Spring Training Notebook – Friday, March 24

Miscellaneous thoughts from Roger Dean in Jupiter, Florida, where the sky was mostly sunny and the temperature was 72 degrees. Unfortunately, through eight innings, the Cards were trailing the Mets 12-2.

Nivar gone

Non-roster invitee Ramon Nivar's injury turned out to be more serious than expected when he agreed to terms. Once the Cardinals (and Nivar) learned that he would be out for the season, his contract was terminated.

 

Horton in uniform

About 10:30 AM, I saw a uniformed player ask minor league infielder Dan Nelson, who was around the batting cages, to play catch. Turned out it was ex-Cardinals hurler and current broadcaster Rick Horton. Horton cracked to me that all he can handle is 45 feet. He later donned street clothes and watched the game from the press box.

 

Weather report

Just after the Dodgers game Thursday, it began to rain in the area. It was so bad that a rare Thursday night game between the Marlins and Mets at Roger Dean was rained out.

 

Lima time

Because of the above rainout, the Mets' Jose Lima missed his start, so he faced the Memphis club at 12:30 PM Friday. I only saw an inning, but Travis Hanson singled sharply to right center off Jose.

 

Checking the pants

I learned from Manager of Baseball Operations John Vuch that in the minors workouts and games, the pitchers wear white pants while the fielders don gray. This is to better distinguish who is who.

 

Memphis Miles

There was one white-panted infielder starting for Memphis, as second base combatant Aaron Miles was getting his time in there. Junior Spivey started for the big club, as did Hector Luna at short.

 

Willie the robber?

Mets Manager Willie Randolph was watching the minor league contests when it came time to move over to the main fields. He eyed a Cardinals golf cart nearby before Cardinals Minor League Pitching Coordinator Mark Riggins chauffeured him in.

 

Haerther hobbled

I spoke with outfielder Cody Haerther, who said he tweaked his hamstring the other day, but expects to be back in Memphis' line-up Saturday.

 

On to the game

 

Spivey with the glove

Leading off the game, speedy Jose Reyes legged out an infield single as Junior Spivey didn't seem to be aggressive enough. A passed ball put him on second. A walk, then a bunt single by Carlos Beltran led to a collision by Carp and Spiezio, as the latter slid into the former's leg. Fortunately, neither were hurt. Carlos Delgado took ball four to force in a run. David Wright took a called strike three before Xavier Nady ground into an easy 6-4-3.

 

Two extra-base hits in the second

Leading off the second, Edmonds slapped an 0-1 pitch over the 400 foot mark in dead center. Good to see Junior Spivey doubling for his second extra-base hit of the spring, though Yadier Molina was easily thrown out trying to score from first.

 

Ho-hum. Albert homers again.

Pujols torpedoed a Tom Glavine 1-0 pitch with two out in the second, far over the fence in left center. It was his second home run of the spring.

 

Good start, bad end

Edmonds doubled to right leading off the fourth. After a couple of walks, with the bases loaded and one out, Chris Carpenter failed to execute the squeeze as Edmonds was officially "caught stealing". Carp then fanned.

 

Carp done in

Reyes doubled off the wall in the fifth for the fourth hit off Carpenter. Carp followed with an error on a failed pickoff play that put Reyes on third with one out. After earning the second out, Carp was pulled after 4-2/3 innings. He fanned five and allowed just one run before Ricardo Rincon hit a batter and gave up a long ground-rule double by David Wright. Xavier Nady hit a similar shot, but Edmonds hauled it in on the run at the track.

 

Lefties deal unlucky six

After allowing Carp's second run to score, Rincon loaded the bases with one out in the sixth. Paul Lo Duca's double cleared the bases. Three more runs scored before the inning concluded with Randy Flores on the mound. Rincon was charged with four and Flores two.

 

Cruz leaves with injury

In the bottom of the seventh, Deivi Cruz was hit on the left ankle by a pitch and was taken out, apparently as a precaution. He was relieved at shortstop by Aaron Miles, who had come over from Memphis' game. Miles made an error in the eighth after a long run on a pop-up up the third base line.

 

More pen trouble

Brad Thompson allowed four in the eighth, including a long homer to right by a guy named Chase Lambin. It is now 12-2 on the scoreboard.

 

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

 

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