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TLR/DD impressed by Alan Benes so far

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  • TLR/DD impressed by Alan Benes so far

    Quick. Someone sponsor him.

    Enjoy.

    Benes' pitches, command have been impressive thus far
    By Dan O'Neill
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    02/28/2004
     
    JUPITER, Fla. - It's early, of course. Pitches thrown to teammates in batting cages aren't as significant as those thrown to opponents in games. But one of the initial buzzes at Camp Cardinals this spring has Alan Benes' name attached to it.

    "I'm really happy with him," Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan said. "It's exciting to see. He's looked very good."

    Speaking of Benes in dynamic terms was natural when he was drafted No. 1 by the Cardinals in 1993 and won 13 games for the club as a rookie in 1996. After 23 starts the following season, Benes ranked third in the National League in strikeouts and sixth in earned-run average. Then the pain in his shoulder became unbearable.

    Operations to repair a torn rotator cuff and damaged cartilage begot years of rehab and re-invention. Benes didn't pitch at all in 1998, managed two innings in 1999. In 2000 and 2001, he wavered between recovery and relapse, pitching in 16 big-league games.

    Benes and the Cardinals parted company after 2001. Since then, he has been with the Cubs and the Rangers, teetering between the major and minor leagues. This spring, Benes has more than a fringe look about him.

    "He has a better sinker," Duncan said. "He has a better breaking ball. His velocity is back, the command is there."

    Benes, 32, believes he has improved physically and technically each year since his last stop in Jupiter. "I'm a lot better pitcher now," he said. "Three years ago, when I was with St. Louis in the spring here, my stuff wasn't as good as it is now.
     
    "I've gotten a little bit better each year removed from the surgeries. I have a little bit better stuff, little bit better action on my ball, little better velocity. Everything is just more crisp and tight."

    Manager Tony La Russa indicated Benes could make the club either as a starter or reliever. "He's placed himself in the category of 'watch closely.' I mean, he's throwing the ball well," La Russa said. "And he's not just raring back and firing. He's moving the ball around and making pitches. The thing about him, if he's throwing the ball well, we know about the rest of it. Since I've been here, nobody has been any more impressive as a teammate, nobody."


    Williams throws again

    On a chilly, blustery Saturday, Woody Williams threw some 50 pitches on the side. Afterward, he reported feeling better, the second time he has thrown in three days with good results.

    "If it continues to progress like it did today, then it should be OK," said Williams, who was diagnosed with tendinitis in his right shoulder when camp opened.

    Williams is not inclined to put a timetable on when he might begin throwing in earnest this spring.

    "I'm just trying to do the best I can every day, push it as far as I can without going too far," Williams said. "More than half my throws today were better, as far as feeling nothing. That's a big improvement. Now, I just have to get to where every one of them feels like that."


    11 pitchers?

    La Russa said he would consider going north with 11 pitchers this season if he concludes he would help the club by keeping an extra bench player.

    The Cardinals carried 12 pitchers most of last season, but the absence of closer Jason Isringhausen to start the season had something to do with that. Isringhausen is healthy this season, and La Russa has new additions in the bullpen who thrive on work. Lefthander Ray King made 80 appearances for the Braves last season. Righthander Julian Tavarez appeared in 64 games for the Pirates.

    "You'd consider 11 pitchers," La Russa said. "I'm just going to let the guys play and see what we have. If somebody dominates, and there isn't a regular spot for him, you still have bench positions."

  • #2
    i will
    The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life. -TR

    OFFICIAL LOUNGE SPONSOR OF NEW YORK CITY, TEDDY ROOSEVELT AND THE MARYLAND TERRAPINS

    Madyaks2 Thought Of The Day: I'm just as dumb as madyaks1.

    Comment


    • #3
      Don't count your chickens, and all that. But if he could contribute at all, even as a middle reliever, I say Comeback Player of the Year.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by kah2523@Feb 29 2004, 08:40 AM
        Don't count your chickens, and all that. But if he could contribute at all, even as a middle reliever, I say Comeback Player of the Year.
        kah........Who wrote this post................

