The Morning After STL

Rick Hummel Talks Jaime Garcia, Peter Bourjos and Spring Training Surprises

Brendan Marks, Fri, 20 Mar 2015 16:27:00 GMT

Hall-of-Fame baseball writer Rick Hummel, who will provide Cardinal coverage for CBS Sports 920 and for the 2015 season, made his debut on The Ryan Kelley Morning After Friday.

the commish discussed the battle for the fifth spot in the rotation, the status of peter bourjos and young players who could potentially make the opening day roster.

Listen to the whole segment below. Here are some transcribed major talking points:

Concerned with having your reputation take a hit by joining the station?

“Hugely so, but you guys are friends of mine.”

Will Jaime Garcia be the fifth starter?

“I still say it’s (Carlos) Martinez right now. Garcia is getting closer, that’s for sure. Even though he had a lot of strikeouts, he threw a lot of pitches. His stuff is great, though. I’d want to see a little more before I make that determination.”

More on rotation battle:

“This time around (comparted to last year, Carlos Martinez had to lost the spot) for someone else to win it. Garcia has to beat everybody out to win it. I think (Marco Gonzales) is not in this picture right now with Garcia pitching so well. I get this distinct feeling that Gonzaels will be starting this season in Memphis just because they want him to keep pitching.”

If Martinez does win job, what do they do with Jaime?

“If he continues to (pitch like this), he’ll be starting in St. Louis. He’s making $9 million. There’s an investment here. He still has the best stuff on the staff when he’s healthy. But can he stay healthy for 20 or 30 starts? That’s the question.

On Bourjos’ struggles:

“He looked a lot better yesterday. I want to see some continued games like that. I think he belongs on this team if he can hit something. You can’t steal second base unless you can steal first. He had one hit before yesterday. He’s a great defensive player. I’d hang with him all the way to the end. I wouldn’t give him away.”

Hummel said Garcia has the best “stuff” of any pitcher on the roster:

“I think everybody on this staff will tell you the same thing. They watch the hitters swing.”

Any pleasant suprises this spring?

“I think the biggest surprise, I would say, is Mitch Harris, the 29-year-old Naval Academy grad. He’s throwing harder than he ever did. He projects as a relief pitcher, maybe a set-up guy. He’s made huge leaps and bounds. Jacob Wilson, an infielder, hit .300 (between single A and double A last year). He’s like a right-handed Descalso with the ability to play all the infield positions but is not a great shortstop. Pretty good pop in his bat.”

Hummel talked more about the Cardinals on The Morning After. Here’s the whole segment:

Rick Hummel Talks Cardinals on The Morning After