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Game Thread 7/24: Braves at Cardinals

Let's beat around the "Busch", shall we?

Earlier today, the Cardinals acquired reliever Steve Cishek from the Marlins in exchange for a minor-league pitcher, and transferred pitcher Matt Belisle to the 60-day DL. Also, the Braves have apparently traded Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson to the Mets for two minor-league pitchers.

Today's Lineups

Cameron Maybin - CF Kolten Wong - 2B
Pedro Ciriaco - 2B Matt Carpenter - 3B
Nick Markakis - RF Matt Holliday - LF
Chris Johnson - 3B Jhonny Peralta - SS
A.J. Pierzynski - C Jason Heyward - RF
Jonny Gomes - LF Yadier Molina - C
Joey Terdoslavich - 1B Randal Grichuk - CF
Andrelton Simmons - SS Mark Reynolds - 1B
Manny Banuelos - LHP Tim Cooney - LHP

Here is Baseball America's scouting report on the Cardinals' rookie lefty:

Cooney is not a pitcher who will wow evaluators with stuff, but he has three average-to-solid pitches. The tall, lithe lefty pitches with poise and brings a fastball at 88-92 mph that he spots to both sides of the plate. He has solid command of the heater and an advanced mound presence that helps the velocity play up.

He's cleaned up the changeup to where it flashes above-average and he has feel for the curveball. Inevitably, Cooney draws comparisons to Marco Gonzales, the former Gonzaga ace lefthander who reached the majors last season and might have gotten the call now save for being shut down due to soreness in his left pectoral.

More than one scout said they liked Cooney more than Gonzales, but the criticism was there was little to no projection left for Cooney. He is what he is—which is a back-end, serviceable major league starter, which still has great value in today's game.

More on Cooney from

At 76-78 MPH, Cooney mixed a change-up with sink and fade. His best off-speed pitch in this start, it featured arm action identical to the fastball. With the ability to command it well, Tim Cooney was comfortable throwing the change-up any count.

Against left-handed hitters, Cooney's primary breaking pitch was a mid-70's curveball. Featuring big, slow break, it presented as a below average pitch with the intent of keeping hitters guessing. Projecting it as a successful pitch at the MLB level is impossible given its arc and lack of sharpness.

Cooney also mixed in an 80-81 MPH slider with Frisbee action. Another below average breaking pitch, he used it in lefty/lefty match ups including a strikeout of Milwaukee outfielder Caleb Gindl. On a low-and-outside slider, the left-handed hitter swung through the pitch.

Chop the Cards! :)

 photo chopthecards.gif

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