No announcement yet.

Anonymous scout rates the Cardinals

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Anonymous scout rates the Cardinals

    I hope this hasn't been posted.

    Scouting Report: Cardinals

    Tuesday, Oct. 04 2005

    A baseball scout, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, tells Post-Dispatch
    baseball writer Joe Strauss how the Cardinals should perform against the

    A week ago, the Cardinals looked like they could win this series in a walkover
    because they have so many more ways to win. The San Diego Padres' lineup
    doesn't compare to the Cardinals' lineup, but St. Louis' pitching problems keep

    The loss of Al Reyes and the questions about Chris Carpenter, Mark Mulder and
    Matt Morris create concerns for them. The Padres possess an advantage in the
    bullpen that will become more pronounced if the Cardinals' starters can't reach
    the sixth inning.

    Without Reyes, a lot of pressure falls on Brad Thompson. He can get by with his
    stuff, but you can't account for his having a rookie's lack of experience. He's
    an unknown quantity.

    The Padres' best facet is their bullpen. Before their last trip, I thought the
    Cardinals could sweep this series. Now, they look vulnerable. The Padres'
    lefthanded bats -- Brian Giles, Ryan Klesko and Dave Roberts -- could become a


    Yadier Molina is nothing less than a defensive weapon. He's got a high-velocity
    arm and the confidence to use it. He has become adept at blocking and shifting.
    It's not hard to see Mike Matheny's influence on him. His pitch-calling has
    improved, and pitchers seem to respect him. Molina is one of the game's slowest
    runners. He still has trouble with breaking pitches, but the adjustments he has
    made with hitting coach Hal McRae have helped. He's a better hitter against
    lefthanders and with runners in scoring position. Molina doesn't walk, but he
    doesn't strike out often, either.

    First base

    Albert Pujols is the best hitter in baseball, period. He also is a big-game
    player. There's not much more to say. He's my MVP this season. The only time
    pitchers have success against him is when they get him out on his front foot
    with speed changes. Pujols adjusts quickly. He also has become one of the
    game's most underrated first basemen. He has good footwork, his mobility is
    better, and he has good hands. I like his aggressiveness. He's a more
    instinctive player than people give him credit for.

    Second base

    When he's healthy, Mark Grudzielanek is a well-rounded player. His range is
    better this year because he has been sound most of the season. He has a
    shortstop's arm and has formed a great double-play combination with David
    Eckstein. He's not a good runner, but he reads the ball well off the bat and
    always seems to be in position. Grudzielanek has a short, compact swing, but he
    strikes out a lot, which baffles me. He's a line-drive hitter to all fields.

    Third base

    Abraham Nuñez is a utility player who has gone far beyond expectations. He has
    shown that he has good hands and quick feet, but he's wearing down. His
    throwing has become erratic, and he often throws high. He has decent speed but
    doesn't steal bases. He's a good contact hitter but has no power from either
    side of the plate. Nuñez hasn't played in the postseason; superior pitching
    could put him at a disadvantage. He also is hurt by hitting low in the order.


    The Little Engine That Could, David Eckstein summons more from his ability than
    any player in baseball. The Cardinals have done a great job in changing his
    throwing mechanics. His arm no longer is a liability. He also is running better
    than I've ever seen. He's not a patient hitter, but he's one of the best
    contact hitters in the game. Eckstein has incredible bat control, which allows
    manager Tony La Russa to attempt anything with him. He's quick to a pitch and
    loves to chase anything high or inside. In my opinion, he's a better player now
    than when he won a World Series with the Angels in 2002.

    Left field

    The Cardinals have to be concerned that Reggie Sanders isn't running well. I
    don't think he's completely recovered from his broken leg. He seems tentative
    in the field and on the bases. The injury hasn't affected his bat, however.
    Sanders has a compact stroke with good bat speed. A better high-ball hitter, he
    strikes out a lot because he struggles with breaking pitches. Sanders is much
    better against lefthanded pitching and has power to all fields. He has a
    left-field arm but throws accurately with a quick release.

    Center field

    Jim Edmonds isn't the most popular player in the game but he is one of its most
    gifted. He has a knack for playing well in big games, as he demonstrated in
    last season's NLCS. Edmonds has had a lesser year, but I don't think he's a
    lesser player. Edmonds goes back on a ball in the outfield as well as anybody
    I've ever seen. His agility and body control are amazing. Edmonds is an
    uppercut hitter with good loft off the bat. In Busch Stadium, he's a bullpen to
    bullpen hitter. He is vulnerable against hard-breaking pitches from
    lefthanders. He's intelligent, and I believe he can set up pitchers.

    Right field

    Larry Walker is the key to this lineup. He has to stay on the field for nine
    innings and provide protection for Pujols. He still has good bat speed,
    although it has diminished somewhat; lefthanders give him trouble now. His
    speed has eroded but he still takes great routes to balls. His range in the
    field is good for a below-average runner. Walker is one of the most instinctive
    players in the game. When Scott Rolen was healthy, the Cardinals had the two
    best baserunners in the league. He has stayed around for this month. I expect
    something special from him.

    Starting pitchers

    Chris Carpenter was without question the National League's best pitcher this
    season but his durability is an issue. His cut fastball has gotten bigger, and
    his velocity is down. Hitters are staying off the cut fastball and isolating
    his sinking two-seamer. His delivery remains solid, and he still has good
    command. He's not the same pitcher he was a month ago, but he remains an
    outstanding competitor. I believe he'll bounce back, but I don't believe he has
    many complete games left. ... I don't know where Mark Mulder put his
    split-finger fastball. It used to be his out pitch, and now he has replaced it
    with a cutter. His velocity is down, and his arm action varies from pitch to
    pitch. Those are red flags. ... Matt Morris has good life on his fastball, and
    his command has been a plus. His power curveball can freeze hitters. Morris
    looks completely healthy, but he has not won in a while, and that has to be a
    concern. Morris competes well, especially in this setting. ... Jason Marquis
    has tremendous sink on his fastball, but he doesn't command it well. He's more
    effective against lefthanded hitters but doesn't strike out many for a guy with
    a plus to his fastball. Marquis' curveball is lacking its late action. For me,
    he's a question. He helps himself because he's the best-hitting pitcher in the
    league. ... Jeff Suppan has to throw all the pitches in his repertoire to be
    effective, and lately, he has done that. His fastball -- around 90 mph -- has
    good action down in the strike zone but remains straight when it's elevated. He
    throws a tight curveball and an effective forkball and change-up. He gives up
    home runs because he pitches all around the plate. His performance last
    postseason was impressive. I wouldn't be reluctant to play him.


    Without Al Reyes, Brad Thompson becomes a pivotal guy. He's young and has no
    problem throwing strikes. His fastball sinks well, and his curveball and circle
    change-up neutralize lefthanded hitters. No longer a power guy, Cal Eldred
    likes to pitch up in the zone and is a fly-ball pitcher, something he can get
    away with at Petco Park. His curveball keeps him effective against lefthanders.
    ... Julian Tavarez is a wild card. He's unpredictable and likes to tinker with
    his arm positioning and pitch selection. For me, he throws harder coming over
    the top. His slider and splitter are good pitches, but he gets in trouble
    sometimes trying to trick hitters. He is not afraid to knock people down. ...
    The left side of the bullpen is the Cardinals' Achilles' heel. Ray King and
    Randy Flores are situation pitchers. King is struggling with command and has
    been more effective with bases empty. If King's command remains off, Brian
    Giles will take a walk; Ryan Klesko won't. Flores is interesting. He doesn't
    throw hard -- about 88 mph -- but he forces hitters to hit his breaking ball.
    He could be a guy who emerges in this series. ... Jason Isringhausen brings a
    plus fastball -- 90 to 94 mph -- and a power curve. I was encouraged by his
    outing Sunday after a rough one Saturday. He's not a problem. The Cardinals
    have to worry about their rotation and their soft middle.

    Bench players

    So Taguchi is a capable outfielder and among the most improved players in the
    league [em dash] an exceptional hitter with runners in scoring position. He's a
    high-ball hitter with surprising power on inside pitches. He has about
    4.1-second speed to first base, which is an improvement over previous years.
    ... John Mabry has slowed at the plate and in the field. He has had problems
    with breaking stuff and is a factor only against some righthanders. ... Hector
    Luna is a utility player who throws well. His range is below average, but his
    hands have improved and he's a capable base-stealer. I can see him appearing in
    every game. ... John Rodriguez is not a refined player, but he has a dangerous
    bat against low pitches. He has a fluid swing but is a liability on defense.
    His base-running strategy is baffling at times. ... John Gall gives the
    Cardinals aggressive power at bat. He looks for fastballs even when he's in the
    on-deck circle. I'd throw him first-pitch change-ups. ... Backup catcher Einar
    Diaz rushes his throws. He blocks balls in dirt well, but he's rusty because he
    hasn't played. He has a long swing and hits down on the ball. He likes to pull
    his swings.


