(Busch Stadium) Speaking on a variety of subjects, St. Louis Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak held a media session in the team’s dugout before tonight’s game. After the introduction of Billy Bean, MLB’s Ambassador of Inclusion, the first question was in regards to who will be the starting pitcher for tomorrow’s game.
“We will go with Mike Leake,” announced Mozeliak. “The one thing that I just want to be careful about when you talk about going to grab somebody like Flaherty right out of the minor leagues, it’s not uncommon for us to that so I don’t want to say it’s something we have a history of running from, but he is getting to a point of innings where I think we have to be smart.”
Jack Flaherty is at 143.2 innings this season. He threw 134.0 innings last season. Typically, a 10-20% increase in workload is a “fair” jump for a young pitcher said Mozeliak. There is confidence that Flaherty would not be limited to finish pitching for Memphis through the playoffs–or in St. Louis to end the season.
“I also feel like whenever you take a moment in time and try to make a judgement on it, I think that’s a little bit tough for a Major League player,” continued Mozeliak. “You look at those first eight weeks of Mike Leake, arguably he was going to be an All-Star and then obviously, the last month has been a tough one for him but hopefully, he can right his ship.”
Acknowledging that fatigue could be a factor, Mozeliak noted the Cardinals still don’t have any reason to belief there is any kind of other physical issue that could be causing Leake’s inconsistency.
VELO FOR THE BACK-END
–With Trevor Rosenthal lost to Tommy John surgery, it’s noticeable that Sandy Alcantara has been moved to the bullpen in Springfield (AA).
“It was a strategic move and yes, possibly using him out of the bullpen in September,” said Mozeliak. “Just wanted to give him the opportunity to adjust to that because obviously it’s a little different than starting a game.”
The move to the bullpen also allows for additional control over Alcantara’s innings.
Clocking in regularly at over 100mph with his fastball, Alcantara has struck out 104 batters this season in 123.1 innings. But he’s also had some control issues.
“The biggest thing for me wasn’t so much command but the ability to have deception,” said Mozeliak. “When you have someone who throws 101mph, it does seem a little odd when they get squared up–especially at Double-A. So, that was the biggest thing we wanted to try and have him do was add a little deception to his delivery in hopes for better results.”
–The search for help from outside of the organization continues…
“I don’t think this year is any different than others,” said Mozeliak. “In this time of year, you need two people to cooperate. We can put a claim in, we can get the claim, but if a team just doesn’t have interest in doing a deal then there’s just not a whole lot we can do. We’ve been pretty aggressive on putting in claims this year, I think probably put more in this year than we have the last four or five. But unfortunately, just haven’t been able to get a deal done.”
–Down in Jupiter, Kevin Siegrist should have more appearance and then try working in back to back outings with Palm Beach (A+).
Meanwhile, Adam Wainwright is continuing his rehab here in St. Louis. “Hoping to get cleared to throw shortly, but I think that’s still a day or two away,” said Mozeliak.
photo credit: Jasen Vinlove, Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports