translated boggs' line at springfield into a 7.00+ era at the big-league level. but let's see where he stands by this august, after 20 starts in triple A; let's see where he stands by next spring. boggs has shown the potential to be more than just useful; he has a realistic shot to become an average (or better) big-league pitcher.
- cardinal farmhand bryan anderson is keeping a journal for Team USA. he posted his first item yesterday (hat tip, Future Redbirds). at 20, anderson is the youngest guy on the team; here's the full roster (which includes stl prospects colby rasmus and chris perez). rick eckstein is the 3d-base coach, former cardinal reggie smith is the hitting coach, and long-ago nemesis davey johnson (mgr of the ol' 1980s-era pond-scums) is the team skipper. former big-league gm bob watson is also involved in an administrative capacity. good taste of the major-league life for all these guys.
- e-mail from a cardinal fan who grew up in wisconsin: "i remember jd drew NOT playing catch with the milwaukee brewers ball-girl [during pre-inning warmups]. am i imagining this? does he not play catch with anyone prior to the inning, or does he just not play with women? my red sox loving friend doesn't believe me, and i am starting to doubt myself. please help." anybody?
- finally, here's a nice piece of writing about why the red sox are no longer lovable.