Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the first ever Redbird Rants Cardinals News Bulletin! Now, don’t get too excited, this News Bulletin is just my way of briefly covering a few Cardinals-related stories. These stories happened to catch my eye earlier today as I patrolled the web. Without further ado, let’s get on with the news! Follow along after the jump.
The Cardinals really have gotten off to a fast start so far this year. Although it may not even seem like it, the Cardinals have been on a roll as of late. With Sunday’s 4-3 win in Colorado, the Cardinals completed a win of their fifth straight series in a row! Despite the ups and downs, as well as a few injury problems, there is something to be said for the consistency that La Russa’s squad has shown throughout the month of May.
Early All-Star Indications:
With the all-star game lingering in July, many fans across the country are showing their support by voting for their favorite players. As the NL looks to defeat the AL for the second year in a row, some of the starting position battles are beginning to heat up. Take first base in the NL for example. It’s an NL Central competition, with (guess who) Pujols leading the way despite starting off slow this year. On his heels are Joey Votto of Cincinnati and Prince Fielder of Milwaukee. Ryan Howard currently occupies the fourth spot in the voting.
Two other Cardinals are leading the polls at their respective positions. In fact, of the top three NL outfielders, right now the Cardinals have two of them: Berkman and Holliday. It’s great to see that these guys are getting recognized for their achievements, but I would almost rather see them not get into the All-Star game. A lot of players really value the week-or-so break that they get in July during All-Star week, and Holliday and Berkman have both had minor injury problems thus far in the 2011 season. Go ahead, question my devotion, but I wouldn’t mind if these two All-Star caliber players weren’t selected. Some much needed rest may really pay off in the long run.
To check out all the position races in the NL, follow this link. Scroll down to the bottom to see just how many votes your favorite players have received.
Despite the recent slump that we have watched Pujols struggle through, there are days like Monday where you remember just how good the guy really is. On Monday Pujols hit his 417th career homer–at age 31. It turns out that’s good for sixth place on the Major League all-time home run list for players that were his age. When your on pace with guys like Mickey Mantle and Griffey, Jr., its good company to have.
This one’s an interesting story. Since so much was made last year about it being the year of the pitcher, Jim Bowden, former GM of the Reds and Nationals and current ESPN analyst, is now making the case that this year be dubbed “Year of the Breakout Player.” If you think about it, in many ways, Jim has a point. But how does this relate to the Cardinals? Jim named Kyle McClellan as his number 4 breakout pitcher. It’s nice to see McClellan getting recognized for his work, as he has had a spectacular year. Follow this link for more information and commentary about other 2011 breakout players.