Good Morning Cardinal Nation. A very Post-Dispatch heavy news and notes this morning:
CARDS NEED INNINGS EATER: Derrick Goold writes this morning about how the Cardinals need someone (or multiple people) to step up this season and replace the 211.0 innings that Kyle Lohse pitched for them in 2012. Particularly with the news that Chris Carpenter won’t be in the rotation this season, pitching coach Derek Lilliquist will be relying on many arms like Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal, and Joe Kelly to throw, in all likelihood, a much greater number of innings in a regular season than they have thrown thus far in their career. Being able to pitch over 200 innings is not an easy task. We sometimes take it for granted when a pitcher throws that much — we’re not out there each and every day dealing with the wear and tear that a pitcher’s arm goes through over 30-35 starts. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but Goold is right in pointing out that this is definitely something the rotation should be a little bit concerned about. This all comes down to the kind of preparation and drills that the pitchers do in Spring Training, and that is definitely something I will be focusing on this Spring on CardsBlog.
NEED FOR LEADERSHIP: Joe Strauss wrote in his column on Sunday about the leadership in the Cardinals’ clubhouse. Between Chris Carpenter, Lance Berkman, Kyle Lohse, and a couple of other names who won’t be in the clubhouse for the 2013 season, this team definitely needs some new leaders. Fortunately, I don’t think there is anyone who doubts that guys like Adam Wainwright, David Freese, and Yadier Molina are able or willing to assume those roles. I used to subscribe to the theory that clubhouse cohesiveness didn’t matter all that much. If you win, you’re going to get along, and if you don’t, you won’t get along. I know it’s more complicated than that, but that’s generally what I used to believe — until I read Tony LaRussa’s One Last Strike. In the book, he extensively discusses team chemistry in really almost every chapter. He talked about how he had been around so many clubhouses over the years and he had never seen a clubhouse as close as the 2011 team, which he believes strongly impacted their ability to come back that September. If you haven’t read TLR’s book yet, I would strongly suggest that you pick it up.
“Everything felt good for the first time,” Garcia said. “I don’t know what the velocity was, but it feels good. It feels like it’s coming out good and everything is where it needs to be. I feel like I’m where I want to be every year. This is where I wanted to be when I started my work this offseason. I think I’m right on schedule.”
The Cardinals are going to need Garcia in 2013, they really do. With Carp out, Lohse gone, and a crop of mostly inexperienced pitchers, they are going to need Garcia to perform this season if they want any chance of competing for another World Series. John Mozeliak seemed a little hesitant about Garcia’s status at Winter Warm-Up, but I guess we’ll just have to wait until some games are played before we really know the truth.
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