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Game 31 Open Thread -- May 9, 2009

Lohse Harang
3-1, 3.22 2-3, 3.00

Is anyone else even the slightest bit concerned w/ Yadi's workload so far this season? He's playing great so far -- obviously a key reason that he's been in the lineup nearly every day but his workload has been substantial. He's started 26 of the Cards' 1st 30 games -- a pace for 140 games over the full season. His career high in games played is 129 back in 2006. Only 7 catchers played as many as 140 games in 2008. Maybe it's not a big deal, but I worry about him getting worn down by playing so frequently now. After all, it's a marathon, not a sprint, right? And if he needs more days off in August b/c of the extra few games he played in April and March -- those may be important games. Of course, if we don't win games today we may not have the opportunity to play important games in August.

Clearly, the fact that he's playing so well now and the fact that Jason LaRue is so bad are having an impact on Yadi's workload. It's his heaviest workload to begin a season. It turns out that on May 9 of last season, he was playing in his 31st game. But that was 31 out of 37 -- a lower % (84%) than he's played so far this season (86.7%). Of course, he is leading the NL in BA among catchers, 1st in weighted runs created, and 2nd in wOBA. He's 3rd in OPS. Behind the plate he's 1st (as usual) in SBA/G at a stunning 0.27, despite only throwing out 28.6% of runners to actually make the attempt. I'd guess that the only ones trying anymore are the best basestealers in the league -- thus the relatively low % of CS. In any case, he's been great and Tony wants to ride him while he's hot. I just wonder if/how he'll hold up over the season. He's shown a tendency also to be somewhat injury prone and I wonder if the fact that he's playing so frequently now increases that likelihood at all. I don't know...just postulating.

Would you believe that Lohse's FIP is higher than both Pineiro's and Wellemeyer's? We'll chalk that up to small sample sizes. He's been very good so far and has demonstrated a clear pattern -- 2 good starts, 1 not so good; 2 good ones, 1 not so good. He's due for a good one tonight in start #7.

Harang's always been an underrated starter, except for last season when he stunk. He's had a good start to this season, helped largely by a big decline in his HR/9. He's still giving up fly balls, but his HR/FB ratio is a ridiculously low 5.9%. Hopefully it'll be a warm night in the homer-friendly Great American Ballpark and we can take him downtown 2 or 3 times. Overflow thread will be up around 7:30.