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Notes: Wellemeyer's month
By Derrick Goold
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
About 54 weeks after the Cardinals fished him off the waiver wire â€” a discard from the Kansas City Royals â€” Todd Wellemeyer was voted the best pitcher in the National League for May. The righthander received the monthly award, which is voted on by reporters around the league, on Monday. Wellemeyer credited his turnaround to "consistent opportunity."
Wellemeyer went 4-0 with a 2.19 ERA, allowing 28 hits and 11 runs (nine earned) in six starts during May. Since he made his first major-league start on May 31, 2007, Wellemeyer has a 3.16 ERA, sixth best in the NL during that span.
Turning Wellemeyer into a starter was "totally (pitching coach Dave Duncan's) idea," manager Tony La Russa said. "I had nothing to do with it. Now that it's worked, I'll probably start including myself (in the credit) a lot more."
Joe Mather, a teammate of Mark Worrell's at several levels in the minor leagues, had one word for the righthander's delivery: awkward.
Worrell, promoted Sunday from Class AAA, prefers "unorthodox" to describe his mechanics. As he begins his delivery, Worrell bends over and then springs up to throw sidearm while stepping almost toward first base. It's a quirky delivery that can befuddle righthanded batters. La Russa said he wouldn't hesitate to use Worrell against lefthanded batters as well.
"In the end, his success is the ball on the edge and not the middle of the plate," La Russa said. "Just because he's new and a little strange, it won't last long if he doesn't throw strikes."
The signage above the center field hitters' backdrop at Busch Stadium was turned off for Monday night's game to avoid any technical glitches that could delay the game. "We don't want to take any chances," a Cardinals stadium official said.
During the fifth inning of Sunday's game the signage continued showing an advertisement instead of the all black it is supposed to be during play. The game was delayed 13 minutes.
Center fielder Rick Ankiel had some skid-mark scabs from his diving catch at the warning track Sunday. Ankiel's left hand was chewed up, but he didn't have trouble swinging a bat during warm-ups Monday. ... La Russa announced rookie Mike Parisi as Thursday's starter against the Nationals.