Postcard from Cardinals spring training camp for Saturday, March 4, 2023

Postcard from Cardinals spring training camp for Saturday, March 4, 2023

Weather: 88 degrees, partly cloudy

Result: Cardinals 9, Nationals 6

By Rob Rains

JUPITER, Fla. – This is quickly becoming the spring of Jordan Walker in the Cardinals’ camp.

The organization’s top prospect took his show on the road on Saturday, and turned in his best day yet in a win over the Nationals in West Palm Beach.

Walker went 4-of-4, hitting two long home runs, a double and beating out an infield single as he continued his campaign of trying to show the Cardinals he deserves a spot on the opening day roster despite being only 20 years old and without playing a game in Triple A.

For the spring Walker is now hitting an even .500, nine of 18, with three homers, three doubles and six RBIs.

Here is how Saturday’s game broke down:

High: The two homers from Walker were among five hit by the Cardinals, with Nolan Gorman and Paul DeJong each adding a two-run shot.

Low: Genesis Cabrera gave up two hits and two runs in an inning of work.

At the plate: The other home run came from minor-leaguer Matt Koperniak, who will be on the team representing Great Britain in the World Baseball Classic … The home runs were the first of the spring for Gorman and DeJong … Gorman also singled in a two-hit game … Willson Contreras doubled for his first hit of the spring, one of 14 hits in the game for the Cardinals … Brendan Donovan was hitless in three at-bats, striking out twice.

On the mound: Conner Thomas allowed two runs on five hits in his three innings of work … Giovanny Gallegos worked a 1-2-3 inning … The other Nationals runs were scored against Jake Walsh.

Worth noting: Dylan Carlson is being held out of the lineup for a few days because of some discomfort in his arm. Manager Oli Marmol said it was “precautionary.” … Jack Flaherty has been dealing with some “flu-like” symptoms but Marmol is hopeful that Flaherty will be able to pitch as scheduled on Sunday … DeJong is still limited to working as a DH because of a sore arm but he hopefully will be able to play in the field early next week … Paul Goldschmidt was back in camp on Saturday after being away on Friday due to a family issue. He did not make the trip to West Palm Beach … With a two-day trip to Lakeland and Tampa coming up next week, the team announced Saturday they reduced the spring training roster to 58 players, with seven players optioned or assigned to minor league camp.

They optioned pitchers Freddy Pacheco and Guillermo Zuniga to the Memphis (AAA) roster and re-assigned non-roster pitchers James Naile, Tommy Parsons and Kodi Whitley to minor league camp along with non-roster catchers Aaron Antonini and Jimmy Crooks.

The minor-league camp officially opens on Monday.

Up next: The Cardinals will be back in Jupiter on Sunday to play the Mets. Jordan Montgomery, and Flaherty, are set to see their first game action of the spring.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out Rob Rains, Editor.