Greetings, all you hoppin' cats and boppin' kitties. Are you all staying dry out there? I certainly hope so; the waters are starting to get awfully close to an awful lot of people. Hopefully you're up on a hill.
I haven't actually been around on the site too very much lately; I've been busy during the days, and just haven't had much of a chance to float around. I was catching up on some of the recent stuff this morning, and I came across a fanpost, (still can't quite get used to that yet) that Cardinals4Ever posted a couple of days ago. He was looking for a slogan for the 2008 Cardinal team. It's a fun idea; if you hadn't checked it out yet, you should. I love this sort of thing, and I though I would offer up a few team slogans of my own.
The 2008 Cardinals: "Oh, The Humanity!"
"Oh yeah? Well, Tony thinks your ideas are stupid!"
"The St. Louis Cardinals: Fighting age discrimination Juan Gonzalez at a time."
"Today: Fans Scouting. Tomorrow: Fans Playing!"
"You guys are saying, 'Boo-urns', right?"
"The Cardinal Code: Whatever Tony Says it Takes at this Exact Moment."
"No, You Guys Suck!"
Come on, everybody. It's cathartic! Give it a shot.
I was going to rant a bit about the whole Anthony Reyes/ Brad Thompson situation, but Hardcore has it covered in a Fanpost, and I'll just end up getting pissed off. No need to do that to myself when I'm actually in a pretty good mood this morning. Needless to say, I have some problems with the way this management team judges talent and utilises the roster. And that's all that I have to say about that.
I promised minor league reviews once the season starts. Well, the games don't really count yet, so I'm not going to track the records or anything. I will, however, give you a quick rundown of who is making an impression, one way or the other.
Daryl Jones- All tools and no results up til now, Jones is absolutely terrorizing pitchers at the moment. I don't have exact numbers yet, but he's collected a couple of triples, several doubles, and a three run homer this past week. I wasn't at all confident that DJ would ever put it together when I got a gander at the video of his swing over at Future Redbirds, but maybe he's finally on his way. I hope so; the more I look at him, the more he reminds me of Curtis Granderson. I don't know about you, but I would love to have that kind of dynamic talent in the Cards' lineup in a couple of years.
David Kopp- One of my personal favourites for his powerful repertoire and low stress delivery, Kopp took the mound on Tuesday. He threw 3 innings of shutout ball, striking out 5 to go along with one hit and 2 walks. As I mentioned, I'm a big believer in Kopp. I really hope he doesn't prove me wrong. Full disclosure: I absolutely hated the pick of Mortensen at the time, wailing and moaning about a wasted pick, so my record on the 2007 draft has been pretty spotty so far.
Jon Jay- One of the early darlings of the 2006 draft, Jay was projected by some team officials to win multiple batting titles. He missed most of last year due to various injuries, and struggled to get on track when he did play. So far this spring, he looks far more like he did during his debut season, getting a couple of hits seemingly every day. I still don't know how well his power profiles for a corner OF spot, but I'm a believer in his bat overall.
Too early to ruin all the optimism. I will say, though, that the Cards did cut quite a few players just a few days ago. Among the notable names were Dennis Dove and Mike Ferris.
Dove, you will recall, was the darling of last year's camp, catching Duncan's eye with a 96mph sinker. Unfortunately, Dove ended up with shoulder problems, and had reconstructive surgery. He came back this spring, but his velocity wasn't there, and the Cards have quite a crush of relievers anyway. Thus, Dennis became a victim of a numbers crunch. Good luck catching on somewhere, Dennis. Hopefully the guy can get his health back and get his career on track again.
Ferris was the Cards' supplemental round pick in the now infamous 2004 draft. They took him out of Miami (Ohio) University, after a monster junior season that was completely out of nowhere. Sadly, he turned back into a pumpkin. When the Cards picked Ferris, Hunter Pence, who went to the 'Stros, Jed Lowrie, who went to the Sawx, and Yunel Escobar, of the Braves, were still on the board. Sigh. I know I should let it go, but the 2004 draft really preys on my mind. It hurts me in a very visceral way.
As always, if you're looking for more in depth coverage of the Cards' minor leaguers, head over to Future Redbirds. It's the bee's knees.
All right, enough of that. I thought today we might play a game. Here are the rules: I'm going to give you the names of six players. All are on the roster currently; a couple probably will not be come opening day. What I want from you is to pick the player, of these six, you think is most likely to be a positive surprise. I then want you to pick the player you think most likely to be in another organisation at the end of the year. Please note that these two are not necessarily mutually exclusive; if you think one of these players will have a huge year and then be traded, you can use him for both. Obviously, you don't have to, but you can.
Okay. That's what I want. Player who breaks out and does something really positive, player who won't be here at the end of September, and your reasoning on each. Without further ado, here's the list:
Simple enough, right? I'm interested to see how everyone sees the edges of this roster moving. I know, at the moment, Duncan is seen as a 'core' player, but he has some definite qualities that serve to marginalise him a bit. I included him largely because I think his could be a very interesting story this year. Anyhow, have at it.
Have a happy Easter, everybody. Hope you all get a nice haul of chocolate eggs, or rabbits, or whatever it is that you receive on this particular holiday. I gots to scoot.