Taste of Majors fuels Tuivailala at Cardinals camp

Pitching prospect learned much from his first big league experience

Taste of Majors fuels Tuivailala at Cardinals camp

JUPITER, Fla. -- Sam Tuivailala, 22, acknowledges that he was a little overwhelmed last September when the Cardinals called him up to the big leagues.

"Words can't really describe it. It's everything that you always dreamed of," the right-hander said prior to the Cardinals' workout on Saturday at the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

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Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Piscotty makes tweaks to bolster his power

Cardinals' top prospect hopes to drive the ball more this season

Piscotty makes tweaks to bolster his power

JUPITER, Fla. -- It's only a matter of time before Stephen Piscotty, the Cardinals' top prospect, is given his shot at the MLB level. The sooner his power increases, the sooner that might happen.

Piscotty, at Spring Training camp as a non-roster invitee, had a .288 batting average with nine home runs and 69 RBIs in 500 at-bats at Triple-A Memphis last year. He's hit only 28 homers in the Minors since being a first-round pick out of Stanford in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. It's an aspect of the 24-year-old outfielder's game that he worked on during the winter and will focus on during Spring Training.

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Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cardinals mix hitters with pitchers to talk 'shop'

Matheny has players discuss strategy while working out indoors due to rain

Cardinals mix hitters with pitchers to talk 'shop'

JUPITER, Fla. -- It's too early in Spring Training to be taking a day off just because of lousy weather.

So when rain forced the Cardinals indoors for workouts Friday, manager Mike Matheny decided to use part of the time for discussion groups among the players and coaches. Pitchers and hitters were divided into groups to discuss various situations that might happen in games.

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Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Waino returns to camp; hopes to throw off mound Monday

Despite abdominal strain, ace could make first spring start in 2-3 weeks

Waino returns to camp; hopes to throw off mound Monday

JUPITER, Fla. -- Adam Wainwright returned to Cardinals camp on Friday, one day after a St. Louis-area specialist diagnosed him with an abdominal strain that should not keep him from continuing through a spring throwing program.

Wainwright, who described the diagnosis as "the news I expected to hear," resumed long toss on Friday and said he will play flat-ground catch over the weekend. He is then to be re-evaluated on Monday, when he will seek clearance to resume throwing off the mound. Wainwright's fielding, running and work in the weight room will be limited for a while, but his throwing does not have to be.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rain doesn't keep Cardinals from work at camp

Matheny has players do several activities inside club's spring complex

Rain doesn't keep Cardinals from work at camp

JUPITER, Fla. -- Using all the rooms, nooks and crannies that their spring complex had to offer, the Cardinals were able to salvage a day of work on Friday despite the persistent rain that left the fields too soggy for much outdoor activity.

With Friday being just the third day of full-squad workouts, manager Mike Matheny wanted to get creative in building a schedule that would still allow players to maximize their time at the facility. That meant sending players in the hallways for sled pulls, opening up the multipurpose room for stretching and creating time for conversation.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Consistent Cardinals have few worries

GM Mozeliak puts St. Louis in position to again contend for World Series title

Consistent Cardinals have few worries

JUPITER, Fla. -- Once more, they have very few question marks. As usual, they have high expectations. In that way, the St. Louis Cardinals never seem to change much.

"I think that's what we take the most pride in," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Villanueva calls role with MLBPA 'special'

Right-hander 'felt a responsibility' to bring Latin American voice to conversation

Villanueva calls role with MLBPA 'special'

JUPITER, Fla. -- Though not the longest-tenured Major Leaguer in the Cardinals' clubhouse this spring, Carlos Villanueva may just be the most well-versed in the business of baseball.

