Day 5: ‘Bird Seed
Wrapping up after another soggy day here in Jupiter, where rain and the temperatures continue to fall. Certainly those of you still enduring winter somewhere north or here won’t have any sympathy for all of us in southern Florida, but the conditions have been less-than-ideal for the Cardinals as they try to maximize their workouts.
Here are some news, notes and observations from Friday, the team’s first full-squad workout day:
- For the second straight day, the schedule had to be altered due to rain. Batting practice was moved indoors and on-field work was limited. Pitchers were able to throw off the mound. A total of 13 pitchers had bullpen sessions: Adam Wainwright, Joe Kelly, Jorge Rondon, Lance Lynn, Eduardo Sanchez, Keith Butler, Jake Westbrook, Victor Marte, John Gast, Edward Mujica, Fernando Salas, Barret Browning and Maikel Cleto.
- Personally, I found the highlight of the workout to be the bunting competition, which took place over on the 1/2 field of the complex. All the pitchers were divided into two groups and gained “points” by laying down a bunt that came to a stop within a certain boundary line. Each pitcher had a $10 participation fee and the pool of money was to be split by the first- and second-place finishers. The pitchers tallied points on 10 attempts, with the top five then advancing to the finals. In the first group, Trevor Rosenthal, Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs, Tyler Lyons and Michael Blazek were the finalist. Rosenthal won the competition with a perfect 5-for-5 final round. In the second group, Mujica, Marte, Salas, Gast and Browning advanced. Marte and Salas tied in the finals, but Marte took the bunt-off for the title.
- Willie McGee was in camp today and helped out with some outfield instruction. Jim Edmonds was also in uniform.
- The only two players still not in camp are right-hander Carlos Martinez and infielder Ronny Cedeno. Manager Mike Matheny mentioned that there was a possibility that Cedeno will arrive in Saturday. If you haven’t noticed, a number of players coming from the Dominican Republic (like Martinez) have had visa issues across baseball.
- The focus of today’s feature on cardinals.com is Rafael Furcal, who is certainly showing a lot of optimism regarding his now-healed right elbow. Furcal says he has no limitations, but that isn’t going to stop the Cardinals from bringing him along slowly this spring. Read more about Furcal’s spring plan here.
- In case you missed it on the main cardinals.com site, here is a short piece in which Hank Aaron talks about his memories of Stan Musial.
- Speaking of Musial, the Cardinals began an online auction of six St. Louis Blues ‘Musial 6’ jerseys that were worn by the Blues a week after Musial died. The auction will last 10 days and you can find it here.
- Top prospect Oscar Taveras stirred up a little surprise today when he, unsolicited, mentioned the possibility of playing for Team Canada in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Taveras, though he lives in the Dominican Republic, also has citizenship in Canada. He lived there during parts of his childhood. The Cardinals, at the time of Taveras’ comments, were not aware about the possibility of Taveras participating in the Classic and would likely prefer he not. The organization wants him to be around for his first taste of Major League camp. You can read more about Taveras in today’s cardinals.com notebook.
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