Chris Carpenter takes Brendan Ryan to the woodshed

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When your ace is on the hill and the team you’re chasing in the standings is coming up to bat in the first inning, you had best be ready to go. It’s a lesson Cardinals’ shortstop Brendan Ryan won’t soon forget:

Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter confronted shortstop Brendan Ryan in the dugout on Monday for not being ready for the start of the game.

Carpenter had to wait for Ryan to take his position, then get the correct glove, before beginning the bottom of the first inning.

After the inning, Carpenter asked Ryan to join him in the tunnel adjacent to the St. Louis dugout. Television cameras showed Carpenter speaking sternly to Ryan, with Ryan staring back at Carpenter, then nodding at the end of the discussion.

Later, when Ryan misplayed a ball, Carpenter yelled from the mound, though not directly at Ryan. According to the Sporting News, Ryan did not talk to the media after the game.

If only there was someone on the Reds who could give a talking to their screwup middle infielder . . .

Kyle Seager is in The Best Shape of His Life

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Kyle Seager had the worst year of his big league career in 2018. He hit .221/.273/.400 (86 OPS+) and saw his home run total decline for the second straight year. In response, Seager has reported back to camp in Peoria . . . in the best shape of his life.

This story about it in the Seattle Times has it all: the poor production and nagging injuries that led to a change of habits in the offseason. A new diet, new exercise routines, a focus on flexibility, the epiphany that an injury was the result of conditioning and, as the payoff, the scene on the first day of workouts when his uniform was too baggy and he had to get a new one.

The proof, of course, will not come from the eating, but in the production.