Juan Encarnacion has been taking it easy the first two weeks of spring training in order to protect his surgically-repaired left wrist. This week he has started hitting of the tee and depending on his progress, he is expected to start participating in live batting practice within the next couple of weeks.
It may be the third week of March before the outfielder will be ready to start in a Grapefruit League game, but in spite of that, he expects to be ready by opening day and not miss any playing time.
Last season he played with a lot of pain down the stretch last year, so if his wrist is fully healed, you could see a slight increase in production, over his.278 with 19 homers and 79 RBI for the Cardinals a year ago.
Today Encarnacion was field balls in right field with outfielders, Rick Ankiel and Preston Wilson, Encarnacion clearly had the much better arm of the three, I was actually a little surprise, of course the thrown hand is not the hand he had surgery on, but his throws today were always strong and accurate.
Today the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals are entering their 116th season of play in the National League and are in the midst of their 10th spring training in sunny and warm Jupiter Florida.
They began Grapefruit League play today with a 6-3 win against the Florida Marlins.
RHP Adam Wainwright started and went three shut-out, no hit innings, throw 30 pitches, 15 of them for strikes.
After the game, Wainwright told reporters, "I did some things well to get some first-pitch outs, but I did a lot of things I'll need to improve on," he said. "All in all it was a good first time."
Outfielder Rick Ankiel, who enters the game to a round of cheers from the fans, is bidding for spot on the roster as an outfielder. The former pitcher went 2-for-2 with a two-run single but was thrown out at the plate twice.
Wainwright picked up his first win as a starter and Florida starter Scott Olsen was saddled with the loss.
IN OTHER NEWS
I know you heard that the Cardinals were interested in Roger Clemens, like that is ever going to happen, it is so far fetched, we didn't even discuss it or write about it, but for the record;
I'm getting a lot of request for this information, so I thought I would post it again;
All Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday spring training games beginning on March the 3rd, will be carried by the Cardinals flagship station, KTRS. Four spring training games will be televised this season including;
Sunday, March 11 vs. Atlanta (KSDK)
Sunday, March 18 vs. Mets (KSDK)
Sunday, March 25 vs. Bal (FSN-MW)
Friday, March 30 vs Memphis Redbirds (FSN-MW)
Saturday, March 31 vs Cleveland (ESPN) "Civil Rights Game"
COMING UP - MATCH UPS
Remember I'll be in spring training for the entire, Grapefruit League season, if you have any spring training questions, feel free to send an e-mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
I'll see you at the ballpark.