Hello, I'm looking forward to spending some time with all of you. I hope everyone understands I cannot answer every question, but I will try. Let's begin.
Hi John, I was wondering if you think it will be hard for the Cardinals to re-sign Rick Ankiel next year?
Yes, he will be a 5+ player and that simply means he will be arbitration eligible.
hi John, i think your doing a great job as the GM -- are you surprised by the great start, or did you feel we would have this great start?
We are pleased with our start, I am very happy with our starting pitching and the production from our outfielders. Skip Schumaker has done a great job in the lead-off spot.
With Yadier Molina entrenched at catcher, has there been any talk about converting Bryan Anderson to third base?
Anderson has just been promoted to Triple-A, and at this time we believe he has more value at catcher than moving him to another position.
What are the chances that Kyle Lohse receives an extension offer mid-season?
At time we are looking at the timing of this type of discussion, I would say that based on how he has pitched that at some point, we will be open to this. He has done a great job for to date.
What is happening with Matt Clement?
Matt is currently pitching in our extended program, and he is doing well, but we would like to see more arm strength, and that will take some time. Our hope is he can go out on a rehab assignment by mid-June.
What do you expect the starting rotation to look like by the end of the season?
In a perfect world, it would look like Chris Carpenter, Mark Mulder, Adam Wainwright, Joel Pineiro, and Lohse ... but we all know nothing is perfect. The fact is that Todd Wellemeyer and Braden Looper have done a great job, and we expect that to continue.
Hey John, are your kids Cardinal fans? You have got to be the coolest dad.
I'm not sure if I'm the coolest dad, but I can assure you they are huge Cardinals fans.
Hi John, I am wondering if the Cardinals are considering offering Barry Bonds anything later in the year?
We have addressed this in the past, and we do not have interest in Bonds.
Memphis has some pretty good relievers right now, any chance we see Perez, Motte, or Worrell before September?
My hope is we do not see them anytime soon, because that will mean we are healthy and everyone is pitching well. You are correct, though, in your assessment of them. All are pitching well and Motte and Perez have been averaging 95 mph!
I have any easy one for you... How do you pronounce your last name?
Mo-say-lock -- that was easy.
What's the latest on Carpenter and Mulder's return?
Start with Mulder: He is on his rehab, he had a tough outing in Memphis, but will have at least two rehab starts before we have to make a decision. Carp... knock on wood! He has had a seamless rehab to date, let's just say we are hoping for a July return.
How did it feel to take two out of three from your predecessor Walt Jocketty this week? Did the two of you talk during the series?
Walt was a friend, mentor and my boss. I wish him well, but I do realize he is in our division.
Is the baseball academy in the Dominican Republic the Cardinals' No. 1 scouting priority?
DR is part of the pipeline, and we do want to focus on that, but we also want and need to be successful in other parts of the world. We will be more aggressive in Asia as well as South America.
Does Brian Barton have "what it takes" to be an everyday player for the Cards? Looks like he would make a great leadoff man.
I believe he does. We do have to be patient with him, but he does have exciting skills.
How is Colby Rasmus progressing and do you envision him playing any in St. Louis this year?
Rasmus is off to a slow start, but we expect him to heat up as he always does. As far as when we can expect him, that will depend on his play and our needs. But I will say this: He is an exciting player that will be a very good Major League player one day.
Will Carpenter be up in Triple-A Memphis for any of his rehab?
I'm sure he will, but that will not be for another few months.
What does Joe Mather's future look like with the Cardinals? Could he be an everyday player, or do you see him more in a utility role?
Mather has a chance to be an everyday player, but you are correct in noting he can player more than one position -- right field, left field, first baseman and third baseman, and that has value.
What is the possibility of Juan Encarnicion coming back from the eye injury?
I'm sorry to say that he will not. His injury will likely result in his career ending.
What's your favorite restaurant in St. Louis?
Can't pick a favorite, but all of us here in St. Louis are lucky because we have so many choices.
What is the plan with Anthony Reyes -- will he stay in the 'pen the rest of the year?
Reyes gives us good protection, but at this time, he will remain in the 'pen.
What do you think the Cardinals' greatest need is right now?
This is a popular question, and one that is hard to answer. We are playing well, but we do need to keep an open mind on where we can improve. I have said and hear that a big bat could help, I agree but I would like to see if someone on our roster can do it first.
Do you see Pete Kozma in Palm Beach soon?
Kozma is off to a great start, and depending on the next month or so, we'll consider a promotion.
Is it an easier transition for a GM to start in the same organization rather than starting with a completely new team?
I would think so, given my past. I had a good idea of our farm system and what we needed to do at the Major League level. I feel lucky to have this opportunity, it is a privilege.
What can you share about trade talks?
Not much as it is very early in that process, however, as we get closer to July, it could be exciting.
How are you feeling about the upcoming Draft?
Jeff Luhnow and his staff are working hard, and I had a debriefing just yesterday. I'm confident we will get a good player.
On a scale of 1 to 10, just how badly do you want to crush the Cubs this weekend?
What happens with Cesar Izturis' playing time now that Brendan Ryan is up and hitting and Izturis isn't?
Izturis has done what we expected defensively; he has struggled at the plate, but in fairness, he has had some big hits. I expect that with Ryan back, Tony [La Russa] will continue to play Izturis, but I also think Tony will try to play the hot hand.
Was Kyle McClellan's progress and making the team as long a shot as it seems to us, or was he thought to be as talented a developed by the scouts?
McClellan has been great, but it is not a surprise to any of us who saw him pitch last summer. I would add that he is being challenged and he is holding up quite well. Kudos!
Who do you see as the club's No. 1 starting pitching prospect?
Chris Perez, Mitchell Boggs and Jaime Garcia all deserve consideration for that. We have a good group of arms, and we have the largest numbers of power arms... and that is great news.
Tony seems happy with the cohesiveness in the clubhouse right now. How important are considering those interpersonal elements in the work you do?
It is very important, and when you think of clubhouse culture, it was something that we wanted to address this offseason and as of today we feel it has improved.
What do you make of Glaus' lack of home run production yet high RBI total?
We are happy with his production and we will all be happy if he continues to hit doubles. He has done a good job.
What was your favorite childhood team?
Growing up in Colorado the two closest teams were KC and St. Louis and I liked both. But I will always look at the Cardinals as my favorite!
Thank you all so much! It was fun, but my time has expired. I look forward to doing this again and I appreciate all your thoughtful questions. Let's have a great weekend -- GO CARDINALS!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.