Spring Training Photo Gallery 03/02

It's Rick Ankiel's 10th Spring Training with the St. Louis Cardinals. With starting outfielders Juan Encarnacion and Jim Edmonds both nursing injuries, Ankiel will get plenty of opportunity to showcase his abundant talent this spring. As you can probably see, by the look on his face, he doesn't plan on playing in the minors this year.


 

Rick Ankiel the former pitching phenom has tried to catch on with the Cardinals as an outfielder during the past two seasons and did show some promise in 2005. A ruptured his knee during spring training least kept Ankiel out of baseball for the 2006 season.

Ankiel is a spring training NRI, and he will get plenty of opportunities to show what he can do as an outfielder.

"Nobody has been more impressive in our pitching practice sessions than him," St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa said. "He'll go down (to Triple-A Memphis), and hopefully it's one of those situations where you have to keep forcing yourself to keep him down there."

After the stretching and conditioning drills today the Cardinals did their running and walking routine before breaking down into groups for the morning drills.

The coaches go over the morning schedule while the players finish running.

Brendan Ryan (right) is likely to see a lot of playing time over the next few days with second baseman Adam Kennedy and shortstop David Eckstein sidelined with minor injuries.

Ryan is a good contact hitter with some speed, who is apparently going to get the chance to prove he can be a good utility infielder or super sub.

Braden Looper sees his first start of the spring as he attempts to convert from a reliever to a starter. He is attempting to replace one of the three starting pitchers who departed via free agency (Suppan/Weaver/Marquis

In 2006 he won a career high nine games, the most by a Cardinals reliever since 1996 when Mark Petkovesk won 11 games.

Friday, Looper pitched three innings, giving up two hits and one earn run, while walking one and striking out one. A decent first step in the right direction.

Ricardo Rincon made his 1st appearance for St. Louis since April 18 of last season. Rincon underwent shoulder and elbow surgery on May the 11th of 2006 that ended his season.

Rincon has held left-handed batters to a .207 (159-768) batting average in his career.

Friday, Ricardo pitched a perfect fifth inning, in his first Grapefruit League game of the season.

That's it for today's Spring Training Photo Gallery, don't forget to check out today's Spring Training Notebook - The Roster Report, where I give you a quick rundown on all the players in camp.

I'll see you at the ballpark.


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