Tag Archive | "Shoulder Discomfort"

Shelby Miller To Test Arm

The first week of spring training games always brings a mix of excitement and trepidation as pitchers take to the mound for the first time in a game atmosphere against real opponents. So far the St. Louis Cardinals have been able to experience the excitement, but more trepidation awaits Saturday.

Shelby Miller is showing up in shape to compete for the opening in the rotation.

The Cardinals got to see their pitchers who came to spring training with the most health concerns, Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia, throw in game situations, and neither had any problems.

Wainwright threw 2.2 innings Monday against the Houston Astros, who got four hits off of the Cardinals’ right-handed ace, but he did not give up a run and struck out four.

Sure, Wainwright didn’t come into spring training with any major health concerns, but he is still just two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his elbow, and it is always crucial to get that first start out of the way without any problems.

Garcia pitched two innings in a start Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox. He gave up three hits but no runs and had two strikeouts.

His outing was a bigger concern because it was the first time he had pitched in a game since facing the Washington Nationals in Game 2 of the National League Division Series last year when he had to come out after two innings because of shoulder discomfort, and that was after he missed much of the second half of the regular season with the same problem.

But Garcia looked sharp Tuesday and reported no lingering issues with his shoulder.

That would be a huge relief for the Cardinals because Garcia is a key piece of the starting rotation, especially now that Chris Carpenter won’t be around. Carpenter’s injury effectively moves Garcia or Jake Westbrook up to the No. 2 spot in the rotation.

So, with Wainwright and Garcia off to good starts, the Cardinals move on to their next question mark on the pitching staff: Shelby Miller.

Miller is scheduled to start Saturday against the Nationals after he missed several days with soreness in his right shoulder. That could certainly be a major concern if something truly is messed up in the rookie’s shoulder, but most signs point to his soreness as just a normal part of working back into game shape after the offseason.

The Cardinals will find out for sure in just a few days when Miller takes the mound. So far the team has had all of its injury questions answered the way they would prefer. Wainwright looked sharp, Garcia pitched well and the rest of the pitching staff hasn’t reported any injury problems, which is more important at this time of the year than how they perform on the mound.

This will also be the first in a series of important outings for Miller, regardless of his health. He is competing for the fifth spot in the rotation with Joe Kelly and Trevor Rosenthal, in what figures to be one of the most hotly contested battles of the spring.

Kelly has yet to enter a game, but Rosenthal started the Cardinals spring opener Saturday against the Miami Marlins, and things didn’t go so well. He gave up four runs on five hits and two walks without recording a strikeout.

Granted, the results in the first start of the spring aren’t very important, and he didn’t have any abnormal discomfort after the game. Rosenthal will get his shot to make the rotation. And if he doesn’t, the Cardinals will have his 100 mph fastball as an effective weapon out of the bullpen.

So the Cardinals can relax a bit now that the pitchers recovering for old injuries have surpassed the first hurdle of spring, but Miller will have to get through Saturday’s game without any issues before they can fully exhale.

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Royals Fantasy Report – Baseball By The Bay

It’s All-Star week so fantasy baseball will take a backseat until the weekend. Kansas City will host Oakland for a 3 game series. Heading into Week 15 this is make or break time for many fantasy league teams. Either you’re going to hold on to the top spot, make a run for the top, or free fall to the bottom. This week won’t give you much room for error so you need to make sure your roster is complete with players that can give you production. Hopefully the Royals have a couple that can do just that.

Start em:

Joakim Soria needs to be in the lineup this week. He has 3 very good opportunities for saves. Billy Butler hits Oakland very well with a career .321 Batting Average (BA) with 9 Doubles and 14 RBI’s in 22 games. In July he is sporting a .353 BA so there is a great chance to see terrific numbers this weekend. Alberto Callaspo has not given much production lately. Since June 1st he has only produced 13 Runs, 3 Doubles, 2 Triples, 10 RBI’s, while batting .247. Callaspo has a career .340 BA against Oakland which could give him a boost to get back on track plus give you the production needed for this short week.

Put em on the Bench:

Zach Greinke isn’t scheduled to pitch, plus was scratched from Sunday’s start with shoulder discomfort. It is never a good thing when dealing with the shoulder so keep an eye on his status going into next week. Jose Guillen was listed as day-to-day after being diagnosed with a Grade 1 left quadricep strain but played this past weekend. I would still sit him until after the Oakland series to be safe. David DeJesus has had zero production as of late plus only a career .257 BA against Oakland. Until DeJesus shows signs of life, he needs to be benched. Scott Podsednik isn’t showing enough to give me confidence that he can contribute right now so he needs benched too.

Fantasy Minor League Profile of the week:

If you’re in a fantasy league which allows you to keep minor league players on your roster, here is a name you need to pick up immediately, Mike Moustakas. He was selected in the 1stround (No. 2 overall) of the June 2007 First-Year Player Draft. He’s currently playing Third Base (3B) for the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals in The Texas League. Moustakas is tearing apart opposing pitchers. His current stats are below. He’s a big kid (5’11” – 230 lbs) with plenty of power and capable of staying at 3B. He could be a September call up and lead the battle to make the team out of spring training next season. This kid is for real folks!

AVE AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO OBP SLG OPS
July .520 25 7 13 4 0 3 10 2 3 .536 1.040 1.576
Season .355 251 57 89 25 0 21 76 25 41 .417 .705 1.122

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