Cardinals News: 5 biggest storylines as Spring Training comes to an end

Jordan Walker, St. Louis Cardinals
Jordan Walker, St. Louis Cardinals / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages
3 of 5

3. Lars Nootbaar becomes international star

Nootbaar went to the World Baseball Classic as a budding Cardinals legend, beloved for his hustle, love for the game, and pepper-grinding spirit. That spirit turned the young man honoring his mother's heritage into an international star who formed a kind of bromance with an even bigger superstar in Shohei Ohtani.

Nootbaar patrolled the outfield for Team Japan, who won the WBC title. He hit .269/.424/.269 with an OPS of .693, with seven hits, seven runs, four RBI, six walks, and two stolen bases. He had some tremendous plays in the outfield as well.

The biggest victory feels like the friendship Nootbaar forged with Ohtani and the Japanese people. The fans quickly fell in love with his Pepper grinder celebration, even bringing large pepper grinders to the game with them.

It's fun to see Nootbaar and the pepper grinder go international. It will be fun to see how the Cardinals brand expands internationally because of this and what Noobaar's friendship with Ohtani could mean for the possibility of him becoming a Cardinal. ... It's nice to think about, anyway!