Following are selected interviews held during concluding day three of the St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm-Up at the Hyatt Regency at the Arch on Monday, January 19, 2015.
Carlos Martinez (10:06)
The young Dominican used a translator as is his custom for interviews. Martinez fielded a number of Oscar Taveras-related questions, including his hope to wear number 18 every season and to dedicate every season to his late friend.
Martinez mentioned that pitching in winter ball gave him something else to focus on. He worked with new Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez as recently as November on his change up and curve. Carlos is proud of Pedro and joked that he hopes to be the next Hall of Famer from his homeland.
Martinez joined the list of married Cardinals this off-season, having tied the knot in November.
Kolten Wong (7:36)
What a difference 12 months makes. This year, the second baseman is coming off a strong post-season performance instead of being remembered for being picked off first base in the World Series.
Wong spoke of his proud father, Kaha, who is watching his game replays on YouTube. He is all for batting leadoff if that is what Mike Matheny wants. He knows it would require a different approach and would like to take spring at-bats to see six or seven pitches per plate appearance.
If he gets the green light, he would steal more. His goal every year is more than 20 stolen bases. Wong also wants to improve his batting average and keep his home run output constant. He admits he was surprised by his late-season power.
Jhonny Peralta (5:32)
The shortstop feels more comfortable and confident in his second season with the Cardinals. He likes hitting fourth, as a “big power guy” or fifth. Peralta explained by saying he is going to focus on driving in more runs and improving his batting average in 2015, but home runs are not a priority.
Trevor Rosenthal (6:45)
With Matt Holliday training in Florida, the closer lost his local partner, but is still working with a trainer. Rosenthal’s off-season focus has been on his family, including his young daughter.
Rosenthal’s goals for 2015 begin with “taking care of himself so that he can be out there every day.” He also admitted that first batter efficiency is another major focus for this year.
Mike Matheny (34:09)
As you can expect, the manager covered a wide variety of topics, starting with the aftermath of the death of Oscar Taveras and the impact on Carlos Martinez and the rest of the team’s “family.”
Though he is satisfied with the options, the starting rotation is his biggest worry between health monitoring and inexperience. Matheny is not interested in a six-man rotation or giving extra rest to well players, noting their confidence is important. The manager talked frankly about local player Max Scherzer while lauding Cardinals ownership for not going outside their business plan to sign him.
Other topics included catchers blocking the plate rule, instant replay and new bench coach David Bell. (“Our bench coach has more responsibility than any other bench coach in the league.”)
Lance Lynn (8:12)
The newly-signed right-hander said that contract talks began at Winter Meetings. Years were set first, then money. Lynn said that the Cardinals would have had to make it “worthwhile” for him to give up free agent years. He is not worried as “there will be a process to revisit it later on” – if he pitches well.
Lynn agreed to parallels between him and John Lackey in terms of showing emotion on the mound. He says that is just the way they compete.
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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