Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards Notes: Matheny Readies for All-Star Decisions

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards Notes: Matheny Readies for All-Star Decisions

Article excerpt

There is a good chance that Cardinals manager Mike Matheny will at least take a battery with him to Minneapolis for this year's All- Star Game. What other Cardinals accompany likely All-Stars Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright could be in Matheny's hands as he shapes the roster for the National League.

That job has given him a new view of the statistics.

"I've been looking at them different all season long, watching guys and keeping track of some of the seasons the players are having," Matheny said. "It's a great challenge to do what's right for each individual and each club and I'm looking forward to that challenge."

The first report of current NL voting was released Wednesday by Major League Baseball, and Yadier Molina leads all NL catchers with 640,464 votes. The next-closest catcher, San Francisco's Buster Posey, is 200,000 behind. The only other Cardinal to crack the top vote-getters at his position is Matt Holliday, who is 11th in the outfield.

Voting continues through June. Cardinals' votes will rise with more home dates.

Matheny made invitations to two NL managers this past winter to join the All-Star staff, though their names have not been made public. Matheny said he wanted some All-Star experience on his staff. For example, Clint Hurdle, whose Pirates the Cardinals ousted in the division series, managed the NL in the 2008 All-Star Game.

Each league will have a 34-man roster, with eight NL starters being elected by the fan vote. A player vote helps determine some of the pitchers, like Wainwright, who make the team and the reserve position players. The actual picks selected by the manager once he assures all 15 teams have a representative can be minimal. The fans will choose the 34th player from a group selected by the manager.

Matheny allowed that he'll have some latitude to choose a setup man instead of a closer if the setup man serves a role and has the numbers that elevate him above a closer. His own righty, reliever Pat Neshek, a Twin Cities native, leads all NL relievers with a 0.57 WHIP and has 20 consecutive scoreless appearances.

"For the obvious reason that we do want to win this game and everybody who is going to be involved in this game believes it could affect them hopefully (in October)," Matheny said. …

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