Cards Winter Warm-Up audio: Saturday, 1/18/14

11 player interviews from the St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm-Up on Saturday, January 18.

Following are selected interviews held during day one of the St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm-Up at the Hyatt Regency at the Arch on Saturday, January 18, 2014.

Daniel Descalso
The infielder was first up and pre-empted questioning by saying that he would not discuss his pending arbitration status. As reported by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the player and team are far apart at $1.65 MM and $930 K, respectively.

Descalso said he would take a short off-season any year, since it meant playing deeper. He is preparing for 2014 at all three infield positions (2B, SS, 3B) but has had no discussion with the team about his specific role. He is hitting less early in the off-season than when he was younger.

Along with three other Cardinals teammates, the California resident was married this winter, in December.
(7:36)

Adam Wainwright
Wainwright pushed his throwing program back two weeks, from January 1 until now. He did not admit fatigue at end of 2013 and does not expect to be tired in 2014. Doesn't want his mind to affect him. Will talk to Matheny and Lilliquist about spring routine, but doesn't want to change too much. Spring training is too long so maybe could skip a turn or something.

Notes that the team has a great young mix of arms coming up. Lynn tells him he is coming for him. He likes that. Enjoying where he is now. Texts the young pitchers during the winter to stay in touch. Takes his role with the team very seriously.

One bad week in October can end a season. That happens during the course of the regular season. Against the Red Sox, "We just got beat." Still feels StL would win a majority of times against them. Tips his hat to them, to a degree. Losing to Giants year before was more painful.

No regrets about Kershaw. Texted him congrats. Am "right where I want to be." Worked on a contract number that was fair to both sides. "You can't buy happiness." Wants to be in a place where there is a chance to win every year.

Adam discusses the young pitchers, including Michael Wacha and Shelby Miller. He drew special attention to Miller's entire first big league season.
(19:57)

Yadier Molina
Started his workouts last week in Jupiter and is well-rested. Regarding proposed changes to limit home plate collisions, he is "good with it."

Says his knee feels well after long season with WBC through World Series. Not disappointed to be among top three guys in MVP vote. Was "honored" to be there.
(4:50)

Seth Maness
Though he started in the minors, Maness expects to continue in the bullpen in 2014. He did not change his off-season routine, but had time to play a lot of golf at home in North Carolina.

Maness said his biggest adjustment is learning to not hold anything back. Looking back at 2013, when he came up early, remained and had considerable success as a specialist, he said it was "just a blur."
(5:08)

Oscar Taveras
Utilizing the assistance of Marissa Diaz from Cards Community Relations as a translator, the 21-year-old outfielder confirmed that doctors have checked his ankle and it is "fine," later saying it is "100 percent". He has been taking batting practice at home.

When in St. Louis on a regular basis to be checked out by doctors, he worked out with and got feedback from Matt Holliday and Trevor Rosenthal. Though he could not run, he has been doing work with weights. He plans to report to spring camp one week early, on February 10.
(9:18)

Trevor Rosenthal and Keith Butler
The current closer and the potential closer for Memphis spoke together. Regarding his role, Rosenthal joked that "they don't know I am still competing for a starting spot." He said when Mike Matheny told him he would close in 2014, his initial reaction was "Aw, dang it".

Rosenthal worked out with Matt Holliday in St. Louis a lot this off-season and looks to be in very good shape. The team defined an "strength and injury protection program" group that Taveras joined when in town.

Regarding being in the same pen with former closer Jason Motte, Rosenthal joked that "Motte will pick on me a lot."

Predictably, Butler wants to make the team and will do whatever they want him to do in Memphis that will best position him to return to St. Louis. In preparation for the 2014 season, he is working on hiding the ball better, noting some teams picked up his pitches from second base.
(11:12) (Rosenthal is the first voice, but Butler quickly follows.)

Jhonny Peralta
The new shortstop said he "had a couple of opportunities to go other places," and later clarified that they wanted him to play shortstop. Several times, Peralta acknowledged his mistake, but wants to move ahead. He wants to show people he can play, but will not try to do more than he can do.

In terms of the lineup, he noted he usually hit sixth or seventh in Detroit. The self-branded "quiet guy" was very serious in his remarks. Yadier Molina is apparently the only Cardinal he knew even a bit in advance of signing.
(8:59)

Greg Garcia
The infielder said he is taking two gloves to Florida, but may get a bigger third base glove. Garcia acknowledged his fast finish in 2013 was good, but his goal is to be more consistent. He said his early season injuries were not a factor in his performance.

His hitting approach sounds reminiscent of Stan Musial – "find a good pitch and hit it as hard as I can."
(3:50)

Kevin Siegrist
The left-handed reliever says he had a low-key off-season. Looking back at 2013 now, he called it a "Wow factor", though at the time it was just game to game. Siegrist has not given up on starting, saying it is better for his development to continue to work on all of his pitches as if a starter, though he knows he will be in the pen.

Siegrist did not feel fatigue last season, crediting veteran teammates Edward Mujica and Randy Choate in helping him learn how to be a reliever.
(3:25)

Randal Grichuk
The new acquisition from the Angels grew up an Astros fan and has a ready smile. He played with Shelby Miller on a Area Code team and faced him twice in the Midwest League – "double down the line and a strikeout," he said. Matt Holliday reached out with a welcome text after the trade.

Grichuk says power is the strongest aspect of his game due to his bat speed and quick hands. He is working on plate discipline as his biggest adjustment to Double-A. He says the Cards have told him he will play center, but will see what happens in Florida. Grichuk has played a lot in right, as well.

He called Peter Bourjos the "best centerfielder in the game." Proper pronunciation: "Grih-chuk". Nickname: "Grich".
(6:07)

Check back at The Cardinal Nation for more Winter Warm-Up content throughout the weekend and in the days that follow. Selected photos have been loaded at TheCardinalNationblog.com.



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

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