Cards spring news from Jupiter: 03/16/13

Brian Walton's Saturday notes from St. Louis Cardinals spring training camp in Jupiter, Florida.

I wanted to talk with Trevor Rosenthal Saturday morning, but I decided not to disturb him. His clubhouse stall is next to closer Jason Motte. About the time I was ready to approach Trevor, Hall of Fame closer Bruce Sutter plopped down on the stool next to Motte (with catcher Rob Johnson on the other side). Rosenthal did not say anything, but he leaned forward to take in every word Sutter was saying.

At 9:25 A.M., Mitchell Boggs came walking across the parking lot on his way back into the clubhouse. He and his USA teammates' World Baseball Classic title hopes ended Friday night with a loss to Puerto Rico. Manager Mike Matheny plans to get Boggs into game action "soon," perhaps on Sunday. While Boggs only pitched a total of 1 1/3 innings in the WBC, Matheny noted he also threw "two strong sides."

Allen Craig is making his first start of the spring in right field Saturday, with Matt Adams at first. Matheny suggested that it would be "a little bit of a break" for Craig to play in the outfield and noted that Carlos Beltran will need regular rest this season.

Speaking of Beltran and Molina, their Puerto Rican team advances in the World Baseball Classic. Matheny noted the two will need a break from playing when they eventually return to camp. "I look forward to having our guys back," the manager said. "It is hard not to be selfish." Matheny noted the young pitchers are the ones losing the most by Molina being gone.

Lefty Marc Rzepczynski is scheduled to make his first post-eye injury appearance on Saturday. The manager noted his "last couple of sides were strong."

Through the courtesy of photographer extraordinaire Scott Rovak, I offer photographic evidence of this reporter hard at work.

Minor league news

An interesting story about how Vance Albitz became a Cardinal. The New York-Penn League team suddenly needed a shortstop with just a few weeks remaining in the 2011 season. Farm director John Vuch sent out an "APB" and then-Cards analytics guru Sig Mejdal identified Albitz, then playing for Lincoln in the independent American Association. Scout Jeff Ishii had scouted Albitz in college and was favorable, so Albitz was signed. Stats and scouts coming together!

Minor league starting lineups from Saturday

Four games are scheduled on Saturday's camp day, with Memphis and Springfield facing off on Field 2 and Palm Beach and Peoria 1 playing on Field 5. Note that Peoria 1 is playing with two designated hitters, with the intent to get players extra game at-bats. The Peoria 2 players will do extra work during the games on Field 3.

Note that some pitchers are now getting stretched out to three innings.

Memphis Pos Springfield Pos
Pham  8 Gil 6
Stanley 2 Melker 7
Scruggs  3 Wisdom 5
Romak 9 Piscotty 9
Edmondson 7 A Garcia DH
Curtis 5 Ramsey 8
Walsh DH Stienstra 3
S Rodriguez 4 Rasmus 2
Albitz 6 Lu Mateo 4
Additon 3 P Gaviglio 3 P
Greenwood 2 Melling 3
Stoppelman 2
Palm Beach  Pos Peoria  Pos
Vargas 4 Tilson 8
Mejia 6 Jeffries DH
Kelly 5 Bryant DH
R De La Cruz 7 Washington 3
Popkins 9 Swinson 9
Walton DH Popkins 7
Ehrlich 2 L Perez 4
Schaffer 3 Wick  2
McElroy 8 Le Mateo 4
Harris 2 P Melchionda  5
Sabatino 2 Villanueva 2 P
Aldrete 2 C Thomas 2
Wittels 2

Selected velocities from selected pitchers

Pitcher Fb Other pitches Notes
Gaviglio 90 Escaped bases-loaded 
Helisek 89 70-71
Harris 84-86 Up 3 MPH from last outing
Greenwood 87-88 74-78
Melling 88-89 78 changeup Lot of pitches, but bases-loaded K
Aldrete 91-93 Charged with sun-aided double
Stoppelman 89-90 80
Scanio 87-88 A bit of a slinger

My miscellaneous musings

Carson Kelly hit a home run with two on base deep to left into the wind. The victim was Kyle Helisek… Later in the game, Charlie Tilson tripled to the same area of the park off Steve Sabatino. The pitcher later picked another runner off first… There was some buzz when Alex Mejia was timed at 4.28 seconds to first… Rowan Wick had a long double to center which was lost in the sun… Tyler Melling got into a bases-loaded jam, but escaped with a strikeout. Earlier, Sam Gavigio got out of a similar jam with a Starlin Rodriguez popout… C.J. McElroy's left-handed hitting experiment continues. Today, he fanned against Joe Scanio…

Cardinals owners will be traveling to Jupiter for the annual spring organizational meetings early next week... Among those on the back fields on Saturday were Cardinals director of amateur scouting Dan Kantrovitz. Working hard in preparation for the 2013 draft, Kantrovitz said overall talent in Florida is down this spring...

Remember to check The Cardinal Nation Blog in the evenings for the day's minor league stats and notes.

Link to Friday's spring training news from Jupiter
Link to Thursday's spring training news from Jupiter
Link to Wednesday's spring training news from Jupiter
Link to working rosters as of 3/14
Link to spring training game schedules

More to come this week and next...

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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