Minor League pitchers and catchers will report on Monday, March 7, with their first workout the next day. Position players will join them on Wednesday, March 9.
The Jupiter complex offers great opportunities to get up close and personal with prospects. Most March mornings, players will be working out in preparation for 1:00 P.M. games that begin on Wednesday, March 16 and run through Sunday, April 3.
The group will work out together for six days before their first intersquad games on March 16 and 17. The first contests against external competition will be against their nearby rivals, the New York Mets, on March 18. Camp will break on Monday, April 4, in preparation for the opening of the minor league seasons on Thursday, April 7.
The Springfield club has an additional exhibition at Hammons Field against the major leaguers on Tuesday, March 29. Following the game, the Double-A team will return to Jupiter for the final week of camp as the major league Cardinals head to St. Louis.
As usual, the farmhands of the Cardinals and their cohabitants of the Jupiter complex, the Florida Marlins, face off frequently, five times. The good news is that the "road" trips are only to the Marlins' side of the minor league fields.
The Mets are the only other MLB organization remaining in the area, in Port St. Lucie, 33 miles from Jupiter. They make up the remainder of the Cardinals schedule, six days' worth of contests. As has been customary in recent years, the Mets dates are split – where the Cards' Triple-A (Memphis) and Double-A (Springfield) teams play in one location while the Single-A squads (Palm Beach and Quad Cities) compete on the other organization's fields.
Because of the odd number of teams in the area against which to compete, the Cardinals will have camp days every third day. Essentially, their Triple-A and Double-A squads will face off as will their Single-A clubs. The basic daily rotation detailed below goes Mets, Marlins, camp day, Mets, Marlins, camp day, and so on.
Note: Starting on Saturday, March 19, in all games against the Marlins, Quad Cities will be split into two squads, creating a fifth game.
The good news that comes out of the limited competition is for fans. Not a single day during spring camp will baseball not be played on the back diamonds of Roger Dean. The biggest inconvenience is that three times, observers will have to walk to the Marlins' back fields instead of the Cardinals'.
Again, every day - even on camp days - one or more of the Cardinals minor league squads will be playing in Jupiter. With the respective home plates on the Roger Dean back quads, named in honor of the departed great George Kissell, arranged in close proximity to each other like in a softball complex, one can easily move among the various games by taking just a few steps.
You never know who you'll see while there, and best of all, it is free! So, if you're interested in the Cardinals minor leaguers, make sure you catch the action this spring in Florida. You'll be glad you did!
2011 Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Schedule
(All Cardinals home games start on or about 1:00 p.m. Eastern, unless they need to make a change, in which case, they will!)
|Date||Memphis||Springfield||Palm Beach||Quad Cities|
|17-Mar||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day|
|18-Mar||@ Mets||@ Mets||vs Mets||vs Mets|
|19-Mar||(MLB split squad)||(MLB split squad)||@ Marlins||@ Marlins|
|20-Mar||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day|
|21-Mar||vs Mets||vs Mets||@ Mets||@ Mets|
|22-Mar||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins|
|23-Mar||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day|
|24-Mar||@ Mets||@ Mets||vs Mets||vs Mets|
|25-Mar||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins|
|26-Mar||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day|
|27-Mar||vs Mets||vs Mets||@ Mets||@ Mets|
|28-Mar||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins|
|29-Mar||Camp Day||vs StL in Sprf||Camp Day||Camp Day|
|30-Mar||@ Mets||@ Mets||vs Mets||vs Mets|
|31-Mar||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins|
|1-Apr||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day|
|2-Apr||vs Mets||vs Mets||@ Mets||@ Mets|
|3-Apr||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day|
|4-Apr||Break Camp||Break Camp||Break Camp||Break Camp|
(Note: Bold text indicates the club will not be in Jupiter that day.)
Link to Cardinals major league spring training schedule with games starting February 28.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Selected TCN content appears at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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