Springer Impressive in Bullpen Session

After making a career-high 72 appearances last season, the St. Louis Cardinals signed Russ Springer the 38-year-old, right-handed reliever, to a one-year deal in December. Springer, a 14-year Major League veteran, is still looking to make his first Grapefruit League appearance this spring.

Russ Springer cruised through side work session Monday at Roger Dean Stadium before the game against the Atlanta Braves.

Pitching to minor league catcher Brian Esposito, under the watchful eye of St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan, Springer appeared to be very effective throughout the entire morning workout session.

Springer, troubled a by sore muscle in his ribcage this spring, had a full range of motion Monday and was not experiencing any obvious discomfort while pitching on the sidelines.

After Monday's session, Springer is expected to appear in a game sometime later this week.

Considered a situational righty specialist at this stage of his career, last season he pitched in a career-high 72 games, posting a 3.47 ERA, allowing 46 hits, striking out 46 and walking 16 in 59.2 innings. He held right-handed batters to a .187 batting average. Overall, opponents hit just .211 against him. He did not allow a run in 10 of his last 11 outings from Sept. 9 - Oct. 1 (1.08 ERA, 8.1 IP / ER) or in 58 of the 72 games he pitched.

The Cardinals were familiar with Springer because he appeared in 17 games for St. Louis in 2003, winning the season opener, before being sidelined by an elbow injury. They signed him to a one-year deal in December.

Springer has made four trips to the postseason in his career; in 1997, 2004 and 2005 with the Houston Astros, and in 1999 with the Atlanta Braves. Springer is 1-1 with a 4.40 ERA in 14 career postseason games.

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