09/23/2002 7:23 pm ET
MLBeat: Renteria returns
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- The mass resting of regulars in advance of the playoffs hasn't begun for the Cardinals. And it
Once again, the vast majority of St. Louis' everyday players
took the field on Monday against the Diamondbacks. Scott Rolen was held out for a
second straight day, with Albert Pujols taking his place at third and Eli
Marrero playing left field. The good news was the return of Edgar Renteria, who
has been nursing a sore back.
Renteria's return is especially welcome since he's been tattooing the baseball
in September. He's batting .339 with seven extra-base hits in 59 at-bats on the
Manager Tony La Russa said that Rolen is not suffering from any serious ailment,
but that it's best to hold out the All-Star third baseman for the time being. He
said that Rolen might be available to pinch-hit.
"Obviously if he was 100 percent he'd be out there," La Russa said. "He wasn't
[available] yesterday. He [would be] available if we were playing for the
pennant. But since you're trying to get him well, it's not wise to send him out
Brenly impressed with Cardinals: Arizona manager Bob Brenly likes what
he's seen of St. Louis so far. He hasn't been able to watch his likely
first-round playoff opponent all that much, but he knows that the Cardinals can
"Just judging from what we've read and what we've seen, I'll tell you, they have
an offense that can beat you one through eight," Brenly said. "They've got a lot
of different weapons. They've got some guys that can hit the ball out of the
ballpark. A lot of guys who are very good contact hitters. You don't see a
blazing base stealer, but you've got a bunch of guys that run better than
average. And I know Tony likes to use the hit-and-run a lot.
"He's got a very experienced bullpen and we know Tony loves to use that bullpen,
play the matchups. In that respect, it seems to be a perfectly suited team for
the way Tony likes to manage."
Izzy unavailable: Closer Jason Isringhausen is not available to pitch in
Monday night's game. The Cardinals will handle him gingerly until the playoffs
start. Isringhausen has been bothered by tendinitis in his right shoulder.
"[We'll] try and get him enough appearances to where he gets out there and he's
ready for Tuesday [when the playoffs start]," La Russa said. "I'd say two. Three
Ankiel shut down: The manager said that left-hander Rick Ankiel will not
pitch in winter league this year. Ankiel has not pitched in a competitive game
since early in Spring Training. Since then he has been bothered by a sore left
Rotation set, sort of: Only one question mark remains in the St. Louis
regular season rotation. Andy Benes will start Tuesday against Arizona, followed
by Jamey Wright in the series finale on Wednesday afternoon. Then it's Matt
Morris in the opener of the season-ending series against Milwaukee, Jason
Simontacchi on Friday and Chuck Finley on Saturday. Sunday's starter will likely
be either Benes or Wright.
Fantasy Edge: Steve Kline and Dave Veres are the likeliest candidates to
get any saves on nights when Isringhausen is unavailable. Isringhausen will
quite surely not pitch on back-to-back nights again before the playoffs.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This
report was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.