FOX Sports Midwest

A recap of St. Louis Cardinals-related news from the period of February 22-28, 2016

Three Cardinals make progress coming back from injury and a Cardinals Hall of Famer joins the broadcast booth.

Molina, Martinez, Walden take steps forward

Three Cardinals who are rehabbing injuries are all moving forward in preparation for Opening Day.

Yadier Molina, who is rehabbing from a second surgery on his left thumb ligament, took fielding drills behind the plate on Friday, Feb. 26. Molina had been receiving pickoff throws at various positions in the infield as his first steps in getting some catching work in, but the drills behind the plate was the first work in receiving and blocking pitches since spring camp began.

Molina was scheduled to begin catching side sessions and rotating into live batting practice over the weekend. He continues to wear a splint while catching and has not been cleared to hit yet.

Carlos Martinez will soon begin throwing to live hitters, something most of the other Cardinals’ pitchers have already been doing. Martinez’ slower spring program has had him throwing only side sessions, three in all, since reporting to camp on Feb. 18.

The Cardinals have Martinez on a modified spring program, since he incurred a shoulder injury five months ago. Building up arm strength is the goal of the modified program, with the expectation that the right-hander will be ready to join the starting rotation by Opening Day. The Cardinals will not need a fifth starter until April 12, providing more time if needed.

Jordan Walden faced live hitters this past week, the first since his July rehab was stopped after a setback in recovering from his earlier season arm injury. Walden threw about 25 pitches, none at maximum velocity, and he reported feeling strong with no issues.

In addition to the rehabbing trio of pitchers, left-hander Tim Cooney has returned to light throwing after experiencing shoulder soreness during the past week.

Outfielder Stephen Piscotty suffered a bout of food poisoning, but has returned to camp and took on Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha in live batting practice.

Edmonds to join FSMW broadcast booth

Former center fielder and Cardinals Hall of Famer Jim Edmonds is slated to join Dan McLaughlin in the broadcast booth for 30 regular season games on Fox Sports Midwest. Edmonds has spent three seasons as an analyst for FSMW during pregame and postgame shows, but will now try his hand as a color commentator during games.

Edmonds will begin this new phase of his career by calling some Spring Training games, with the first one on March 9. He is also in uniform this spring, working with Randal Grichuk on center field defense.

The move was made to accommodate the reduced radio broadcast schedule of long time Cardinals game caller Mike Shannon, who will cease traveling with the team this season. FSMW broadcaster Rick Horton will take up the slack on the road for Shannon, which will reduce his availability in the booth on the TV side.

Edmonds, Al Hrabosky and Tim McCarver will rotate as analysts with McLaughlin, with Horton scheduled for a much smaller slate of games in the booth. Edmonds will also continue to appear as a pregame and postgame analyst.

Annual photo day held

The Cardinals annual photo day took place on Thursday, Feb 25. Photos were taken of all roster and non-roster players in camp as well as coaches.

Photos can be viewed here at TCN. Position player photos can be found here, while pitcher photos can be viewed here.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

There are no transactions to report.

Injury Report

Yadier Molina (left thumb ligament) has begun catching drills behind the plate. Molina is expected to catch some live pitching within the next week.

Carlos Martinez (right shoulder) will soon throw to live hitters as part of a modified spring program to get him ready to pitch in the rotation when the regular season begins.

Jordan Walden (rotator cuff) threw 25 pitches to live hitters this past week.

Tim Cooney (left shoulder soreness) has returned to light throwing.

Looking Ahead

Manager Mike Matheny may give the team Tuesday, March 1 off. The first Spring Training game is an exhibition scheduled for Wednesday, March 2 against Florida Atlantic University at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, FL. Former FAU pitcher and Cards co-Minor League Pitcher of the Year for 2015, Austin Gomber, is among those scheduled to pitch. The first game against an MLB team is scheduled for the next day, March 3, against the Florida Marlins, also at Roger Dean.

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.

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