Now that the hysteria and maniac writing in the room has died down and there are seconds to process thoughts let me provide you with player feedback, pictures, analysis and other information from the first day of the St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warmup.
*Funniest moment of the day. Yadi Molina coming into the conference room at the end of Adam Wainwright’s media session and raising his hand, “I have a question.” This event is where you can match a face with the player and see them as the regular people they are away from the field. People have undervalued Molina’s sense of humor for a while. When asked his knee injury lingering into the offseason, Molina admitted some exhaustion. “Sometimes you go that long into the postseason, your body needs the rest. Then you are lying around your house, getting bored and you want to go back to the ballpark.” Molina was excited about Peralta’s addition to the team, admiring his offensive production. Like many teammates, Yadi was sad to see David Freese go. “With David, it’s a business and I wish the best of luck to him. But we will stay friends.”
*Kevin Siegrist spoke about his work his offseason. “Working on the same stuff, getting stronger, working on my pitches and refining the ones I have.” Asked about his role this season, Siegrist was blunt. “For my development, it is better to work on my pitches as if I am going to start. It’s easier to translate that to the bullpen.” On his role this season, “I am ready for whatever they want me to do.” In person, the young lefthander is a tall monster and bigger than he appears on television. They say it adds 10 pounds but they didn’t mention height.
*The DeWitt’s made an official announcement, showing the future creation of the St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Hall of Fame. “This is a project we have wanted to do for a number of years, but didn’t have the appropriate venue,” Bill DeWitt Jr. added. There will be a particular player selection process for the Hall of Fame. Over 60 players will be eligible and that includes modern players as well.
*Oscar Taveras took the podium for a few minutes and with the help of a very good interpreter, gave some details on his offseason recovery from ankle surgery. He has been working out with trainers and feels like 100 percent. He is in contact with Trevor Rosenthal and Matt Holliday and ready to go this spring. Seeing a young raw talent like Oscar at the earliest stages is a special thing.
*Seth Maness put an emphasis on his offseason work. “It’s more about fine tuning, and being more precise with your pitches. Hitters are a lot better and they will hit mistakes.” Asked about the World Series loss, Maness said it made him more hungry and being humbled by the experience. “Coming out on the short end of the stick, it makes you appreciate it that much more.”
*Matt Adams appeared on day 2 looking trimmer than usual and he said it was about 6 or 7 pounds comprised mostly of body fat. “This spring training has been a fight, and we have to be ready to go. We did good, and I look forward to meeting some of the new guys.” Asked about his chances this season, Adams commented “you have to go with it, run with it, and it’s a huge opportunity. Hopefully things go well and I have to be ready to do my job.” Adams’ sore elbow was helped by a brace that lessened the pain and the staff and him are thinking about using it this season. When asked what he is working on, Adams admitted improving against lefties. “I struggled against lefties, especially with the slider away. A few college arms have come in and threw me some BP so I am trying to improve there.” Adams didn’t pay attention to any trade rumors, mentioning how it would take him away from what he has to do. He started swinging before Christmas, and will face a few more pitchers this month.
*Jhonny Peralta, the biggest offseason signing for the team, spent most of his time putting to rest his past and focusing on this coming season. “I want to show to the fans and the people that I can play baseball. I think about before the past, and then I did something really bad, and that I can still play well.” Asked about his fine performance after returning last year in the playoffs, Peralta added “I got to show that I can play and help, and that is what happened. I saw what happened with Melky Cabrera so I didn’t know what to expect. They gave me the opportunity and I did very well.” His teammates in Detroit were very welcoming. “They know what I can, and how everybody can make a mistake. Everybody talked to the GM and told me they wanted him back.” Peralta wisely side stepped the A-Rod comparison in handling the PED issue. “A-Rod is a different person. I don’t talk about everybody else because everybody is different. He has his own situation.”
Come back later today for more insight, including a look at the competitive situation facing Jason Motte and Trevor Rosenthal.