Mar 1, 2014; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals outfielderRandal Grichuk
(88) at bat against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Two games into spring training and the Cardinals are winless. However this first week of games is all about watching the potential players of the future. Even those of us who are pretty familiar with the minor leagues say, “Who is that?” often. To give you a better idea at the end of the fifth inning in today’s game the “regular” guys ran off the field and headed to the club house. This was after half did not play and the other half played 2-3 innings only.
It sure would be easy to sit here and bad mouth a group of the younger guys, but that is certainly something none of us need to concern ourselves with. Last years number one pick pitcher Marco Gonzales will not be pulling a Michael Wacha. He appears to be two full years away from being a serious threat to making the big club.
As far as names you do know Kozma, Descalso and Wong all look to be at midseason form by looking lost at the plate so far. Yes Kozma got a weak ground ball base hit today, but was coming off another 0-3 yesterday. Greg Garcia and Scott Moore have made it clear that if those three continue to struggle with the bat that they will find themselves playing at Memphis. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying Garcia or Moore are ready to be quality starters at the big club level, but they certainly appear to be better options off the bench.
Randal Grichuk sure is looking like the real deal. I think he is a lock to be the starting CF in Memphis to open the year, but I will not be surprised at all that he plays well enough that he is brought up during the year to play an OF position. It has become very apparent that Oscar Taveras is going to start the year at Memphis as well. He has yet to make an appearance in a game and was scratched already from playing on Sunday.
The Cardinals have proven they have a wealth of left handed relief pitching. We all know that Choate and Siegrist are locks to make the team, but down at AAA is going to be both Sam Freeman and Lee Stoppleman. Both pitched 1,2,3 innings today. Lee will need this year to develop at that level after only being at AAA for three games last year. Make no mistake about it though he is going to be very good lefty out of the pen in the near future at Busch.
I am sure there will be some people complaining about losing the first two games, but I sit here with a smile on my face having watched the future Cardinals played.