Feb 19, 2012; Jupiter, FL. USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) gets a hug from Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) after throwing a bullpen session during the first day of workouts for pitchers and catchers at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

Redbird Rants Report - Spring has sprung

Good day St. Louis Cardinals fans! The Cardinals pitchers and catchers held their first workouts yesterday and thankfully everyone made it through without issues. Redbird Rants Report will be a daily (typically in the morning from here on) look at the previous day’s occurrences and a preview of what is to come of the current day. Once games begin, the previous games’ recap will be here along with a preview of the next game or the next series. There will be some links to news reports as well. Think of it as our daily notebook for the Cardinals. Until games begin, coverage will pertain to what’s happening in camp. Let’s get right to it after the break.

Yesterday, mostly starters were marched out by new manager Mike Matheny; namely four members of the anticipated rotation, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia and Jake Westbrook took their tosses. Fernando Salas was one reliever among the first day throwers and the Cardinals top prospect, Shelby Miller, was also on the mound.

Matheny held court with the group and apparently he enjoys a good quote. This is what he supplied the group with yesterday  (courtesy of former President George W. Bush) on their one sheet schedule.

From now on any definition of a successful life has to include serving others.


I like this. I’m not sure we’ll be privy to the quotes each day but this is a good one for the beginning of camp. The team will be successful by working with each other as a group, not by concentrating on individual goals. The aspirations for each player needs to center on the team.

Westbrook lost twenty pounds over the offseason and enters camp at a svelte 210 pounds. He is hoping his conditioning leads to better things in 2012. Westbrook says he was able to drop the weight by simply eating better and intends to maintain the diet throughout the season. With an option on this contract for 2013, Westbrook’s performance now determines whether the Cardinals keep him next season (he has a no-trade clause so he more than most likely is staying put for 2012).

Yadier Molina caught Carpenter and Wainwright in the workouts. He spoke some about his contract situation. He suggested that the new contract would be about money and he doesn’t feel a hometown discount is in the works. His words:

If I get good money, I’ll take it. If not, I go away.


I applaud him for telling it like it is. This is a business for him as well as the Cardinals. If he can get better money playing elsewhere, we shouldn’t hold that against him. Now that he has mentioned the money is important to him, it is much different than claiming he wants to be here until he retires, like his buddy mentioned a couple years back.

Molina said he learned a lot from Albert Pujols‘ contract process. My feeling is the Cardinals are going to have to fork it over if Molina plays at the same level as last season. There are not many catchers with his abilities entering free agency after this season and the system is not exactly overflowing with catching prospects. I think Molina has a slight advantage here. We’ll see.

Day two is underway with mostly relievers on the mound plus starter Kyle Lohse. So Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs, Scott Linebrink, J.C. Romero, Marc Rzepczynski and Eduardo Sanchez will be set to take the mound today along with others. The pitchers will be on their own until Thursday when the entire group will report if they are not already in Jupiter. Friday will be the first full-squad workout.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Derrick Goold tweets that Skip Schumaker and Tyler Greene were fielding grounders earlier today. Let the competition begin. Not sure if Daniel Descalso is at camp yet, but he better get there soon if he isn’t. Any little advantage could make a difference in the eyes of Matheny. Descalso wouldn’t want to look like the guy not gunning for the job because he simply didn’t show up when the others did.

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Tags: Adam Wainwright Chris Carpenter Daniel Descalso Eduardo Sanchez J.C. Romero Jaime Garcia Jake Westbrook Jason Motte Kyle Lohse Marc Rzepczynski Mike Matheny Mitchell Boggs Scott Linebrink Shelby Miller Skip Schumaker Tyler Greene Yadier Molina

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