The Cardinals had their first official workout for pitchers and catchers Wednesday at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter, Florida.
Four of the 13 pitchers who are in camp for the first time, are new to the organization since the end of last season. For more on the pitchers, CLICK. HERE.
With the retirement of Yadier Molina, the pitchers got to throw to their new catcher, former Cubs player Willson Contreras. Contreras seemed comfortable with the players and expressed his excitement to be with the team to the media.
Contreras, who is signed to a five-year contract, knows the best way he can honor and respect Molina is by making the catcher transition a seamless one and if Wednesday is any indication it looked like he was able to do that at least on day one of spring training practice.
Along with Contreras, Andrew Knizner was in camp, working out at the catcher position.
He had said earlier that he was excited to have Contreras on the team adding “he’s a winning player and I think he is going to help us win a lot of games this year.” He said his main focus would remain internal and he would do what he could to get better and help the team.
Adam Wainwright and the other pitchers all seemed happy to be in camp. Wainwright is trying to get the most time in camp before he leaves for the World Baseball Classic.
Many of the Cardinals will be participating in the WBC and for more information on that CLICK HERE.
Wainwright was coming off the season of seeing Molina and Albert Pujols leave and in the off-season he spent time working on his music career, doing recording in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
He was seen talking to the various pitchers, who will no doubt try to learn from him.
The first full-squad workout is Feb. 20 and the first spring training game is less than two weeks away, on Feb. 25.
The past few spring trainings have been different– 2020 spring training stopped due to Covid, 2021 Covid rules in place, 2022 owners lock the players out, and now in 2023 there are so many players playing in the World Baseball Classic which takes place in various locations Tuesday March 7- Tuesday March 21. Pitchers and catchers committed to the exhibition series must report on Monday. Position players playing in the WBC must report on Thursday.
The Cardinals announced 19 players from the organization have been named to the World Baseball Classic team rosters, the most of any Major League team. Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Adam Wainwright and Miles Mikolas, all will be playing for the U.S. team.
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It is going to be interesting to see how the team will shape up when so many will be missing valuable practice time in Jupiter.
Dates and Info Regarding Cardinals Spring Training
* Pitchers/Catchers first full workout Feb. 15; Full team workout: Feb . 20.
* First spring training game: Sat. Feb. 25 vs. Nationals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.
* First Team USA World Classic Game: Tues. March 7
* Rob’s Spring Training Bash: Thurs. March 16; Homewood Suites Palm Beach Gardens at 4 p.m. or immediately after the game
* Cardinals Opening Day at Busch: March 30 vs. Toronto
* Hotel Discounts: Drury Hotels- promocode SPORTS; Homewood Suites Palm Beach Gardens – call Elise and ask for Rob Rains discount (561) 622-7799
Photos courtesy of Debbie Toberman.