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Observations from the St. Louis Cardinals second Spring Training game

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Yesterday the St. Louis Cardinals lost to the Florida Marlins 4-5 in the team’s second game of the Spring Training. However, Spring Training results mean very little this early. The real news comes from how players look and how management views the roster. A player may go 0-3 in the box score, but still have a good day if he hit three line drives and played well in the field. To that end, here a list of observations from yesterday’s game, including many notable statements from Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak.

Top of the 1st Inning

  • Coaches are pleased with shape that Jon Jay is in. He has a stronger upper body.
  • Jay stung first pitch that was flyball out
  • Ellis hit was line drive to center. Dropped bat and made good contact.
  • Peralta struck out on two good breaking balls.

Bottom of the 1st

  • Lynn’s command in and out of the strike zone was very good.
  • Two strikes from Lynn were called balls early.
  • Lynn induces two popups on fastballs. His ball seemed to have good life.
  • The last out was a nubber to 3rd. Marlins did not make good contact the entire inning.

Top of 2nd Inning

  • Joey Butler has a stance that requires a lot of movement before swinging, could lead to lower contact rate.
  • Butler has good speed, beat out a bobble at third on a grounder
  • Scruggs hit ball hard up middle that deflected off pitcher for fielders choice. Scruggs deserved a hit.
  • Announcers said that coaches have “marveled” at Grichuk’s power.
  • Grunchuk hit a 380 feet fly ball to center one-handed. The ball is probably caught by most fielders who play deep but Marlins centerfielder played it very badly. Still an impressive showing of power from Grichuk.
  • Jay hit another fly ball very far, had to be caught by Stanton at the wall.

Bottom of 2nd

  • Leadoff single was a groundball up the middle. Relatively weekly hit.
  • Lynn Struck out Ozuna on a sinker in on the hands.
  • Lynn got the third out on weakly hit ground ball.

Top of 3rd Inning

  • Marlins prospect Andrew Heaney hides the ball well in delivery. Ball seems to jump on hitters.
  • Heaney struck out Ellis on breaking ball looking.
  • Peralta made solid contact going other way with pitch but a good play by first baseman got him out.
  • Descalso got jammed for a soft liner to second base to end the inning.

Bottom 3rd

  • Angel Castro has strange hesistation in windup that seems to cause issues for some batters.
  • Castro has a good fastball but it is hard to detect a quality secondary pitch. This may have accounted for his struggles later.

GM John Mozeliak was interviewed in the top of 4th inning. The following are highlights form that interview:

  • Mozeliak said the Cardinals are just being patient with Taveras. Probably will not play games this weekend.
  • Would not hurt Taveras to get at-bats in AAA. Will be hard for him to get at-bats with big ball club.
  • Stressed that there may not be just one starting centerfielder.
  • Nothing structurally wrong with Jamie Garcia’s shoulder.
  • Motte's recovery may be sooner than most with the same procedure.
  • Mozeliak happy with Audrey Perez defense and game calling. Going to have to be patient with offense.
  • Excited about “where [Motte] is at.” Said he is “more optimistic than others.”
  • Somewhat concerned about Wainwright’s workload from last year, but thinks Wainwright has a body and prepares properly to take on many innings.
  • Anticipates more phone calls regarding trades in middle of March after injuries, but still many free agents out there to fill needs as well.

Top 5th

  • Jay slices a ball the other way in third at bat for a single. It was a very good day for Jay.
  • At this point the Cardinal regular players were taken out of the game. There was more news about minor league players, but you will have to excuse me for not listing it all here. Stay tuned for more insights from today’s game which should be posted this afternoon.
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