Minor League pitchers and catchers will report on Monday, March 9, with their first workout the next day. Position players will join them on March 11.
The Jupiter complex offers great opportunities to get up close and personal with prospects. Most March mornings, players will be working out in preparation for 1:00 P.M. games that begin on Thursday, March 19 and run through Saturday, April 4.
The group will train together for seven days before taking on their co-inhabitants in Jupiter, the Florida Marlins, on March 19. Camp will break on April 4, though the Memphis club will play its final Florida contests on the 2nd before heading north.
To end the spring exhibition season, on April 5, Quad Cities will host Springfield at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport while Memphis will have two home games at AutoZone Park against the Major League club on April 3-4.
As usual, the Cardinals and the Marlins farmhands face off frequently, six times. The good news is that the "road" trips are only to the Marlins' side of the Jupiter complex.
The other MLB organization training in the area, the Mets (Port St. Lucie), 33 miles from Jupiter, make up the remainder of the Cardinals schedule. In a sad note, the Dodgers have moved to Arizona from Vero Beach, their Florida home since 1949.
The five Mets dates are split – where the Cards' Triple-A (Memphis) and Double-A (Springfield) teams play in one location while the two Single-A squads (Palm Beach and Quad Cities) compete on the other organization's fields. The good news in that is there will not be a single day during this period when there won't be baseball being played on the back diamonds of Roger Dean.
As a result of their being an uneven number of clubs in a reasonable proximity to Jupiter, the number of intrasquad games have increased, denoted as Camp Days on the schedule. I like them as it means the opportunity to see even more Cardinals prospects in action!
Extra home games may be added to the schedule for the two Quad Cities clubs against local colleges or traveling amateur teams. On those dates as well all Marlins games, a total of five Cardinals minor league games will be on tap, possible because the Quad Cities roster is so large it is actually made up of two separate clubs.
Again, every spring day even on Camp days, one or more of the Cardinals minor league squads will be playing in Jupiter. And with the respective home plates on the Roger Dean back fields, recently named in honor of the departed great George Kissell, arranged in close proximity to each other like in a softball complex, one can easily move between the various games by taking just a few steps.
You never know who you'll see while there, and best of all, it is free! So, if you're interested in the Cardinals minor leaguers, make sure you catch the action this spring in Florida. You'll be glad you did!
2009 Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Schedule
(All Cardinals home games start on or about 1:00 p.m. Eastern, unless they need to make a change, in which case, they will!)
|Date||Memphis||Springfield||Palm Beach||Quad Cities||QC 2|
|12-18-Mar||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day|
|19-Mar||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins|
|20-Mar||@ Mets||@ Mets||vs Mets||vs Mets|
|21-Mar||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day|
|22-Mar||vs Mets||vs Mets||@ Mets||@ Mets|
|23-Mar||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins|
|24-Mar||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day|
|25-Mar||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins|
|26-Mar||vs Mets||vs Mets||@ Mets||@ Mets|
|27-Mar||Camp day||Camp day||Camp day||Camp day|
|28-Mar||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins|
|29-Mar||@ Mets||@ Mets||vs Mets||vs Mets|
|30-Mar||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins|
|31-Mar||Camp day||Camp day||Camp day||Camp day|
|1-Apr||vs Mets||vs Mets||@ Mets||@ Mets|
|2-Apr||@ Mets||@ Mets||vs Quad Cities||vs Palm Bch|
|3-Apr||Break Camp||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins|
|4-Apr||Break Camp||Break Camp|
(Note: Bold text indicates the club will not be in Jupiter that day.)
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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