Cards extended spring training news: 05/03/12

Brian Walton's Thursday report from St. Louis Cardinals extended spring training camp in Jupiter, Florida.

It is a much different experience in the St. Louis Cardinals complex in Jupiter, Florida in May than during the hustle and bustle of March. Still, over 100 players are in and around the facility between the Florida State League Palm Beach Cardinals and the extended spring training camp, being held on the back fields of the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

There were four more experienced players I had expected to see in extended camp but did not – Mark Hamilton, Aaron Luna, Steven Hill and Kevin Siegrist. In three of the cases, it is due to good news.

Siegrist has rejoined Palm Beach and will be activated once his turn in the rotation is reached. Though not decided yet, Chris Corrigan was the starter added when Siegrist was injured and could move back to the pen – unless another injury occurs in the interim. Then again, after Corrigan threw six innings of masterful one-hit ball on Thursday afternoon, the decision may be tougher.

Hamilton and Hill are both about ready to be activated. In fact, Hill, slowed by plantar fascitis, came off Memphis' disabled list on Thursday. Hamilton may be join him as soon as this weekend. The resulting moves could strengthen the Springfield lineup as well. From a personal perspective, however, a job or two could be lost in the process.

Luna, on the other hand, is not close to returning. The Memphis outfielder may be out for another four-to-six weeks, in fact. He has been slowed by a foot injury.

In the morning, Palm Beach second baseman Starlin Rodriguez was running sprints under the watchful eye of team trainer Manabu Kuwazuru. To my untrained eye, it appears good progress is being made from his hamstring injury.

Springfield's Scott McGregor, coming back from Tommy John surgery, is among the rehabbing pitchers that may be close to rejoining their clubs. I consider that good news as I had mistakenly thought his previous injury had been with his shoulder.

On the other hand, Tyler Mills is not so fortunate. The right-hander felt something in his elbow while throwing the other day and is getting all the requisite tests. He has been moved to the EST rehab list and may not throw for six weeks.

Another player out of action is Lance Jeffries. The outfielder first injured his wrist making a diving catch in spring training, but may be back into action in a couple of weeks.

Cardinals farm director John Vuch was in attendance, with his World Champion ring proudly worn on his right hand. Like me, he began with the EST camp game at 10:00 AM (between the two Cardinals squads), then moved to the 10:30 AM Palm Beach contest in the main stadium.

Especially during the season, Vuch is seemingly always on the road. He has been in Jupiter this week and will return to St. Louis this weekend before heading to the Cardinals' Dominican academy next week.

Vuch shared with me that again in 2012, the Cardinals had the youngest opening day rosters in all of Triple-A and Double-A. Time is often needed for necessary adjustments by youngsters at new levels to start the season, he noted. Rightfully, there remains pride that the organization has been able to fill most needs from within, limiting the number of minor league free agent signings required.

Though I saw only a couple innings of EST action, here are the lineups from Thursday morning. (Yes, they use dual designated hitters!)

Red White
Manager Steve Turco Manager  Oliver Marmol
Bryant CF Tilson DH
C Valera SS Perez 2B
Stanley C Argenal DH
Keener DH Knox 1B
Patton 3B Velazco C
Bergin DH Deol LF
Washington 1B Capellan RF
Apelian LF Medina 3B
Dodd RF Barbuena SS
Vargas 2B Acevedo CF
B Martinez P Ulacio P
Y Castillo

Check back in the upcoming days for full rosters, more news, interviews, photos and much more from Jupiter, Florida.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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