The Cards and Mets play to a 6-6 tie on a very hot day at Digital Domain Park

The Cards and Mets play to a 6-6 tie on a very hot day at Digital Domain Park

Credit: Getty Images

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 24: Jon Jay #15 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses for a portrait during Photo Day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 24, 2011 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jon Jay

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by Brian Feldman / BaseballSTL

KMOV.com

Posted on March 24, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Updated Saturday, Mar 24 at 6:13 PM

(BaseballStL) -- Lance Lynn went 4.2 innings, giving up 4 runs (3 earned) on 3 hits.  He walked 2 and struck out 1.  All of the runs were scored on home runs.  Overall, Lynn was decent except for one pitch.  The home run by Ike Davis in the 1st inning was a cutter that didn't cut and Lynn says it was simply a bad pitch.  The home run by Duda later on, he says, was a good pitch that was just hit out of the park.  Lynn claims on those situations you just tip your cap to the hitter and move on.  I talked to Yadier Molina after the game and he said Lynn's curveball isn't getting down in the zone enough so that's something to look at for the future.  He does say he likes Lynn's stuff and firmly believes that he is capable of filling in for Chris Carpenter while he's out.  But, clearly, Lance Lynn is still sharpening some pitches that he didn't use in the bullpen but now needs that he's in the rotation.  But that's natural.

-- Jon Jay had probably his best day of spring training by going 2-3 with a couple RBIs and a run scored.  That boosts his meaningless spring average to .262 for March.  Jay has typically had a terrific spring but for some reason this year he hasn't seen the ball drop for hits as much this year.  Jay is at the point, though, where he doesn't need to prove anything to anyone and has a spot not only on the roster...but in the starting lineup...sewed up.  He's the starting center fielder with no one really else capable of handling that spot full time.  Skip Schumaker is injured for several weeks while Carlos Beltran is a part-time CF at best because the team doesn't want to wear him down too much.  The key for Jay is going to be sustaining his production late in the season.  The last two years he's tailed off towards the end.  His rookie year in 2010 it started in the season's second half.  Last year in 2011 it happened in the playoffs.  Either way, it may not necessarily be a trend (could be simply a fluke) but it's something to keep an eye on.  Also...can Jay walk more this year?  His OBP has never been terribly great despite hitting around .300 consistently.  A good batting average is nice...but if you're not walking terribly much it doesn't mean a lot.  That's called empty average.  You're either a top of the order guy or a middle of the order guy.  If you're the former...you need a high on-base percentage.  If you're the latter...you need to hit for power AND get on base.  Jay's never been a home run hitter so for him it's about getting on base.  He hits very well but he needs to walk a little more.  If Jay could get his OBP up to, say, .400 this season that would make him infinitely more valuable.

-- J.C. Romero walked 3 guys, gave up 2 runs (though just one was earned) and allowed a hit in his one inning.  Now, his spring training average is only at 2.35 so he's done very well but this was not a good day for him.  I would think that Romero is a lock to make the team because there really is no one else that can supplant him as the second lefty in the bullpen.  In previous years there's been a little bit more competition for that role but not this year.  There's Mark Rzepczysnki, J.C. Romero...and no one else.  Sam Freeman very possibly will be ready for the majors at some point this year.  So if Romero starts to struggle at any point in time...Freeman could be his competition.

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