We’ve just about made it! The days are getting longer, the St. Louis Cardinals news is more plentiful and most of the pitcher and catchers are already down in Jupiter, Fla. And we only have to wait through the weekend now for official workouts to begin.
In the meantime, this week’s Friday Five are resources to help you prepare for spring training.
1. Current roster
If you’re having trouble remembering who’s here and who’s not (beyond the addition of Carlos Beltran and the subtraction of That Guy who used to play first base), here’s the roster as it stands now. And with 39 on the 40-man roster at the moment, looks like Roy Oswalt can squeeze in there …
2. Non-roster invitees
Of course, there are always more players than just the 40-man roster in camp. Here’s the current list of 21 non-roster invitees, which includes those who actually are competing for a roster spot like Scott Linebrink and Alex Cora along with top prospects like Kolten Wong and Jordan Swagerty. Plus prospects that we could possibly see in St. Louis at some point in 2012, like Shelby Miller and Matt Adams.
3. Broadcast schedule
Personally, nothing says “baseball is back” more than listening to a spring training game on the radio or online during March. Here’s a guide to what games will be broadcast, including three that will be on Fox Sports Midwest (March 17, 22 and 24).
4. Spring training tickets
If you’re going to Jupiter, you probably already have your travel plans already made and tickets already purchased. But if you don’t, here’s a link to where you buy your tickets. Or, if you’re like me, where you can just look at those dates and dream … (Next year!)
5. Keep up with what’s already happening
As mentioned above, nearly all the Cardinals pitchers — including the starting rotation — and catchers are already in Jupiter and working out. Jason Motte said yesterday it feels like spring training already started. And want something to really make your Friday? Check out this video from Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch of Adam Wainwright throwing live batting practice yesterday, as well as his story about Waino’s day (and squirrel mention already?) Ah … memories!
Of course this will be Mike Matheny’s first spring training as Cardinals manager, which means that Tony La Russa will not be there for the first time since 1996. Tony’s not staying home, though — he’s going to be helping out the Tigers for a bit in a non-official, non-uniform capacity.
Finally, looking beyond spring training into the regular season, the TV broadcast schedule for 2012 was announced. Find all the details here from Fox Sports Midwest.
Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.