Hey sports fans Ray Mileur here. The regular spring training games kick off tomorrow with the St. Louis Cardinals hosting the Florida Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter Florida. Game time 1:05 pm ET. We'll have a live game thread here "In the House" and a post game report afterwards.
"From the first pitch til the last out", I'll be here in camp covering the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, (I can't get enough of saying World Champion St. Louis Cardinals) be sure to check in with us for our daily updates to include; the Spring Training Notebook, Photo Galleries, Hot News, Player Spotlight articles, live game threads, message boards, post games reports and much more...
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Here's today's photo gallery and thanks for stopping by.
Good news from diamond, Adam Kennedy was on the field today, playing solid defense, getting his glove work in. The Cardinals' starting second baseman has said he felt a twinge in his right side — but that it is nothing serious. Kennedy took Monday off from swinging and Tuesday he didn't participate in live batting practice.
Last season Kennedy batted .273 with four home runs and a career-high 55 RBI in his seventh season with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The left-handed hitting second baseman was solid in the field, making just two errors in his final 67 games and nine total for the year. His season included a career-best 17-game hit streak (July 8-Aug. 3) and he batted .329 in Sept./Oct. while being named the Angels' Player of the Month.
Adam also led the Angels in April batting with a .324 mark and for the year he batted .339 with runners in scoring position.
First base coach Dave McKay and former St. Louis Cardinal outfielder Larry Walker hold a defense class for outfielders this morning, somebody make sure Chris Duncan is awake. I'm kidding of course, Chris is in camp and working very hard to improve his defensive play in the outfield. You have to give him credit for the rookie season he had last year.
Travis Hanson, (left) the St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Player of the Year in 2005 is working out in the 80+ degrees in sunny Florida. Hanson will likely start the season at Triple-A Memphis.
If you are worried about Kip Wells (right) being the Cardinals #2 starter? Then don't. Pitching coach Dave Duncan has wanted the Cardinals to sign Wells for three seasons, and based on what I have seen so far in live batting practice, be glad he's on our side.
He owns a career mark of 57-74, 4.46 ERA with his best season coming in 2003 as he went 10-9 with a 3.38 ERA for the Pirates. He had an N.L.-best 2.12 home ERA that season.
For the record, in those nine losses that season, the Pirates only score a total of only 14 runs. In seven of those losses, Wells left the game with the lead. He should fare much better in St. Louis.
It always helps if your pitchers can help you win a game with their bats, if nothing else but to move a runner over with a bunt. Today all the pitcher spent time in the cage practice their bunting.
Do you remember in the World Series last year, the Detroit Tigers pitchers could not field their position on balls hit back to the pitcher. Trust me the Cardinals remember and today they spent a lot of time, working on plays when the ball is hit back to the pitcher.
David Eckstein, (left) "Put me in coach!"
Let's hope that David Eckstein never wears another Major League uniform other than the Birds on the Bat.
Eckstein enters 2007 in the final year of his three-year deal. "Right now we've had just peripheral talks," assistant GM John Mozeliak said. "Nothing has been set in stone. I think just moving ahead at some point we're going to have to look into it."
I just got two and a half words about Eckstein's new contract, "Git'er Done"
Pitching and defense wins World Championships and today the whole team was basically together working on rundown drills. It looks so simple, yet there is so much to doing it right, it is always a pleasure to get close enough during spring training to hear the instructions give by the coaches.
You know they have rundowns between second and third base also, I just want to make one minor point, yo, Rolen, watch the shoulder.
I have to be honest, I don't know what the heck these guys are doing, but I knew you would want a picture of it. Here it is, that is just the kind of guy I am.
That's the photos from today's session, I'll meet you back here tomorrow.