St. Louis Cardinals: Spring Training Recap Day 11

Feb 18, 2016; Jupiter, FL, USA; A general view of two MLB gloves on the practice field at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 18, 2016; Jupiter, FL, USA; A general view of two MLB gloves on the practice field at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

We now have a total of eleven days down so far in Spring Training and the games are coming for the St. Louis Cardinals. Let’s have a look at the stories from Day 11.

The anticipation and buzz is building, we are getting closer and closer to the season. Tuesday will bring us a new month and one of the last days in a long while that we won’t have baseball action to follow.

The St. Louis Cardinals will start tomorrow, knowing they have just one more day of workouts before they get to test their skills. There wasn’t much in the way of reporting on the team today, but we will get you what was talked about.

Diaz aiming to make a name for himself

Benjamin Hochman had a story about the emergence of Aledmys Diaz yesterday. Hochman interestingly mentions that “Diaz likely won’t make the Opening Day roster,” which is odd to me because I would think Diaz has just as much of a chance to make the roster as his competition in Greg Garcia.

Hochman quotes Matheny as saying that Diaz’ health is no longer a concern and that his swing looks really good right now. He also managed to speak to Diaz who said, “My swing is pretty natural, pretty quick, in baseball you have to work out every day. Hitting is pretty tough, but you have to have confidence in yourself. … I feel more ready this year,” while this is the cliche right now, it is good to hear that he’s ready.

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However, I still can’t get past the idea of him not having a chance to make the big league club. I get that he has to earn it, and Greg Garcia does deserve a “shot”, but Garcia doesn’t have the pop that Diaz has. I still believe that the team has to like what Diaz has enough to give him a shot this spring. Regardless, Hochman and I can agree on one thing, it is nice to have the options after last season’s disastrously bad option in Pete Kozma.

Broxton buying in

Jenifer Langosch had an interesting piece regarding the Cardinals’ Jonathan Broxton, where she states that Broxton has bought in to the “Cardinal Way”. She states that Broxton has admired the Cardinals from afar. She quotes Broxton as saying that the Cardinals are a “A great organization, a great team, great leaders over here, and a manager I really respect.”.

Langosch quotes Broxton saying he has the desire to do whatever it takes to win, saying that he will pitch wherever is needed. I wonder if he’s willing to pitch in Memphis, because as I stated last week, I want him nowhere near the Cardinals bullpen with his tendency to give up long balls. Despite Langosch reporting that he has lost twenty pounds over the offseason, I believe Broxton’s spot is better served on another team.

What can be expected from Garcia?

ESPN’s Mark Saxon wondered how many starts could be expected from the Cardinals’ left-hander Jaime Garcia. I have talked about this already, but Saxon had the ability to speak with Garcia and offered some new light on the situation.

Saxon mentions the obvious, stating that Garcia has been through it all and had a nice comeback year, while missing 12 starts due to groin injury. He mentions that Garcia is in a good place health wise and is ready to go.

He quotes GM John Mozeliak as saying in 2014, “He has been a hard guy to count on”. This is a fair assumption, as 2015 was the first time Garcia ended the season healthy in a long time. One of the things we forget about this is that Garcia is a human and a competitor as well, so it is has been hard on him.

However, Saxon quotes Garcia as saying, “All the tough times I’ve gone through, whether it’s injuries or just so many downs and stuff, I’m at a good place spiritually. I’m preparing, working hard, doing all the little things right. I’m trying to be a good teammate, staying on top of things. It’s definitely what you learn through tough times, but it’s what life is about. This game’s about failure and it’s about making adjustments.”

I am rooting for Garcia to have a healthy 2016, not just because I want him to do well for my favorite team, but because I can’t imagine how hard it would be on him mentally if he suffered yet another injury that caused him to miss out on more starts.

Gomber likely getting nod against former team

The St. Louis Cardinals will be facing Florida Atlantic University for their first game of Spring Training. Jenifer Langosch is reporting that the Cardinals will be pitching a lot of the younger pitchers in this game, including former FAU pitcher Austin Gomber. She says that Matheny didn’t commit to Austin Gomber getting the nod as the starter, simply stating that he will get an appearance.

However, I would assume that with this being Gomber’s former college team, he would get the nod as the starter. I can’t imagine Matheny not giving Gomber the awesome opportunity that this is, as this doesn’t happen often. However, maybe Matheny will go with someone else. Either way it will be baseball and I will be tuned in to see our Cardinals play for the first time!

Next: Spring Training Recap Days 9 & 10

That will do it for the recap today, I will have a recap up later tonight for today, so check back then for more stories from Spring Training. Have a great day Cardinal Nation!