Spring Training Notebook - 03/01

The St. Louis Cardinals staff ace Chris Carpenter struggled in his first of three innings, giving up three hits and two runs. He came back to retired the final eight batters he faced, in the rematch of last year's NL championship series against the Mets. Chris Duncan, Scott Spiezio and Edgar Gonzalez all hit solo homers for St. Louis, in the 4-3 loss.

As you can see the games are underway, so that means the daily routine changes some, with non game players and game players on different schedules.

First it makes my job easier, I'm not running around seven fields trying to keep on track of everything. I'm down to watching basically three fields now.

The Mets will be in town on Friday to play the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. Starting for St. Louis will be Braden Looper, so that will be interesting to see how well he pitches past the first and second inning. Braden, I'm sure is on a 40 pitch count, last week he was huffing and puffing a little around the range, so we'll keep a close look on him in Friday's game.


The players that made the road trip today included;

PITCHERS - Carpenter, Cavazos, Dove, Hawksworth, Johnson, Jimenez, Parisi, & Worrell

The coaches are very high on Jimenez, I know you don't know much about him right now, but keep your eyes and ears open about this young pitcher.

CATCHERS – Bennett, Esposito, Christianson, & Marrero

La Russa likes the job Marrero is doing in camp. He's played mostly behind the plate the first couple of weeks, but Marrero has been working out at first a lot this week.

INFIELDERS – Hanson, Miles, Pujols, Rolen, Ryan, Spiezio, Bozied, Cabrera, Gonzalez

Travis Hanson has put on some weight and looks better at the plate this season. Hopefully he'll return to his 2005 form this year. Another player to watch is Tagg Bozied; he is working out very well at first on defense and looks good in the batting cages.

OUTFIELDERS – Duncan, Schumaker, Ankiel, Negron, Rasmus

Duncan is improving in left.

Rick Ankiel, if you didn't know his story, you would think he is the best prospect in camp.

Did you know, this is Rick's 10th Spring Training with the Cardinals?

Back at Roger Dean Stadium;

Jason Isringhausen, Kip Wells and Randy Kiesler all were pitching in what is called side work with catchers, Danilo Sanchez, Bryan Anderson and Michael Hernandez.

I watched Izzy for a while; I'm still reluctant to agree with the Cardinals that he'll be ready opening day.

The Cardinals coaches are high on Kiesler, even though I think he shows too much emotion on the mound. He kinds of reminds me of Jeff Weaver the first week he pitched in St. Louis.

The rest of the pitchers to include; Reyes, Narveson, Cate, Looper, Wainwright, Thompson, Franklin, Smith, Lambert, Hancock, Flores, Kinney, Springer and Sillman, worked on balls hit back to pitchers, with the runners on different bases, plus offensive drills.

I talked with the coaches about Mike Sillman and his unorthodox delivery and asked how they think he is doing in camp?

The word is he is pitching very well, his delivery helps a lot keeping the batters off balance, when I asked what do you do, or how do you coach a kid like this with such an unusual delivery? The response was basically, the kid is on his own. (for the English teacher/professors I know this sentence is a use of a reflexive pronoun, I just don't know how to say it better)

Fortunately Sillman is pitching very well and appears to be on top of his game.

A small point here, you are not going to get the coaches to say too much good about a player or even too much bad a player during spring training. It is way to early to make any judgments on any player.

The players who stayed home; Taguchi, J-Rod, Eckstein, Wilson, Molina, Hernandez, Sanchez, & Haerther participated in 30 minutes of batting practice with the coaches.

Encarnacion, Kennedy and Edmonds didn't participate in batting practice.

That's it for today's Spring Training Notebook.

Check back with me tomorrow as I rundown the 40 man roster, giving you an update on all the players.

Remember if you have any questions about the St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training you can send an e-mail to me at raymileur@yahoo.com.

I'll see you at the ballpark.

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