Cards News and Notes for the day:
–Brendan Ryan had wrist surgery to relieve a recurring pain. Ryan said that over the past four or five seasons the pain bothered him, especially during batting practice. The soreness reached the point that he decided to do something about it. It was a minor procedure and Ryan is expected to be ready for opening day — likely much sooner. He plans to be available for the first week of exhibition games in Florida. With this injury fixed, Ryan may have a breakout year at the plate. He has been working hard to improve his swing with Mark McGwire during the offseason. Quick hands are key in hitting, and the wrists play a large part in that. With the pain gone and a new plan at the plate, the pesky contact hitter is poised to drive the ball in 2010.
-In more health related news, Josh Kinney is finally 100% and hopes to find a place in the Cards bullpen this season. Cards fans should remember Kinney’s brilliant relief appearance against the Mets in the 2006 NLCS. He threw 3.1 scoreless innings and struck out four to get the win. Eventually, the Cards won the World Series. After that amazing high, life got a little tougher. It has been a roller coaster ride for Kinney, and it appears the ride is on the incline again. He stumbled through 2009 in the minors, his first full season pitching since that playoff run. Now, he has more of a rhythm on the mound and hopes it translates to success and eventually a job back in St. Louis.
-Former St. Louis Cardinal Todd Wellemeyer signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants. The Giants plan to use him as a long relief pitcher out of the bullpen. Wellemeyer has spent most of his career in the bullpen. In St. Louis, however, Wellemeyer got the chance to showcase his talent as a starter. The Cardinals converted the reliever to a starter and he proved to be a capable option for the rotation. His best year was 2008, in which he won 13 games and got 32 starts. His production dipped in 2009, and the Cardinals decided to go in another direction. Now, Wellemeyer will go back to the ‘pen and provide good depth and stamina for San Fran.
–Today was “Truck Day” in St. Louis, another sign that Spring Training is upon us. The day is basically moving day for all the Cards equipment needed for Spring Training in Jupiter, Florida. Two trucks are needed and they will be carrying a combined load around 35,000 pounds! From helmets to Gatorade to cups to bikes to a whirlpool, these trucks carry it all.When they depart, the Road to October officially begins in Redbird nation.