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A recap of St. Louis Cardinals-related news from the period of February 15-21, 2016

Spring Training 2016 gets underway, a former Cardinal retires, a reliever adds new pitch to his repertoire, and the Opening Day starter is named.

Spring Training begins

Wednesday, February 17 was official pitchers and catchers report day to St. Louis Cardinals spring camp in Jupiter, FL.  The first workouts began on Thursday, Feb. 18.   Position players’ mandatory report day is Tuesday, Feb. 23, but many position players have already arrived.

The first Spring Training game is scheduled for March 2, against Florida Atlantic University, at Roger Dean Stadium.  The Cardinals face the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium on March 3, to start the official MLB Spring Training season.  The full Spring Training Schedule can be found here.

You can follow the happenings at Spring Training at the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and at the Cardinals official MLB website,

Wainwright gets fifth Opener

RHP Adam Wainwright has been named St. Louis’ Opening Day starter. It is the right-hander’s fourth consecutive honor and fifth overall.

Former Cardinal Punto retires

Former Cardinals infielder Nick Punto, affectionately known as “The Shredder” by his Cardinals’ teammates, has hung up his cleats after 14 seasons.  Punto announced his retirement from major league baseball this past week, after sitting out the 2015 season.

The 38 year-old Punto was a member of the 2011 Cardinals Championship team.  The versatile infielder slashed .278/.388/.421 in 166 PAs for the 2011 Cardinals.  The Shredder got his nickname for his practice of tearing jerseys off his teammates in celebration of notable wins.

Punto was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 21st round of the 1998 draft.   Punto made his major league debut with the Phillies as a September call up in 2001 and went on to play parts of two more seasons with the Phillies before being traded to the Minnesota Twins in December 2003.  Punto remained with the Twins until 2010, when he became a free agent and signed with the Cardinals for the 2011 season.  Punto finished his major league career with the Boston Red Sox, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Oakland Athletics.  Punto signed a minor league contract in 2015 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but soon after informed the team that he would not be reporting to Spring Training and would take the year off from baseball.

Siegrist adds curveball

Lefty reliever Kevin Siegrist debuted a new breaking pitch at Spring Training this year.  The reliever has learned a curveball, with help from fellow pitchers Adam Wainwright and Tyler Lyons.  The curveball will replace the slider as Siegrist’s breaking pitch in his arsenal.

The 26 year-old reliever said with a grip he learned from Lyons and some how-to help from Wainwright, he feels comfortable throwing the pitch for the first time in his career.

Siegrist had limited his throwing of the slider last season, throwing it only seven percent of the time.  He will throw the curveball to hitters soon to seek feedback on its effectiveness.

Siegrist was heavily used in 2015, making the most appearances of any reliever in baseball.  He says his arm feels good, as he took a different approach in the offseason, refraining from throwing off a mound until February.

NRI pitcher Waldron suffers shoulder injury

RHP Tyler Waldron sat out his bullpen session on Day 3 of spring camp, due to a shoulder issue.  An update on Waldron’s status is expected soon from the Cardinals.

The 26 year-old made 46 relief appearances for Triple-A Memphis in 2015 with a record of 4-6 and an ERA of 4.74.  Waldron was selected by the Cardinals in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft in 2014 from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Post-Dispatch adds new columnist

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has hired a new sports columnist, set to begin on April 4.

Jose de Jesus Ortiz, 44, has spent the last 15 years writing for the Houston Chronicle.  He was the Houston Astros beat writer from 2001 to 2009, switched to covering soccer in 2010, but returned to the baseball beat in 2012.  Ortiz is a past president of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

The hiring of Ortiz follows the death of columnist Joe Strauss, who passed away in December 2015 from Leukemia.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


There are no transactions to report.

Injury Report

Robby Rowland, a non-roster invitee, is out for an indefinite period due to surgery to remove two bone chips from his right elbow. The news was reported first by The Cardinal Nation.

Tyler Waldron (right shoulder) set out his last bullpen session and an update on his status is expected soon.

Adam Wainwright (Achillies tendon) is back to full strength.  Wainwright missed most of 2015 following Achilles tendon surgery, and says with the extra rest, his arm feels as good as it has felt since 2013. 

Yadier Molina (right thumb ligament) has had his cast removed and is working on strengthening the thumb.  Molina is expected to miss most if not all of Spring Training, and his availability for Opening Day remains a question mark.

Jordan Walden (right bicep strain) reports he feels healthy and is ready to pitch.  He pitched his first bullpen session of spring on Friday, Feb. 19.

Carlos Martinez (right shoulder strain) is throwing off the mound, and says he is currently throwing at 80 percent effort.  Martinez’ spring program is expected to be slower than normal, to ease him back to full strength and conserve innings on his arm.

Looking Ahead

Pitchers and catchers have reported to spring camp in Jupiter, FL and began workouts on Thursday, Feb. 18.  Position players are required to report on Tuesday, Feb. 23, though many have already reported.

Updates on spring training activities are available at the St. Louis Post Dispatch and other St. Louis media outlets, as well as news, notes and pictures are available on Twitter and Instagram.

Spring Training games begin on March 2 and continue through March 31.  The full Spring Training Schedule can be found here. A list of all television broadcasts, Cards and opponents, can be viewed here. Full spring training uniform numbers explained here.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: 2016 Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Schedules

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