"Officially" St. Louis Cardinals report dates - Pitchers/Catchers, February 12. Position players and invitees, February 17. However, sightings of quite a few Cardinals players 'unofficially' at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex.
One of my favorite Cardinals beat writers is also in Jupiter FL to cover our Cardinals Spring Training, Derrick Goold. In the parking lot which will be filled with semi-trucks soon delivering equipment and miscellaneous items for the players. Starter RHP Michael Wacha was sauntering towards the gate.
He made note of the question asked of Wacha, "
"Were there more major-league pitchers in camp Thursday morning or major-league infielders?
He [Wacha] looked out to the field, where the entire big-league infield was taking batting practice.
“They’re all here — and we haven’t even reported yet,” he said."
Goold was able to get a pic of the Cardinals newest acquisition 1B Paul Goldschmidt dressed in Cardinals red. Goldschmidt arrived Thursday, ahead of the official report in date, to get the 'lay of the land', being able to get to know his new teammates and begin working out. He was most impressed with how many were already at the training facility. A show of true dedication and commitment by them, as much as his own.
Goldschmidt completed a full infield 'squad'. The foursome ~ Matt Carpenter at third, Kolten Wong at second, Paul DeJong at shortstop, and Goldschmidt, the new addition at first — all present and accounted for more than a week before mandatory, full-squad workouts begin.
Of course, who should also arrive for Goldschmidt to "break a moment" being near the batting cage .... Marcell Ozuna. Had to share a 'bear-hug".
Even though much of Ozuna's rehab has been 'away from' Cardinals medical/training staff, he honored their request to be an 'early show' for Spring Training.
The Cardinals so that he could spend time with trainers and get his right arm ready and stronger for the start of the regular season. Not only time in the hitting cage, Ozuna went through some throwing drills and outfield fielding drills with the coaches who were available. He said he was “feeling good,” that the arm was feeling better, and that he was working back from the surgery that he had at the end of this past season.
One factor that plays havoc with anyone who goes through such a surgery - to overcome the discomfort, some bad habits are created along the way. In Ozuna's case, he will be put on a throwing program to begin Spring Training to work on 'throwing mechanics'. Due to his situation last season, in part of the impingement which led to surgery also led to deterioration of his mechanics and habits he will have to break.
OTHER SIGHTINGS ON "INFORMAL THURSDAY"
Along with the above mentioned, there were others also noted 'working out'.
Yadier Molina joined the big-league infield and Ozuna to take batting practice on the field.
Alex Reyes and Carlos Martinez, both of whom have been training in the area, took the field to play catch and go through their workouts. There were bullpen sessions Thursday morning, but they did not involve either of the right-handers, both of whom have thrown off the mound, though.
Drew Robinson, the Cardinals’ new utility-lefthanded hitter, (trade with Texas). Like Munoz, Robinson can play all three outfield positions, along with third base, second base, and possibly shortstop. He took part in the infield drills with the big leaguer's as well, with his array of "position gloves" as needed.
Cardinals former back-up to Yadier Molina, Tony Cruz has been at the facility for the past couple of weeks. He is now Cardinals new coach (catching coordinator) for the minor leaguers. He has been working with the young catchers, those already around, in their bullpen sessions and in the cage. They have taken advantage to have additional time with Cruz, those seeking extra instruction. Andrew Knizner is one of those and was present Thursday working with Cruz. Knizner advances to Memphis Redbirds Class AAA as the priority catcher now that Carson Kelly was traded. And the "heir apparent" (there's that phrase again) to Yadier Molina.
Per Derrick Goold:
"The answer to the question posed Wacha? Infielders. But barely. In addition to Wacha, Mike Mayers and Austin Gomber were also present at the facility Thursday morning. Adam Wainwright has been working out at the facility, and in the coming day or two Jack Flaherty is expected to arrive along with the group of them before next week’s report date. That meant on Thursday morning, the infielders edged the pitchers, four to three. They had them by a Goldschmidt."
“Team means business,” Carpenter said, walking out to the workouts."
PITCHERS ALREADY PRESENT:
Along with young arms Mike Mayers and Austin Gomber, Goold reports this morning:
Carlos Martinez, Alex Reyes, John Gant, along with Michael Wacha, were some of the pitchers to use the facility Thursday.