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Oooo. . . shiny. . .

Have you ever misplaced something? I do it all the time.  My hands seem to have thoughts and a will all their own.  I tend to be a very fastidious person; everything has a place and everything should be in said place.  Not being able to find something bothers the hell out of me. 

Where did I put it?  It should be in this drawer.  I had it earlier today.  Retrace your steps.  I came home.  I walked over to my desk.  I was on the internet.  I. . . hell, I don't remember where I put it.  O wait.  Yes, it is in my pocket.

My short term memory is less than exemplary so keeping everything in it's designated area is very helpful for me.  The problem is shiny things distract me.  That may make me sound like a twit, which I'm not, but I do have a very short attention span.  If I don't watch myself put something away and mentally check that off my list, I'll quickly hop to the next item on my to-do list without resolving the previous task. 

Despite the last two games, the Cardinals are pretty damn shiny right now aren't they.  They're fun to watch.  I haven't sat down for a game yet where I thought, "OK, tonight we get pummeled." They've the best record in the NL Central.  Before the season, I thought they'd win about 70 games.  I'd like my crow medium well, please. 

That outfield that looked so iffy and unsure before the season, they've given prognosticators the middle finger, metaphorically speaking, of course.  From left to right, the outfield positions have OPS marks of .789, .882 and 1.026 -- little better than anyone expected.  The rotation that we were all concerned about has the 5th best ERA in the bigs with a 3.51 and a 130:58 strikeout-to-walk ratio.  Can I get some humble pie on the side. 

Everything is going so well.  It's so. . . shiny. . .

Wait, I kinda glazed over there.  Where was I?  No, no this wasn't all supposed to be about how the Cardinals are coalescing as a team.  It was about distractions.  Well, not the distractions themselves so much as the things they've distracted from.


Remember when the Cardinals signed Ron Villone?  He was on a minor league deal.  Depth in left-handed relief since the Cardinals don't really have anything in the minors.  In 14 innings, he's allowed 6 hits and 1 run.  He's struck out 14 and walked 8 on his way to a 0.63 ERA.  Shiny, no?

Tyler Johnson.

You almost forgot about him too?  He went down with some shoulder troubles during Spring Training.  In fact, he's been sidelined for over 2 months now with nary a whisper about any improvement.  He had a cortisone shot about two weeks after the MRI (around the 20th of March) and wasn't going to even throw a pitch before the season started.  Since then -- nothing.  What happened to him?  Is he getting better?  Where the initial MRI results wrong?  Is he in extended Spring Training?  Heck, I can't find anything on in within the last month.  Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places.  Good thing Villone is performing well.

4 Million dollars.  That's all Kyle Lohse cost the Cardinals.  Even though he's taken his lumps over the last couple games, he's on a 1 year contract for chump change.  Remember when he was asking for money similar to Carlos Silva's 4 year/44M dollar deal.  Forget that.  We got him for 1/12 of the commitment (1/3rd of the yearly rate * 1/4 of the years -- shady math courtesy of azruavatar) and he's been more than sufficient as a middle of the rotation stalwart.  Check that Rotoworld sidebar and you'll see that he had a 2.45 ERA through his first 6 starts.  Shiny, no?

Matt Clement.

Is this guy's arm still attached?  I'd completely understand if it wasn't but what the heck happened here.  The Red Sox paid him a year to rehab (essentially) and then decided they were done.  Did the Cardinals doctors not see anything at all during the physical?  At first the word of mouth was that his arm strength just wasn't game ready.  He hadn't really thrown in well over a year so him being in a weakened state was more than understandable.  Umm, Matt. . . how's your arm strength?  If you put the ball in your right hand can you take your left hand and throw both your detached right arm and the ball across the plate?  How about for a strike?

Ryan Ludwick smacked a pair of solo shots yesterday. His OPS is 1.185.  We're arguing over whether he or Duncan deserves more playing time .  It's a left-handed starter, where the heck is Barton?  It's a righty, we need Schumaker at the top of our lineup!  All hail Rick Ankiel, savior centerfielder of the Cardinals and mythical thrower outer of baserunners.  Touch head to ground in prostrate position now.

Colby Rasmus.

This one's a little hard for me.  Rasmus is my favorite player in the Cardinals farm system.  I've got his Springfield T-shirt jersey.  I make sure to find his box line every night.  He's hitting .200/.293/.344 for a .637 OPS prior to last night's game .  Now, there's a myriad of reasons why this could be.  He's a notoriously slow starter.  His father (who has long had a hand in Colby's development) thinks Colby is taking too many fastballs.  There's also speculation that Rasmus was really bummed out that he didn't make the team out of spring training (where he hit .302/.464/.605).  For all the talk prior to the regular season that the future might be now with Rasmus becoming the Cardinals centerfielder, his struggles this first month have gone somewhat unnoticed with the major league outfielders tearing the cover off the ball.  I don't want to strike alarm for anyone, I think Rasmus will be fine in the long term, but it's a pretty significant slump for the Cardinals only blue chip prospect.

The Cardinals head to Milwaukee for a 4 game series starting tonight with Todd Wellemeyer on the mound.  I'd love to see the Cardinals take 3 out of 4 and bury the Brewers a little bit further in the standings.  They're still a scary team, imo.  Todd Wellemeyer's been awfully good this season for someone who the Cardinals plucked off of waivers a year ago.  He's averaging 6 innings a start.  He's got a better than 2:1 K:BB ratio.  I bet they'll get back to winning.  Winning cures all sorts of ills. Or at least distracts from them.

Now, where did I put my keys?