YES! The St. Louis Cardinals are appearing on television today, and, YES, Matt Holliday is starting at first base! Someone sound the sirens so the world knows.
I love Twitter and love the St. Louis Cardinals even more. News like the Cardinals appearing on television for the first time this spring and news of Matt Holliday making his debut at first base seems to be forces aimed at breaking the world of Twitter– or at least making it go crazy.
INSERT LAST MINUTE CHANGE HERE
Please note that the bulk of the article below was written at 10AM this morning prior to a last-minute change. After submitting this article for publication, Derrick Goold tweeted that “Matt Holliday has been scratched from the lineup, per Matheny. Lower back tightness.” Shoot! Right?
Let me say that I am disappointed but not entirely surprised. Why? We heard this refrain often last season, “Holliday scratched due to lower back tightness,” so why should we be surprised now? I am afraid that we will hear this refrain often this season as well. I hope I’m wrong but…
I’ve left the bulk of the article intact below as a what-might-have-been and due to the fact that only Holliday changed. With that in mind, there is also changes noted in the lineup. Thanks for bearing with the changes.
If you live in a town that employs tornado sirens, or air raid sirens, we should beseech the powers in charge to blow these instruments to that everyone knows the celebratory events listed above. Ironically, I reside in Memphis and our county tests our sirens each Saturday at noon. A coincidence that this is just five minutes before first pitch today?
All joking aside, let us look at the lineup today and see if we can make a few predictions for today’s game in anticipation of what could well be a fun and exciting- albeit very likely abbreviated appearance for starters- day.
Starting Lineup (sirens sounding) *reflecting updated lineup*
Matt Carpenter– 3B
Stephen Piscotty– RF
Jhonny Peralta– SS
Matt Adams– DH
Jedd Gyorko– 2B
Carlos Peguero– LF
Tommy Pham– CF
Brayan Pena– C
Right off the bat, we can all agree this is NOT the opening day starting lineup but does show some interesting items. Holliday at first (scratched) is one of these items but so too are the appearances of Peguero and Pham. Both of these P-named-players are showing a strong spring already and the fact that they are continuing to appear speaks well for their futures.
About Pham, much has been written about his improved vision abilities and the positive impacts this improvement are showing. Peguero, a player who I like, have written much about, and who has a very high ceiling, seems to be seizing this opportunity for a new start with St. Louis– keep a good watch on him in Memphis.
This starting lineup, I predict, will appear through three at-bats each. I predict that the following players will be swapped out upon their fourth at-bats: Carpenter, Piscotty, Peralta, and Pena. It would not surprise me if the others saw four at-bats in this contest before being swapped for minor-league-camp-destined players.
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Marco Gonzales climbs the mound for his televised debut. Gonzales has a high ceiling and is currently battling for a spot on the roster against Tyler Lyons and Tim Cooney. As I have predicted before, it is my opinion that Gonzales will start with Memphis but any player embattled for a spot is always fun to watch.
My prediction for today’s appearance by Gonzales is three innings, one run, four strikeouts.
Seung-Hwang Oh and Miguel Socolovich are available in the pen today and I suspect we will get to see each one of them for a minimum of one inning. It would not surprise me to see Socolovich serve as closer.
Having already faced the Marlins this spring, and defeated them (see my fishing with bats article), I predict that today’s contest will have similar results. I feel that this lineup has a strong possibility of pop but Wei-Yin Chen is no pitiful pitcher. If we see pop from this lineup, it might likely need to come later in the game as it did against the Marlins before. I predict, however, at least two runs scored against Chen.
My final score prediction: 4-3, Cardinals.
I am so excited for this game. I love Cardinals baseball and love watching it on television and marveling at the abilities of players I adore. Today will be the first of many, many to come.
Before wrapping things entirely, let’s admit that while we were all excited for Holliday at first, we need to pump the brakes a little until we get to see what he is able to do. Should he have a strong showing in spring, then we can start to get excited. Will he appear many times at first this season? I don’t really see it but I like having the option and I feel that is exactly what Mike Matheny is hoping to have: options.
I cannot wait to watch today’s game. I may even record it and watch it several times overnight. If you’d like to join in on the fun, watch the game yourself, follow Redbird Rants on Twitter, and- heck- follow me on Twitter. I’m sure we will all have much to say about today’s game!