So the Cards have been throwing Adam Ottavino and PJ Walters as they await the return of Brad Penny and whomever, Loshe is out well into the season. Ottavino certainly looked better yesterday than in his MLB debut against the Cubs back on May 29. But the luxury of seven days between starts probably won't happen again. Anyway AO gave up a lead-off homer to Rickie Weeks, settled down and then was served up some pretty uninspiring relief help from the Big Sweat. But overall he looked in control of the game, only threw 75 pitches and was yanked after giving up a single to Ryan Braun in the 6th with no outs. Not a bad rebound game from the Chitown fiasco.
PJ, I am not quite so optimistic about. He had the one decent start against the Pads- I say decent because even though he didn't allow a run through five innings, he still labored for 93 pitches, only 56 of those were strikes. His next start, against the Reds, he was drilled for three homers in four innings, seven earned runs total. The way the Cards schedule unfolds over the next couple weeks I would speculate that PJ better show some major improvement tomorrow against the Dodgers, otherwise he could be skipped in the rotation. Then Penny should be close to returning. So PJ may be on a steamboat headed down to Memphis pretty soon. Hey I was right about Jon Jay/Aaron Miles.
Not completely a Cardinal issue, although it could become one if Ottavino doesn't pan out, is the availability of some free agent pitchers. A check of MLBTR shows the following (along with age and arb status)-
Brandon Backe (32)
Paul Byrd (39)
Daniel Cabrera (29)
Bartolo Colon (37)
Adam Eaton (32)
Mike Hampton (37)
Braden Looper (35) - Type B, not offered arb
Noah Lowry (29)
Pedro Martinez (38)
Eric Milton (34)
Odalis Perez (33)
Mark Prior (29)
Jason Schmidt (37)
John Smoltz (43)
Josh Towers (33)
Jarrod Washburn (35)
Not exactly first ballot Hall of Famers, but a few interesting pitchers. Of the group Daniel Cabrera would seem to have the best upside if he could get his walks under control. I wonder what Dave Duncan could do with that guy? The Jarrod Washburn noise has quieted a lot since April, not sure who all is interested in him. And I'm not sure what Odalis Perez is up to these days. He did not pitch at all last year after being the Opening Day starter for the Nats in '08. Maybe he's out of baseball entirely.
Jamie Moyer got his 264th win last night, a complete game against the Pads. Let's consider if Moyer is able to pitch a few more years...he's coming up on the age of 50. But 300 wins is not entirely out of the question at this point. A couple years back Julio Franco approached age 50 as a position player. There was a significant amount of support to have Franco considered for the Hall of Fame should he play at age 50, a very rare feat. His playing stats don't justify HOF though. Franco was a nice player: 3 All Star games, 5 Silver Slugger awards, 2586 hits, a batting title in '91. Maybe the '91 year with the Rangers was his best. That team featured everyone from Juna Gonzalez (the real Gonzo), to Nolan Ryan and even Goose Gossage. But back to Moyer- if he reaches 300 wins and pitches in MLB at age 50 should he get into the Hall of Fame? Poll below. And on the record watch, Moyer is four homers allowed from tying Robin Roberts as giving up the most in MLB history. Roberts ended his career giving up 505.
Moyer does not have many awards in his career. He was in an All Star game in '93. He's won several off the field awards for community service. That's something, I suppose! And most of his wins have come past age 34. Seattle made the difference, along with their run in the early-mid 90's. Currently Moyer is 10th in MLB history for wins by a lefty, all those above him are in the HOF. His next win will move him into a tie for 9th among lefties with Eppa Rixey (yes, THAT Eppa Rixey). And his total wins are currently just behind Jim Palmer and Bob Feller.
300 wins are not what they used to be. Currently every eligible 300 win pitcher is in the HOF. But there will be a rush of them Hall bound over the next few years- Maddux, Glavine, Randy Johnson, even Clemens? And PJ will be getting a large number of votes for entry despite not having 300. In other words there will be a lot of pitchers coming up Hall eligible over the next few years and maybe that will not make 300 wins for a really old pitcher all that important. Moyers baseball-reference comps are marginal, at best, for HOF induction- Dennis Martinez, Jack Morris, Jerry Reuss, etc.
Anyway, that's my random thoughts for the day.