Villanueva, invited to Cardinals camp on a Minor League deal, continues to serve as an alternate representative on the executive board of the MLB Players Association. Working in that capacity, Villanueva has embraced the chance to be a players' voice at the bargaining table and also to learn about the history of labor agreements. The cumulative experience, Villanueva said, has given him a deeper appreciation for the game.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Notes from Cardinals spring camp, Feb. 27

St. Louis will resume live batting practice on Sunday

Notes from Cardinals spring camp, Feb. 27

JUPITER, Fla. -- From a rain-soaked complex in southern Florida, here are some items of note regarding the Cardinals' workout schedule and what lies ahead:

• Though the rain wouldn't have permitted it anyhow, live batting practice was off the Cardinals' workout schedule on Friday and will be missing again on Saturday. This represents a deviation from last spring's schedule, which had the pitchers broken up into three groups, each of which threw to hitters on every third day. This year, the Cardinals split the group in half, allowing for more live BP sessions in a two-day sequence and then two days off.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Adam Wainwright celebrates medical news with ribs

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Adam Wainwright celebrates medical news with ribs

Adam Wainwright was already having a pretty great day on Thursday by the time he arrived at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport to complete his 24-hour jaunt back to Missouri.

He had gotten a best-case-scenario diagnosis (abdominal strain) from an area specialist and garnered clearance to continue his throwing program. Wainwright, a self-proclaimed BBQ connoisseur, then topped it all off by enjoying two racks of ribs, specially served to him as he sat at the airport gate.

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Grichuk skips workouts with sore lower back

Outfielder plays it safe, expects to resume Friday

Grichuk skips workouts with sore lower back

JUPITER, Fla. -- Outfielder Randal Grichuk put in a full day at the Cardinals' complex Thursday but did not join his teammates on the field for the scheduled workouts due to lower back soreness.

Grichuk downplayed the issue, saying he anticipates resuming work Friday after undergoing several hours of treatment Thursday.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Martinez among Cards pitchers to face hitters

Hurlers' bunting contest on tap; Scruggs getting work with outfielders

Martinez among Cards pitchers to face hitters

JUPITER, Fla. -- After having a first wave of pitchers throw live batting practice -- or, as the Cardinals now prefer to call it, pitching practice -- on Wednesday, a different group of 13 pitchers took the mound Thursday to face hitters for the first time this spring.

Included among those 13 were Lance Lynn, Trevor Rosenthal, John Lackey, Jordan Walden, Marco Gonzales, Sam Freeman, Carlos Martinez, Tyler Lyons, Carlos Villanueva, Mitch Harris, Sam Tuivailala, Marcus Hatley and Dean Kiekhefer. The sessions went without a hitch, though Lynn did plunk teammate Stephen Piscotty with one pitch.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards relieved Wainwright's injury not serious

Ace will take it easy while abdomen heals, should make Opening Day

Cards relieved Wainwright's injury not serious

JUPITER, Fla. -- Adam Wainwright's visit to a St. Louis-area specialist Thursday brought some relief to Cardinals camp, as they learned soon after that the staff ace is dealing with an abdominal strain that should not keep him from being ready for the season opener on April 5.

General manager John Mozeliak called the diagnosis "good news," adding that Wainwright is cleared to continue throwing while he allows the abdominal area to heal. Nevertheless, the Cardinals will have Wainwright "take it slow for about four or five days" with an eye on then having him at full strength in a couple of weeks.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gast glad to be feeling back to normal

Cardinals pitcher struggled last season recovering from shoulder surgery

Gast glad to be feeling back to normal

JUPITER, Fla. -- When John Gast had July 2013 surgery to repair a left shoulder tear, he was advised that it would likely be eight to 12 months before he could resume pitching. What he didn't know at the time, however, was that the road to feeling completely right would take much longer.

Gast made his first post-surgery appearance a little more than 10 months after the procedure but never felt entirely back during the 12 Triple-A starts he made thereafter in 2014. His fastball velocity, which once sat around 88-90 mph, hovered near the 84-85 mark. Even retraining his arm to repeat its motion was a struggle.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Despite set lineup, Cards expect spirited camp

Competition still a factor for position players

Despite set lineup, Cards expect spirited camp

JUPITER, Fla. -- Now in his fourth year as Cardinals manager, Mike Matheny has been consistent in his desire to feature an element of competition in each camp. He likes that idea of players being pushed.

It's present in several ways this Spring Training, with the rotation's fifth spot, middle-relief roles and bench spots still unsettled. Yet Wednesday marked the first time in a decade that the Cardinals held their first full-squad workout with a fairly clear idea of the eight position players who, barring injury, will take the field on Opening Day.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cardinals touch on Taveras tragedy in meeting

Matheny, executives address players before first full-squad workout

Cardinals touch on Taveras tragedy in meeting

JUPITER, Fla. -- It is customary before the first full-squad workout each spring for the Cardinals' manager to gather players and staff into the clubhouse and officially open spring with a message that sets the tone for the season ahead. This year, however, the meeting was also tinged with reflection.

