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 17, 2015.
Not included in the audio below are main tent remarks by Bill DeWitt Jr. and Bill DeWitt III. Their comments include plans for wireless access throughout Busch Stadium, targeted for the All-Star Break, and the names of the eight former players to be on the Cardinals Hall of Fame representing the “Modern Era.” More info on the latter point here.
Also, the Cardinals will wear an arm patch to remember Oscar Taveras, but it will not include his number 18 since Carlos Martinez will be wearing it as a tribute. Cardinals Care will be funding a youth baseball field in Taveras’ hometown of Sosua, DR, the elder DeWitt announced.
Peter Bourjos (7:42)
The recently-married and expectant father is now running at 100 percent following October surgery and was cleared to swing the bat Friday. The hip problem bothered him off and on for five years, but he wanted to get off anti-inflammatories.
No grand pronouncements of 40 stolen bases this year. Bourjos just wants to stay healthy.
Matt Belisle (9:49)
The reliever was “humbled and honored” by the Cardinals interest in him as a free agent and as a result, he separated teams himself. Another humbling moment was when Mike Matheny challenged him to be a leader in the clubhouse.
Belisle has no regrets having pitched in Colorado and Cincinnati before, feeling that Coors Field “improved me.” He calls himself a selfless player, willing to do anything to win and says it is “great to be a Cardinal.”
Stephen Piscotty (8:41)
The outfielder worked on hitting at his alma mater, Stanford, this winter, along with finishing his degree in Atmosphere and Energy Engineering. His goal is to drive the ball better without taking away from his strengths by finding a better slot for his bat path and getting the bat head out.
At this point, no one has spoken with him about playing first base, a position he did man at times at college. Later in the day, John Mozeliak predicted that “St. Louis will see Piscotty in 2015” and included he or Randal Grichuk in his ideal 2018 outfield along with Jason Heyward and Magneuris Sierra.
Jason Heyward (12:37)
Everyone wanted to know if the new right fielder would be open to a contract extension with St. Louis. Heyward did not rule it out, but seems to expect the team to take the lead.
His hitting approach is to look for a pitch to drive, something that leading off in Atlanta precluded him from doing. Heyward feels he has room to grow.
Ty Kelly (5:43)
The new Cardinal is looking forward to his first spring competition for a Major League job. Kelly wants to be known as a utilityman to the point he calls no position home.
Nick Greenwood (10:05)
The left-handed reliever was recently married, then took a quick honeymoon to Jamaica before reporting to winter ball in the Dominican. Greenwood made the decision to pitch there on the same day he was called up to the majors, but wanted to honor his commitment.
Down there, he played with Carlos Martinez, who “overmatched” a number of hitters, he said. Greenwood said that Martinez’ fastball is “strong” and he is “ready to compete.” Greenwood is working on a breaking ball to add to his fastball as he drops down against left-handed batters.
Randal Grichuk (6:50)
The outfielder candidly admitted that “off the bat”, the Heyward signing was “not good for me.” His plan to improve against right-handed pitching is to watch video and establish an approach against each pitcher.
Grichuk is motivated by the appearance that the right field job is Heyward’s and wants to show that he is “not to be counted out.”
Pete Kozma (5:00)
In his typical quiet, but intense style, the infielder committed to “work my butt off to make St. Louis” this spring and even agreed to “pitch if I have to.” His take that if he can play shortstop, he can play anywhere defensively.
John Mozeliak (20:35)
The GM provided health news on a number of players, including Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia (all very positive). He made it clear the club is “not actively shopping” for starting pitching.
Mozeliak noted the potential to talk contract with Jason Heyward later on. He also suggested the club will look harder this season at resting players, whether aging or not.
Check back at The Cardinal Nation for more Winter Warm-Up content throughout the weekend and in the days that follow. Selected photos of all the above individuals and more are now loaded at TheCardinalNationblog.com, so check them out, too.
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