        Because after all, a report that dared express optimism about the 2004 Cardinals must be wrong.

        Maybe the next time someone dares express skepticism about a camp report......You get the picture...... B)
        AKA reddevil
        AKA davel a devil

        [COLOR=red'][/COLOR]

        Comment


        • #5
          ok...I don't want to get irrationally excited about Benes/Carpenter/Marquis/Haren/Simontacchi/Calero but if any of them catch fire I'll be psyched. Woody is not playing for us again next year (maybe houston if he stays in the bigs, but he's talked waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much about being away from his family to play for us) and I doubt we'll resign Morris....if we do, great, but if we have three to five solid pitchers between the 40 man roster and triple A, and we're in a pennant hunt, I don't know, I might be willing to risk something crazy and work out a three way trade with the yanks and expos where we get Livan and prospects for Matt.
          Are you on the list?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by davel+Feb 29 2004, 08:51 AM-->
            QUOTE(davel @ Feb 29 2004, 08:51 AM)

          • #7
            Who would Alan Benes make the team over?

            As I see it, the 12 pitchers (and TLR said himself they may only bring 11 pitchers north) that would go north are...

            Morris
            Woody
            Suppan
            Carpenter
            Marquis
            Izzy
            Tavarez
            King
            Lincoln
            Simontacchi
            Calero
            Kline

            Now which one of those guys is Alan Benes going to beat out?
            “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

            Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

            Comment


            • #8
              Maybe Simo or Kiko, if they aren't sharp in ST.
              I agree with Davhaf.....Kaiser March 9,2004

              Official Lounge co-sponsor of Jason Motte.

              Mick Jagger is in better shape than far too many NBA players. It's up in the air whether the same can be said of Keith Richards.

              Bill Walton

              Comment


              • #9
                Seems the last time I saw something like this about Alan Benes was in 2000 or 20001.

                Strangely enough, it was at exactly this time of year.
                And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

                -The Artist formerly known as King in KC

                Comment


                • #10
                  If Alan Benes contributes in a significant manner I'll be VERY suprised.
                  Go Cards ...12 in 13.


                  Comment


                  • #11
                    They are shameless.
                    And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

                    -The Artist formerly known as King in KC

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Simontacchi. Simo's the mop-up guy that you throw in when you're down 8-3 in the fifth inning. And even though he was relatively effective in that role last year, it's not like he's Mariano Rivera. One would think that a guy with a strong spring training could take Simo's job--not that it's necessarily likely that Benes will do it.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Razzy@Feb 29 2004, 09:26 AM
                        Who would Alan Benes make the team over?

                        As I see it, the 12 pitchers (and TLR said himself they may only bring 11 pitchers north) that would go north are...

                        Morris
                        Woody
                        Suppan
                        Carpenter
                        Marquis
                        Izzy
                        Tavarez
                        King
                        Lincoln
                        Simontacchi
                        Calero
                        Kline

                        Now which one of those guys is Alan Benes going to beat out?
                        I forgot about Cal Eldred. Surely he comes north. He has the old age and injury history that TLR and Duncan look for in their pitching staffs.

                        So who does that bump? Lincoln? Simontacchi?

                        Still dont see how Alan Benes makes the team.
                        “I’ve always stated, ‘I’m a Missouri Tiger,’” Anderson said March 13 after Arkansas fired John Pelphrey, adding, “I’m excited about what’s taking place here.”

                        Asked then if he would talk to his players about the situation, he said, “They know me, and that’s where the trust comes in.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          forgot about Cal Eldred
                          Hey, Don't ever forget about "the man"


                          Eldred is the bomb diggidty.
                          Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            I just realized something neat as I was talking to my Royals fan via email. He says they still have Appier.

                            We DON'T have Appier. Woo Hoo!
                            Sometimes elections have positive consequences!

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