(Jupiter, FL) The position players of the St. Louis Cardinals are grouped into six different workout groups for Spring Training. And all six of the groups rotate through each task which makes up their daily schedule–including bunting. But besides that exposure, Mike Matheny would like to see Matt Adams get some extra work in dropping down a bunt.
“I want him to execute it more,” stated Matheny, who wants the first baseman to use bunting as a weapon against defensive shifts.
“We showed it. It just wasn’t very effective. He’s going to have to lay it down and lay it down fair. The guys have to buy into it–if he wants to keep hitting into the shift, then don’t try to beat it. The only way to beat it–just like what we saw Rizzo do to us. He’s gotta make us think, when he said I’ll take a single all day long.”
Anthony Rizzo laid down a pair of bunt hits for the Chicago Cubs on May 15th against the Cardinals, taking advantage of third baseman Matt Carpenter playing in shortstop territory with the rest of the defense also shifted over.
“Everyone wants to play these shifts, and I have Castro hitting behind me,” Rizzo told ESPNChicago.com after the game. “If no one is on and they’re going to give me that — may as well take it.
“It’s just smart, in my opinion,” continued Matheny. “He’s got to be confident. We worked a lot last year and we’ll continue to work a lot this year and see if he gets more comfortable with it.”
The Cardinals have machines set up to provide different pitches at varying speeds for players to work on bunting early or after practice.
TOPS IN UNI RANKINGS
–For the second consecutive season, the St. Louis Cardinals rank first among Major League teams when it comes to uniforms. That’s according to the latest “Uni Watch MLB Power Rankings” by ESPN’s Paul Lukas under the guise of the Uni Watcher Power Rankings Executive Committee.
Noting the old school approach of chain-stitching to make the Birds on the Bat stand out, Lukas has the Cardinals ahead of the Philadelpha Phillies, Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays, and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the top five. Cleveland, San Diego, and Miami rounded out the bottom of the rankings.
The Cardinals will again feature several uniform giveaways as part of their 2015 promotional schedule–including Sunday, June 14th against Kansas City. The first 25,000 fans age 16 and over will receive a “mystery” 1985 jersey. Vince Coleman, Jack Clark, Bob Forsch, Tom Herr–each jersey given away will be a surprise.