Minor League pitchers and catchers will report on Monday, March 8, with their first workout the next day. Position players will join them on Wednesday, March 10.
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 18 and run through Saturday, April 3.
The group will train together for six days before their first intersquad games on March 17. The first contests against external competition will be against their co-inhabitants in Jupiter, the Florida Marlins, on March 18. Camp will break on April 4, though the Springfield and Palm Beach clubs will play their final Florida contests on the 3rd.
As usual and natural, the Cardinals and the Marlins farmhands face off frequently, seven times. The good news is that the "road" trips are only to the Marlins' side of the Jupiter complex.
The only other MLB organization remaining in the area, the Mets (Port St. Lucie), 33 miles from Jupiter, make up the remainder of the Cardinals schedule. Same as in 2009, the five Mets dates are split – where the Cards' Triple-A (Memphis) and Double-A (Springfield) teams play in one location while the 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. Sometimes, the players on both dugouts will be wearing the same red uniforms, though. Due to fact there are an uneven number of clubs in a reasonable proximity to Jupiter, six intersquad dates are on the 2010 schedule. They offer the opportunity to see even more Cardinals prospects in action as typically the Triple-A and Double-A teams face off as do the A-level trams.
So far, one extra home game has been added to the schedule, as the Long Island Storm will be the second Quad Cities club on March 19. Others may be added against local colleges or traveling amateur teams. On those dates as well all Marlins games, a total of five Cardinals minor league games will often be on tap, possible because the Quad Cities roster is so large it can be split into two separate clubs. The fifth game also depends on both sides having available arms that need work.
Again, every day - even on Camp days - one or more of the Cardinals minor league squads will be playing in Jupiter. With the respective home plates on the Roger Dean back quads, 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 among 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!
2010 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|
|18-Mar||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins|
|20-Mar||vs Mets||vs Mets||@ Mets||@ Mets|
|21-Mar||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins|
|22-Mar||vs Mets||vs Mets||@ Mets||@ Mets|
|23-Mar||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day||Camp Day||Gildea's|
|24-Mar||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins|
|25-Mar||vs Mets||vs Mets||@ Mets||@ Mets||WFAST|
|27-Mar||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins|
|28-Mar||@ Mets||@ Mets||vs Mets||vs Mets|
|29-Mar||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins||@ Marlins|
|30-Mar||@ Mets||@ Mets||vs Mets||vs Mets|
|1-Apr||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins||vs Marlins|
|3-Apr||@ Marlins||Break Camp||Break Camp||@ 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. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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