Day 4: ‘Bird Seed
After enjoying several days of sunny skies and ideal temperatures, the Cardinals had their workouts on Thursday interrupted by rain. Lots of rain. That eliminated the Cardinals’ ability to take the field for any fielding work. (Puddles had formed in several places). But rain didn’t initiate an off day. Rather, manager Mike Matheny improvised. (More on that below.)
While it rained, the Cardinals held a press conference to announce that GM John Mozeliak had signed a three-year contract extension and that the 2014 club option on Matheny’s contract had been exercised. You can read all about that contract news by clicking this link.
Here are some highlights from the rest of the day:
- Since pitchers were limited in what they could do, Matheny had them gather in the batting cages for an extended bunting session that lasted about 45 minutes. Bunting is going to be a priority all spring long.
- The 14 pitchers who were scheduled to throw off the mound today still did. It was just done in the cages. The pitchers that fell in this category included: Mitchell Boggs, Eric Fornataro, Michael Blazek, Jason Motte, Trevor Rosenthal, Shelby Miller, Michael Wacha, Jaime Garcia, Sam Freeman, Seth Maness, Randy Choate, Marc Rzepczynski, Kevin Siegrest and Tyler Lyons.
- The other set of pitchers (those who threw off the mound on Wednesday) were scheduled to do some light long-toss today. They waited until the weather cleared enough so they could complete this work outside.
- Former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa made a stop in camp today — though he was here for business. La Russa continues to work for MLB and he is part of a group hitting all the Spring Training facilities to discuss rule changes with coaching staffs.
- Here’s some contrast: Jon Jay arrived in camp today after making the quick drive from his Miami-area home. Kolten Wong was in camp today following his 14-hour travel experience from Hawaii.
- Speaking of position players, Rafael Furcal was among the new faces on Thursday. Position players have to be in town by the end of the day on Thursday. The team’s first full-squad workout is scheduled for Friday, though more rain is in the forecast.
- Matt Holliday made his first stop in camp on Thursday afternoon, after much of the day’s activity had wrapped up.
- Carlos Martinez and Ronny Cedeno continue to be held up by visa issues. Neither is expected to be here Friday.
- Mitchell Boggs said he won’t be able to wear his No. 41 for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic due to seniority reasons. It’s the same number that Classic teammate Jeremy Affeldt wears, and Boggs said he’ll gladly hand the number over to Affeldt, who has more service time. Boggs expects to wear No. 33 instead.
- For those of you in southeast Missouri (or the surrounding area) who wonder what my voice sounds like, perhaps you’d be interested in this (small) piece of news.
- And for those fans of Lance Berkman, here is a story on MLB.com about his outlook for 2013.
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