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afternoon update

as of this writing the cardinals are losing 6-4 to the orioles, bottom 5th. marquis started and held them scoreless for two innings; i don't know whether he was still out there for the third, when the o's posted 4. braden looper was set to follow marquis and appears to have yielded a couple of runs. brian daubach and chris duncan have whacked homers.

i don't think it's meaningless that la russa used brad voyles to close out the cards' 6-3 win yesterday. of course, it's not that meaningful either -- voyles isn't on the 40-man and is a long shot to make the team -- but his appearance in that role make me wonder whether the brass were just trying him on for size in late-inning situations. he retired the side in order and has now strung together 3.2 shutout innings in his two spring training appearances. keep an eye on how and when tony/dave use this guy; couple more solid outings and he might pitch his way onto the bubble for an at-large berth in the bullpen .

nice to see wainwright pitch well too. of a sudden the management is talking him up; also not insignificant, imho. i still think they'd prefer to open the season with ponson as the #5, but i think any role for wainwright (even last man in the 'pen) is better than a trip back to memphis. they gotta find out sooner, not later, whether or not this guy can help them in 2007 and beyond.

baseball prospectus' new minor-league expert, kevin goldstein, was asked during a recent chat session whether cory haerther's improved power numbers in 2005 represented a real improvement in ability. his reply:

Significantly real. Haerther is pretty easily the best hitter at the upper levels in the Cards' system in my mind, but his prospect ranking isn't very high becuase of his defense. As a left fielder, being a good hitter isn't enough, you have to be a great hitter, and I'm not sure Haerther is that.
but i'm not sure that the cardinals need haerther to be great. they just need him to be cheap (which he certainly will be) and adequate, holding down a position and freeing up funds to be applied elsewhere.

cards tacked one on in the top of the 6th, now trail 6-5, still batting.

elsewhere on SB Nation, Halos Heaven has it from inside sources that the marlins aren't kidding around about trading miguel cabrera:

If you think The Red Sox want the Moon for Manny Ramirez, you should hear the list of players the Marlins want in a trade for Miguel Cabrera - but they called twice after being told no, not to change their offer, just to underscore thir seriousness in wanting to trade MC. Word around the Cactus League is that the Cubs are going all out to land him.
don't know how seriously to take that last sentence; suffice to say that cabrera would close the cubs' hole in left field . . . .

mlbtraderumors thinks the reds may trade wily mo pena before the season begins . . . .

through 6 full innings, it's still 6-5 orioles. now stop thinking about spring training and get back to work.

Update [2006-3-6 17:8:45 by lboros]: orioles win, 12-8; here's the box score. marquis and looper got roughed up; junior spivey (the only varsity player in the lineup) went 0-4 and is hitless this spring. travis hanson started for the third consecutive day; john gall also got a start (his 4th of the spring) and went 1 for 4.