    Tony La Russa has done a lot of different things with his team this year. Now,
    he has got to manage his bullpen without Reyes. His job is tougher now than at
    any time during the season. He's doing things with part-time players in a
    postseason setting. For the Cardinals to win 100 games this season was an
    amazing accomplishment. A lot of people don't like to give too much credit to
    La Russa, but you have to in this case. He ultimately may be judged on how he
    handled his rotation in the run-up to the playoffs. He may have pushed
    Carpenter unnecessarily.
    But wait. There is something that can be done afterall. My good friend Angelo is a cop in the Tampa/Clearwater area. Since I kept all of the files from the access logs when I had the power to see them, guess what, I have everyone's IP addresses. Hmm..what can I do w/ those??

  • #2
    Nuñ hurt by hitting low in the order.[/b][/quote]

    So where are we supposed to bat him? Third?
    Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

    "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011


    • #3
      Just a couple questions:

      The Little Engine That Could, David Eckstein... He's not a patient hitter.[/b][/quote] uhmmm, he ranks 13th in the NL (2nd in leadoff hitters) in pitches per at bat (4.01).

      Left field

      Reggie Sanders... He has a left-field arm but throws accurately with a quick release.[/b][/quote] uhmmm, isn't it good that he has a left field arm, seeing as he's playing left field?
      Sponsor of Adam Wainwright
      Sponsor of the $0.50 any-size frozen coke at Mobil on the Run when the Cards score six
      There are 24 teams in baseball with a longer World Series drought than the St. Louis Cardinals.
      "I told myself from the beginning, 'If he's going to throw a shutout, then he's going to tie,' ... he was not going to beat me today." ---Adam Wainwright, 8/11/10
      "I was confused." ---Tim McCarver, 7/30/15


      • #4
        Eck is the little engine that does. not the little engine that could.
        Sometimes elections have positive consequences!


        • #5
          I've never understood the Grudzielanek strikeouts either---doesn't seem like he should be that type of hitter, but he is.

          And I have finally learned how to spell Grudzielanek.
          I'm always right.


          • #6
            Didn't get that Eckstein isn't a patient hitter. Who's more patient?

            By LF arm he means weak.

            And for Nunez batting low -- he's not saying that he should be batting higher, just that whoever bats in that spot will probably see fewer pitches to hit, and it happens to be Nunez.


            • #7
              Eckstein had 58 walks and 44 strikeouts. That is quite good for a little guy with little power. And little guys don't really get to be patient in the sense of drawing a lot of walks, if that's what patience means to this scout. They get pitched to. They'd better swing.
              I'm always right.


              • #8
                QUOTE(cardinalgirl @ Oct 6 2005, 10:14 AM) Quoted post

                Eck is the little engine that does. not the little engine that could.
                Great line.
                Are you on the list?


                • #9
                  The guy means that Eckstein doesn't take pitches. Fouling off a lot of pitches is not patience - it is excellent bat control.



                  • #10
                    So patience is defined as taking pitches only? So if you strike out looking are you a patient batter?
                    Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist


                    • #11
                      QUOTE(lazydaze @ Oct 6 2005, 10:23 AM) Quoted post

                      So patience is defined as taking pitches only? So if you strike out looking are you a patient batter?

                      Too patient.



                      • #12
                        QUOTE(Moon Man @ Oct 6 2005, 08:25 AM) Quoted post

                        QUOTE(lazydaze @ Oct 6 2005, 10:23 AM) Quoted post

                        So patience is defined as taking pitches only? So if you strike out looking are you a patient batter?

                        Too patient.


                        just unlucky
                        Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist


                        • #13
                          QUOTE(lazydaze @ Oct 6 2005, 10:23 AM) Quoted post

                          So patience is defined as taking pitches only? So if you strike out looking are you a patient batter?

                          Adam Dunn is the epitome of patience.

                          Yes, I said "epitome."
                          I'm always right.


                          • #14
                            Can someone explain this to me about Jimmy Halfshirt:

                            He's intelligent, and I believe he can set up pitchers.[/b][/quote]


                            • #15
                              QUOTE(pgrote @ Oct 6 2005, 10:35 AM) Quoted post

                              Can someone explain this to me about Jimmy Halfshirt:

                              He's intelligent, and I believe he can set up pitchers.[/b][/quote]

                              I think he's saying that he plays the pitchers into his hands. Fools them into throwing a pitch he wants.