It was a message months in the making for Mike Matheny, who understood the significance of having all of his players together for the first time since their teammate, Oscar Taveras, was killed in an October car crash. Matheny touched on the grieving process and also from the lessons that can be learned from tragedy. He also hoped to offer direction for how the group can collectively move forward.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Feeling 'so good,' Siegrist eyes setup role

After injury-plagued 2014, left-hander working on slide step

Feeling 'so good,' Siegrist eyes setup role

JUPITER, Fla. -- Following a year that he describes as "the most frustrating thing I've ever gone through," Kevin Siegrist found himself a bit too amped up as he stepped onto the mound Wednesday to face hitters for the first time this spring.

Consider it a welcomed byproduct of feeling right again.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wacha, Garcia among Cards to throw first BP

Position players track pitches as 13 hurlers get work

Wacha, Garcia among Cards to throw first BP

JUPITER, Fla. -- At about 10:10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, the door to the Cardinals' Spring Training clubhouse opened and infielder Greg Garcia walked out. Behind him a procession of players followed, at which time the Cardinals were ready to hold their first full-squad workout of 2015.

Most players were on the field for about two hours before the day's structured work came to an end. Here are some highlights from the day's activities:

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Waino: Measures for ab injury 'strictly precautionary'

Scheduled to see specialist, righty doesn't think discomfort is serious

Waino: Measures for ab injury 'strictly precautionary'

JUPITER, Fla. -- Hours before he was to board a flight for St. Louis on Wednesday, Adam Wainwright offered additional details about the abdominal injury that has him scheduled to meet with a specialist on Thursday.

Wainwright said he sustained the injury on Feb. 16, while placing a 45-pound weight back on the rack at the beginning of a morning workout. He "felt a little twinge" in his abdomen, but he continued through the rest of his weight room program.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cardinals to address Taveras tragedy, educate

Club to implement programs in effort to send message about dangers of drinking and driving

Cardinals to address Taveras tragedy, educate

JUPITER, Fla. -- When manager Mike Matheny gathers his players for the first full team meeting of Spring Training on Wednesday, he plans to deliver a message that will reflect on the one missing from the group. It will be the first time that the entire team has been back together under the same clubhouse roof since their teammate, Oscar Taveras, died in late October.

While Matheny's words are expected to strike at the idea of the club being like a family unit, the organization's response to the tragedy won't be confined to one message offered in one meeting. The education process, as general manager John Mozeliak explained on Tuesday, will continue throughout spring, and programs are being implemented to address the issue of drinking and driving.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Abdominal pain sending Wainwright back to St. Louis

Cards ace to be examined Thursday; GM Mozeliak 'not overly concerned'

Abdominal pain sending Wainwright back to St. Louis

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals will fly Adam Wainwright to St. Louis on Wednesday afternoon to have the right-hander examined after abdominal pain kept him from participating fully in Tuesday's workout.

General manager John Mozeliak said that Wainwright will be seen by Dr. Michael Brunt of Washington University on Thursday, at which time the club will provide an update on Wainwright's status. Mozeliak said he is "not overly concerned" about the development, particularly since it has nothing to do with Wainwright's arm or ability to pitch.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cardinals bring in J. Molina as guest instructor

Yadi assisted in inviting brother, who has yet to decide to retire despite facing major knee surgery

Cardinals bring in J. Molina as guest instructor

JUPITER, Fla. -- Veteran catcher Jose Molina isn't quite ready to concede that his 15-year Major League career is over, even as he faces upcoming left knee surgery that will require 10-12 months of rehab. But whenever it is that the middle brother of the three Major League Molinas is done getting behind the plate, he may have a second career waiting.

