Cards spring news from Jupiter: 03/20/14

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

Thursday brings the promise of another sunny and comfortable day in Jupiter, Florida.

Thursday perks
Two minor leaguers will be available to pitch for the big league club today – righty Logan Billbrough and lefty Dean Kiekhefer.

Friday matchup
The Cardinals will face the Nationals in Jupiter on Friday. Adam Wainwright will start for St. Louis, followed by Randy Choate, Seth Maness, Sam Freeman and Pat Neshek.

Aledmys Diaz status
The Cardinals' newly-signed infielder is listed in hitting group 4 with Shane Robinson, Luis Mateo and Xavier Scruggs. However, as of 9 AM, Diaz was not visible in the clubhouse. We should get an update from Mike Matheny shortly.

Update: Matheny said Diaz is returning Thursday and will be available Friday. The manager did not commit that Diaz will start, but said it is highly likely that we will see him during Friday's game.

Clubhouse shift
As players were sent down/optioned out, the far corners of the clubhouse were getting sparsely populated. Overnight, the attendants condensed the stalls for the remaining NRIs and younger players together on one wall.

Final relief spot
When asked if he could open the season with three left-handed pitchers in the bullpen, Matheny said, "I would not rule it out." Obviously, it was a reference to Sam Freeman's chances.

Jorge Rondon received praise from the manager, who said the right-hander has really taken to a "simplified approach" presented to him by the coaches. With Keith Butler having struggled recently, the final pen spot could be down to those two - Freeman and Butler.

Matheny also said any of the candidates are capable of playing a multi-inning role if needed.

More cuts
The manager said he expects the opening day 25-man roster to be set by the time the club travels to Memphis for its March 28 exhibition game. Between now and then, the timing of cuts will occur when players are not getting enough playing time. He specifically mentioned middle infield as an example, while noting there is still a lot of benefit for those players remaining in major league camp.

Stienstra injury
First baseman Danny Stienstra, who had been working with Springfield, is dealing with an ongoing toe condition. It is not expected to be serious, but the 25-year-old has been moved to the rehab list.

Ringo, Shaffer benefit
A very wise man once said, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." So it was with Stienstra's injury. Justin Ringo moved from Palm Beach to Springfield and Jeremy Shaffer from Peoria 1 to Palm Beach as a result. Luke Voit is currently listed as the only first baseman on Peoria 1.

Brady bows out
The organization has released pitcher Brady Adamek, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound right-hander. By way of Neosho County Community College and Oakland (Michigan) University, the Colorado native signed a free agent deal with the Cardinals last January and made his professional debut in extended spring training.

Had he not tweaked his back in May, the 23-year-old would have joined Peoria sooner than the start of July. Adamek, who appeared briefly with Palm Beach and State College in addition to the Class-A Chiefs, posted a 1.70 ERA in 37 innings over 24 appearances. He fanned 36 and walked 16 in what became his only season in the organization.

Minor league starting lineups for Thursday
With a camp day, the 1 PM matchups on the Kissel Quad are Memphis-Springfield and Palm Beach-Peoria 2. The Peoria 2 group have not played in game action since Monday, while Peoria 1 played in each of the last two days. Today's games are scheduled for six innings.

At this point, I have only one starting lineup, but the entire pitching schedule follows. I will add other lineups during the day if/as I get them.

Memphis Pos Springfield Pos
O'Neill 7 Tilson 8
Ortega 8 Valera 6
Wisdom 5 Wilson 5
Ramsey 9 Popkins DH
J Rodriguez 3 Rodriguez 7
Melker DH Walsh 4
Curtis 4 Longmire 9
Stanley 2 Ringo 3
Miclat 6 Ehrlich 2
    Caldwell EH
Pitchers   Innings/pitches  
Blair 3/45 Cooney 3/45
Jones 2/35 Ferrara 3/45
Baker 1/25    
Side sessions      
Memphis   Springfield  
Whiting   Helisek  

Palm Beach Pos Peoria 2 Pos  
Martini 8 Gil 8  
Ramos 9 Sosa 6  
R Castillo 7 Godoy DH  
Shaffer 3 Ustariz 3  
Kelly DH Wiley EH  
Rosenberg 2 Rivera 4  
Valera 6 Garcia 5  
Schulze 4 E Rodriguez 2  
Vargas 5 Bautista 9  
    Asbury-Heath 7  
Pitchers   Innings/pitches    
Alex Reyes 3/45 Brookshire 3/45  
B Lee 1/25 Herget 2/35  
Gerdel 1/25 C Thomas 1/25  
Side sessions        
Palm Beach   Peoria 2   Peoria 1
Petree   Escudero   Kaminsky
Reed       Ar Reyes

Velo time
Velocities from some of Thursday's pitchers.

Pitcher Fb Other Ps Notes
Brookshire 90 Slider 84  
Cooney 90-91 Sl 84-85, C/up 82  
Blair 89-91 C/up 79-83, Sl 82 Touched 93
Al Reyes 95-96 CB 76  
Herget 90-92 CB 76, C/up 81  
Ferrara 87-89 C/up 76-77  
Gerdel 88-89    
Jones 89-92 CB 77, Sl 81  
C Thomas 89-90 CB 72-73  
Baker 89-91 Sl 82-83, C/up 78-79  

My miscellaneous musings

My in-game comments from the back fields.

Right-hander Alex Reyes, still just 19 years of age, drew the most attention of the day. Our number seven Cards prospect threw 95-96 with what seemed to be ease and added a 76 mph curve. I did see Edmundo Sosa leg out an infield hit against him and I believe Reyes allowed a run later.

Many, including myself, have commented that Memphis should have a good offense this season. Based on what I saw today, the defense should be fine, too. Among the top plays were a diving stop and toss to the pitcher covering by first baseman Jonathan Rodriguez. Mike O'Neill made a tough running catch in left. James Ramsey may have made the play of the day on a running catch in deep right made while running with his back to the plate.

I have said it many times before, but I love the triple. Today, it was Charlie Tilson showing his wheels. Bruce Caldwell also added a run-scoring triple into the right field corner, scoring a sliding Adam Ehrlich.

Patrick Wisdom plated two with a ringing double that hit the base of the left field fence. Earlier, Cody Stanley hit a ball to the same spot, but it was pulled in by Starlin Rodriguez. The catcher did collect an RBI single to right in a later at-bat. A Colin Walsh single and fielding error at third led to two more scores.


Working rosters for all five groupings were posted in a separate article Tuesday morning.

Links to earlier editions of my spring training news from Jupiter on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

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

More to come this week...

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

© 2014 The Cardinal Nation, and All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories