Once again, I am reporting from St. Louis Cardinals extended spring training camp in sunny Jupiter, Florida.
Friday is a bit of an odd day in that Palm Beach had a 10:30 a.m. game in the main stadium as the away club against Jupiter (MIA). It is “Education Day”, which means buses of grade school kids pull up to the ballpark, filled with excited youngsters. All are wearing the same t-shirts identifying their school – in hopes frazzled teachers and monitors will not lose track of any of them.
Despite what looked like 10 times the normal Palm Beach attendance, about the same number as any other game were actually paying attention to the action on the field – except for the scripted “fun” between innings. Perhaps more than ever, the extended screens behind home plate that now extend to the far ends of the dugouts are appreciated.
The EST games, with only a few in attendance, were on the Kissell Quad at noon, with the Mets as the opponent. The White team (older players) are on Field 2 with the Red squad on Field 4.
I watched the Palm Beach game for the first hour-plus before the long trek to the back fields, where I remained for all nine innings.
Though I mentioned in Thursday’s report that there are 15 rehabbers in camp and provided injury updates on several of them, here is the full list. The eight on full-season club disabled lists are noted specifically. The remaining seven have their 2015 season-ending team identified.
|Will Anderson||RHS||PB 60-day DL|
|Juan Herrera||SS||PB DL|
|Mason Katz||2B||PB DL|
|Robby Rowland||RHR||Spr DL|
|Jery Then||RHR||Peo DL|
|Tyler Waldron||RHR||Mem DL|
|Luke Weaver||RHS||PB DL|
|Josh Wirsu||RHR||PB DL|
Among full-season players on their respective DLs, but not currently listed among the Jupiter rehabbers: Tim Cooney, Marco Gonzales, Carlos Peguero and Michael Ohlman, Memphis; Jimmy Reed, Springfield; Michael Pritchard and Allen Staton, Palm Beach; and Steven Gallardo, Peoria.
Starters vs. relievers
The White squad currently has five players listed as starters with seven on the Red team. Obviously, the others are considered relievers.
|Red starters||2015||White starters||2015|
|Juan Alvarez||DSL||David Oca||DSL/GCL/SC|
|Franyel Casadilla||DSL||Carson Cross||SC|
|Bryan Dobzanski||JC||Steven Farinaro||GCL/JC|
|Jordan Hicks||GCL DL||Dailyn Martinez||SC|
|Ian Oxnevad||GCL||Alex Reyes||PB/Spr|
Several interesting things to note. On the White team, Steven Farinaro (Johnson City pen in 2015) is a starter, while Estarlin Arias (GCL), Julio Mateo (JC), Dewin Perez (State College) and Ramon Santos (JC) are all among the relievers.
Two others who were in the State College rotation last summer, Juan Perez and Jorge Rodriguez, joined Peoria’s bullpen earlier this week.
Among Red starters are two of the pitchers to come over from the 2015 Dominican Summer League in Juan Alvarez and Franyel Casadilla, both 19 year-old right-handers. In fact, Alvarez is Friday’s starter. 2015 starters now among the Red relievers are Frederis Parra (JC) and Ronald Medrano (GCL).
Of course, while interesting, this does not necessarily define their roles when short-season play begins.
Lynn in full rehab mode
Speaking of rehabbers not on the list…
As I was moving from the main stadium toward the back fields at about 11:45 a.m., I noticed a familiar figure preparing to throw a bullpen, with one trainer serving as catcher and another as pitching coach. No one else was around – except me.
It was none other than Lance Lynn, who had Tommy John surgery on November 10. The right-hander was very upbeat, telling me with an uncharacteristic grin, “I am in full rehab mode now.”
Lynn began his throwing program in late March, as spring training was coming to its close. Friday was his third time on the mound and his regular schedule includes playing catch every other day.
El Presidente in the house
Former Palm Beach pitching coach and four-time MLB All-Star pitcher Dennis Martinez rolled up to the minor league games on a cart around the eighth inning and stayed for 15 or 20 minutes, checking out the action and saying “hello”.
I asked the area resident if he is currently working for anyone, as Martinez had joined Jeff Luhnow’s Astros for a period of time after leaving St. Louis. He just smiled and said, “No, not right now.”
Friday batting orders
Friday pitching plans and velocities
|Cb 80||C-up 84|
|Cb 74-76||Cb 78-80|
|Cb 76-77||D Perez||NL||89-90|
I managed to position myself for part of the afternoon under a tree that afforded me views of both games at once. That enabled me to move wherever the action was – at least that was my intent.
The Cardinals won both games, with the White staking a 4-3 victory before the Red finished its 6-4 win over the visiting Mets.
T1st-T2nd. Starter Dailyn Martinez picked up a strikeout in the first before giving up a single in the second. That runner was erased on a caught stealing. After another strikeout, he walked a batter then yielded an RBI triple that went over the left fielder’s head. Martinez finished the second with another strikeout.
B1st. Andrew Brodbeck doubled over the right fielder’s head, but was stranded on the bases.
B2nd. With Bladimil Franco on first, a hit and run turned into a stolen base and the wild throw put him at third. He scored on a sharp single to left by Riley Drongesen to tie the game at 1-1. Drongesen swiped second, but was stranded.
T3rd-T4th. Martinez worked out of trouble after a fielding error by Andrew Brodbeck at second and a wild pitch put the runner in scoring position. A swinging strikeout capped the frame. The Mets re-took the lead in the fourth, 2-1, on an RBI triple to center. Martinez went four innings on 67 pitches.
B4th. Singles by Ricardo Bautista and Cole Lankford opened a threat that was quashed when Franco hit into a 1-5-3 double play.
T5th. Ramon Santos took over on the mound. What caught my eye was a curve ball that got a lot of swings and misses.
B5th. Drongesen struck again, and strike he did. The catcher sent an offering over the left field fence to knot the score at two each.
T7th. With Yeison Medina pitching, the Mets took a 3-2 edge on a walk, single and a swing and miss that got away from catcher Drongesen. I think the Cardinals rolled the inning at that point.
B7th. The Cards answered with two scores of their own to flip the lead. Jose Martinez singled to left and Bautista reached on a dropped catch error by the right fielder. Franco’s double put the Cards back in the lead, 4-3.
T9th-T10th. Lefty Dewin Perez took over and threw 10 fastballs to retire the Mets in order in the ninth. He allowed a hit in the 10th, but fanned a Mets hitter swinging to secure the final out and the victory.
T1st-T3rd. Starter Jordan Hicks and infielder Edwin Figuera made good defensive plays to keep the Mets off the board. The second baseman made a sliding stop of a hard-hit ball and the pitcher leapt high to stab a chopper out of mid-air.
In the second, Hicks got into trouble. It began with a one-hopper off the fence in the deepest part of center field. A walk put two on base. A grounder to deep short led to a Starlin Balbuena throw that one-hopped the first baseman as the Mets took a 1-0 lead. On the positive side, Hicks ended the inning on a swinging strikeout on very good curveball. Hicks allowed a single in the third, but the runner was erased in a rundown.
B2nd. Steven Zavala singled into short left, but was stranded.
B3rd. Bryce Denton fought off a number of fastballs before knocking an off-speed pitch into left for a single.
T4th-T5th. Ian Oxnevad followed Hicks on the mound and had a quick 1-2-3 fourth, but gave up a double that split the center and right fielders to lead off the fifth. First baseman Luis Bandes was slow to cover first base on an infield chopper, but alertly threw to the catcher and the Mets baserunner was caught in a rundown between third and home.
B5th. Zavala singled to left again and Figuera walked. Denton tied up the score at 1-1 with an RBI single. Bandes followed with a single to left to put the Red team back in the lead.
T6th. In Oxnevad’s third and final frame, Bandes made a diving stop and flip to the pitcher covering to save one hit. The lefty escaped damage from a single and a walk by striking out the final batter of the inning.
B6th. Josh Swirchak doubled and Wadye Ynfante singled him in on a ball up the middle to put Red up 3-1. Ynfante stole second but was doubled off the bag on what looked to be a failed hit and run.
T7th. DSL grad Juan Alvarez took the mound. What surprised me about the 19-year-old was that he was not afraid to throw his curve in any situation. He would have yielded a run, however, had a Mets runner not been thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double, as the next batter did stroke a two-base hit.
T8th. Alvarez got into difficulty on a walk, single and two-run triple, though on the latter play, the right fielder was slow to get the ball in. A sac fly followed that turned the Red lead into a 4-3 deficit.
B8th. Catcher Irving Wilson singled. Denton saw at least 10 pitches before singling on the infield as the Mets threw the ball into the dugout. Bandes’ RBI single to left retied the game at 4-4. Rosario had a productive out as his ground ball plated the lead run before Swirchak’s second hit, a single to center, brought home the sixth run for the Red.
T9th. Ronald Medrano was asked to protect the lead. The righty did not have high heat, but showed a nice curve that broke away from right-handed hitters. Medrano ran into trouble, as a single and two walks loaded the bases with two out. Manager Chris Swauger made the unusual (for EST) mid-inning move to bring in Jordan DeLorenzo. All the lefty did was strike out the Mets batter with a series of changeups to escape the jam.
B9th. Here is where things got weird. After the Mets secured three outs, they asked for a pitching change and restarted the inning with one out and a Red runner at second base. Essentially, the Mets got five Red outs in the bottom of the ninth. As we found out soon, this was in lieu of the visitors pitching in the bottom of the 10th.
T10th. Lorenzo allowed a double into the right field corner, but kept him from scoring to protect the 6-4 Red win. The White game was already over and the bus was waiting to take both Mets squads back to Port St. Lucie after their dual defeat.
Earlier related article: Cardinals Extended Spring Training Camp Report – 5/7/16. Details of Alex Reyes’ five-inning outing on Thursday, injury updates on a half dozen players and much more!
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