(Jupiter, FL) The rains poured heavily for most of the morning, but that didn’t stop the St. Louis Cardinals from getting their work in.
“That’s the whole point, we’re not going to lose this day,” stated Mike Matheny in the morning as he outlined plans to have players push sleds down the hallways and use multi-purpose room of the indoor facility at Roger Dean Stadium. Another key part of the morning were discussion groups with a mix of players.
“Pitchers and hitters both in the same room talking about situations and how our veteran pitchers have addressed and in their mind prepare when the game gets into a certain spot,” said Matheny. “And then have the hitters listen to what the pitchers are thinking in those particular situations and vice versa. Have our veteran leadership, position players talk about their approach–I think it just challenges a lot of our young guys to think at a different level.”
“Time well spent as a group,” agreed Jason Heyward. “Not only hitter and pitcher, it was hitter, pitcher, catcher, infielder, outfielder, manager, pitching coach–just everybody giving their perspectives,” said Heyward.
“Just sharing and coming to a common ground. To me it felt like if you have any question ever, can always relate to the next person and ask, gain something. I felt like there’s no reason to feel like your left in the dark or feel like you have to do it on your own.”
After a couple of hours, the rain subsided but even before then a few pitchers had braved the conditions to get in some catch.
“We’ve had to do it before, so it was good–we got in what we could and made it productive,” said Trevor Rosenthal. “We just kind of went through our normal stretch routine, it was pretty normal.”
No live pitching was scheduled as the Cardinals are utilizing a different routine this year of having all their pitchers throw over two days, then get a couple of days off.
“For the hitters, I see more of an advantage,” said Matheny. “More live pitches and the pitchers get the same amount of work, you’ll just have some days where you’re just not going to have the live and focus on something different.”