Day 11: ‘Bird Seed

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

If you’re looking for the news that came out of Cardinals camp on Thursday, let me direct you to the notebook (link is here), which has health updates on Shelby Miller and Rafael Furcal. There is much more detail about both players in that story than I am going to put here on the blog.

Miller’s shoulder situation does not appear to be reason for alarm, given that he threw off flat ground today and expects to take the mound tomorrow. Be cautious in assuming the worst, which I saw many of you did yesterday when the Miller news was first reported. As of now, the shoulder issue is something that the Cardinals characterize as minor, that Miller characterizes as minor, and there seems no reason to suspect it’s not.

Furcal, however, represents an entirely different situation. He came out today and said that his elbow is hurting him “a lot” when he throws. That’s a stronger assessment than those he’s given (at least to me) in recent days. Furcal did not swing from the left side today, and he continues to throw at much-less-than-max effort. The issue has moved from the ligament to a bone spur, and despite the organization’s optimism that Furcal will be ready come Opening Day, it’s hard to consider that anything close to a certainty at this point.

The Cardinals would like to get Furcal involved in Grapefruit League games sometime in the near future, if even as a DH. When that will be, remains up in the air.

While you are snowed in back in St. Louis (be safe!), here is some additional reading material:

  • It was a heavy day for live batting practice, with 10 pitchers participating. The group included: Lance Lynn, Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs, Fernando Salas, Tyler Lyons, Seth Maness, Sam Freeman, Michael Blazek, Eric Fornataro and Kevin Siegrest.
  • Joe Kelly, Edward Mujica and John Gast threw side sessions.
  • Manager Mike Matheny announced that Gast and Lyons — both of whom pitched in Triple-A for much of the 2012 season — will be the team’s first two pitchers against the Red Sox on Sunday.
  • Adam Wainwright has been named Monday’s starter. If you track out his schedule — based on having him pitch every five days — Wainwright’s spot falls on April 1. That just so happens to be Opening Day vs. Arizona. While Wainwright hasn’t been named the team’s Opening Day starter, it’s hard to imagine that responsibility falling on anyone else.
  • Pitchers, infielders and outfielders all shared a field for a short time on Thursday to work on cut offs and relays. Various other defensive drills took place before position players broke up to go hit in groups.
  • Most players were off the field by 12:30 p.m. ET, making this one of the shorter workout days this week. If Matheny opts to insert some sort of simulated game tomorrow, the workout schedule will be adjusted again.
  • Some of you have asked about defensive assignments for particular players, so here are a few notes regarding that. Ty Wigginton is expected to get most of his work at the corner infield spots. He will, though, be an option for right and left field, too. Oscar Taveras will move across the outfield, and even though he may not profile as a center fielder in the long-term, Taveras will get work there under the expectation that it will help him become a better corner outfielder. Daniel Descalso and Matt Carpenter will get a little work at other infield positions, but both will continue to keep their concentration at second base.
  • The Cardinals have scheduled a “B” game against the Marlins on Feb. 28 at 10 am ET. The game will be played on the back fields of the Roger Dean complex, meaning that fans can stop by to catch the action for free.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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