The number of coaches on hand is pretty much the same as in minor league spring training camp, however they have only 41 players with whom to focus. As a result, I witnessed a noticeably higher level of hands-on activity than normal.
The activities are very similar to spring training with drills and such in the morning with a 1:00 P.M. game. Though the Marlins' mini-camp has ended, the Mets are still underway. Still, the Cardinals have about two camp days for every one in which they play one of the other two organizations.
That is fine with me as I was able to see twice as many Cardinals prospects in action on Tuesday. In the camp day game, Mike Shildt's "A" team took on Oliver Marmol's "B" squad. (Players also participate in many drills following those designations.)
In fact, I received an extra treat, as Nick Additon pitched three innings for the "A" team, allowing one run. The left-hander told me he was getting tuned up for his camp in Arizona starting later this week. That is where the Mazatlan Venados of the Mexican Pacific League will be assembling to prepare for their winter ball season.
The seven Arizona Fall League players also spent their final day in Jupiter on Tuesday. They too are on their way to Arizona, but their destination is the camp of the Surprise Scorpions of the AFL.
Two of the Cards' three AFL hurlers made mound appearances in Tuesday's camp game. Seth Blair started for the "B" club and went three innings, also yielding a single tally. He was followed by a single scoreless frame from Boone Whiting.
|Team A||Team B|
Not only did Shildt have 10 hitters, he deployed twin designated hitters. Later in the game, Steve Bean came in behind the plate and Charlie Tilson moved to center field. It was good to see the latter being ready to play in the field. In fact, Tilson ran the bases well, collecting at least one stolen base.
"A" team pitcher Victor De Leon came in for the fourth, serving up a screamer off the bat of Carson Kelly. The ball was a line drive into the wind that cleared the left-field wall down the line with a runner on base.
Juan Perez and Dail Villanueva took the mound next, with the latter hitting 92 mph on a scout's gun. Against Villanueva in the top of the seventh, Kenny Peoples-Walls' RBI single plated Adam Ehrlich to extend the "B" lead back to two runs. Villanueva allowed two more runners into scoring position before collecting two swinging strikeouts and balls in the dirt to end the inning
Lefty Dewin Perez, new to the US, took over in the bottom of the inning. He seemed to max out at 88-89 with off-speed offerings as slow as 72. Perez eventually allowed a Young sacrifice fly that scored Cesar Valera as the "A" club closed the gap to 4-3.
Ronnie Shaban pitched a scoreless top of the eighth, throwing 91-93. His teammates tied the game in the bottom of the frame off Perez. Patrick Wisdom knocked a leadoff double off the fence in left, followed by Colin Walsh doing the same in left-center.
With Shaban on the mound to start the ninth, heavy rain brought the game to an early end.
(Note: While I am taking a goodly supply of photos, the impending site change here at Scout.com/FOX Sports NEXT means we will all be better off if I wait to post them until after the migration.)
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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