If it were up to Kevin Siegrist, he would just as soon forget about the 2014 season. There was some neck discomfort in Spring Training. Then continued issues with his forearm kept the St. Louis Cardinals reliever on the disabled list for two months and again affected his performance after his return in July–which ultimately led to a shutdown the end of September.

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“To tell you the truth, I don’t know what was connected and what wasn’t during that season,” said Siegrist, who after a period of rest began an early throwing program and now feels back to his normal self.

“I can tell right away that it’s definitely better and it’s probably 100%,” the lefty began to explain. “Just the way the ball comes out of my hand throwing long toss and stuff like that compared to last year, where something I just knew wasn’t really right with it. But it’s definitely given me a lot of confidence moving forward to Spring Training because it feels good.”

In 2013, Siegrist yielded just two runs and 17 hits in 39.2 innings pitched. In 2014, he gave up 23 runs and 32 hits in 30.1 innings. Frustrating as it was, Kevin did find some positive to takeaway from the year.

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“It did teach me patience. It taught me my own body and I just have to–I think part of it too was the World Series before. I had such a short break that maybe I didn’t know how to prepare myself going into the season. This season, it’s probably the best I’ve felt in an offseason physically and throwing. I kind of learned from that.”

Siegrist threw long toss and flat ground in his offseason program, but was scheduled to return to the mound this past week. His usual routine involves building up as a starter–not to compete for a spot in the Cardinals rotation, but because it better helps the preparation for all of his pitches.

“However they want me to prepare–but as far as my role goes right now, I like it,” said Siegrist of any desire left to be a starter. “I just like the mentality of the bullpen too. I feel like it suits me–not to say I don’t like starting but yeah, I think it’s fun coming out of the bullpen. Kind of going 100%, I like that.”

Siegrist is one of several lefties who will be competing in a crowded bullpen with Randy Choate, Sam Freeman, Marco Gonzales, and Nick Greenwood also in the mix.

photo credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

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