As they have for the last three seasons, the St. Louis Cardinals will start the Spring Training Early Program (STEP) on February 21st.
There are a number of participants in the 2014 edition of STEP, including players selected during the 2013 draft last summer. Marco Gonzales would have been one of the participants but he received a non-roster invitation to the major league camp.
“One of the big, big pluses we find is the exposure to the big league staff,” Cardinals director of player development Gary LaRocque told MLB.com. “Mike and his staff get the opportunity to see another 24 players, whether it’s bullpens on the side, in game settings, or by coming over [to the practice fields] after the Major League workouts and see the Minor League ones.”
Some advantages of being chosen for STEP is the chance to see some action during Grapefruit League contests. In addition to instruction from coaches, players will be participating in seminars that build character or see what the media expects of players during interviews.
Pitchers and catchers in the organization not arriving for STEP will be expected to report on March 3rd while position players are due in Jupiter by March 6th for the full squad workout.
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