With Yadier Molina helping to facilitate, the Cardinals invited Jose Molina to Spring Training as a guest instructor. Jose Molina jumped at the chance to spend time with his younger brother and to "be around the great organization that the Cardinals are." The Cardinals see the opportunity as one that could lead to a permanent future role, as they have been seeking to fill a roving catching instructor position ever since Mike Matheny vacated it to become manager.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards looking into upgrading areas of spring complex

Club readying to open talks with city, county officials about improving Roger Dean Stadium

Cards looking into upgrading areas of spring complex

JUPITER, Fla. -- With the Astros and Nationals moving forward with plans to construct a Spring Training complex in nearby West Palm Beach, Fla., the Cardinals are preparing to open discussions with city and county officials about making improvements to their Roger Dean Stadium facility.

A fund for facility upgrades was established in 2011, when the Cardinals and Marlins, who share the complex, signed a 16-year lease extension. According to a report in the Palm Beach Post at that time, the agreement included a $5 million allotment for additions to the facility. The county would provide $4 million, with the teams covering the remainder.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Battery tunes up defense, mobility ahead of live BP

Cards' position players reporting; first baseman Scruggs to get outfield work in camp

Battery tunes up defense, mobility ahead of live BP

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals held their final pitchers-and-catchers-only practice on Tuesday -- and it was an abbreviated one. With all 26 pitchers having already thrown two bullpen sessions, the Cardinals kept all of them off the mound for a day and instead set up a rotation of defensive drills and mobility work.

It was designed to prepare the pitchers for what's ahead, which will be live batting-practice sessions starting on Wednesday, the day of the team's first full-squad workout. With the Cardinals' bullpen mound getting a respite on Tuesday, workouts ended before noon ET.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reynolds puts HR streak on the line to play for winner

Slugger has hit at least 20 homers in seven straight seasons

Reynolds puts HR streak on the line to play for winner

JUPITER, Fla. -- Mark Reynolds will open the season among a company of six Major League hitters with at least 20 home runs in each of the last seven seasons. However, not only is he the lone one in that group without an All-Star selection, but also the only player preparing this spring without the guarantee of a starting job.

Reynolds signed a one-year, $2-million contract with the Cardinals in December knowing that coming to St. Louis would cost him playing time. That was OK, he concluded, because of what he could gain instead.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After studying Matheny, Ohlman is now learning from him

Young catcher researched his new manager's career following trade from Baltimore

After studying Matheny, Ohlman is now learning from him

JUPITER, Fla. -- Wanting to be the utmost prepared upon reporting to his first Spring Training with the Cardinals, Mike Ohlman cued up YouTube and dug into statistics shortly after learning he had been traded by Baltimore. The crash course was designed to give Ohlman a knowledge base of the big league manager he hadn't yet met.

Only having heard about Mike Matheny's background, Ohlman played as much archived video as he could find -- about 30 minutes worth -- of the former Major League catcher. He discovered how many games Matheny caught in St. Louis (622) and learned about Matheny's long-ago mentorship of Yadier Molina.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cardinals nearing first full-squad workout

Two top prospects arrive in Florida as pitchers continue daily sessions

Cardinals nearing first full-squad workout

JUPITER, Fla. -- While several position players have been scripting their own daily workouts for some time, the team's official report date is quickly approaching. Tuesday marks the required date for all players to be in Florida. On Wednesday, manager Mike Matheny will address a full clubhouse before leading the spring's first full-squad workout.

The latest wave of players to arrive at the Cardinals' complex includes outfielder Stephen Piscotty (ranked No. 90 on MLB.com's Top 100 list) and infielder Ty Kelly. Piscotty, though unlikely to break camp with the Major League team, has a chance to further center himself on the Cardinals' radar for midseason callup consideration. Kelly is in the mix for a bench role.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Choate driven to be better for Cardinals in '15

Reliever looking to atone for costly throwing error in NLCS loss

Choate driven to be better for Cardinals in '15

JUPITER, Fla. -- While passing time at his in-laws' home over the Christmas holiday by calling up music on an iPad, Randy Choate's attention briefly drifted elsewhere. He navigated himself to video instead, this one a replay that both hurts and motivates.

The play still nags at the 39-year-old lefty Choate, who wished everyone hadn't tried to make excuses for him afterward. It had nothing to do with Gregor Blanco's speed or the crowd noise or getting caught up in the moment. He simply made a throw wide of first base, one that sailed past Kolten Wong to end Game 3 of the National League Championship Series and set off a San Francisco celebration.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.