Waino returns to camp; hopes to throw off mound Monday

Despite abdominal strain, ace hopes to 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," said he would play flat-ground catch over the weekend and then be reevaluated on Monday, when he'll be seeking clearance to resume throwing off the mound. His 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.

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.

Matheny digs in to work with prospect Reyes

Cardinals skipper impressed during session from behind the plate

Matheny digs in to work with prospect Reyes

JUPITER, Fla. -- Invited north from his Fort Lauderdale residence to throw in front of the Major League coaching staff, 20-year-old Alex Reyes, the Cardinals' No. 4 prospect according to MLB.com, stopped by camp as workouts were nearing an end on Sunday.

As Reyes readied to throw, the staff realized that the catchers were all occupied on another field.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

On the Cusp: St. Louis Cardinals

Advanced prospects give Cards plenty of options in case of injury in '15

On the Cusp: St. Louis Cardinals

In this series, Bernie Pleskoff takes a team-by-team look at which top prospects are poised to make a contribution at the big league level in 2015.

The recent graduation to the big leagues of Kolten Wong, Carlos Martinez and Marco Gonzales has thinned the number of prospects on the cusp of making the parent club. However, Gonzales still has rookie eligibility and others loom as candidates to help the Cardinals if needed this coming season.

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Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Belisle benefits from tipping-pitches exercise

Belisle benefits from tipping-pitches exercise

JUPITER, Fla. -- As reliever Matt Belisle took the mound on Sunday for his second bullpen session of Cardinals camp, he directed new teammate Adam Wainwright to get positioned behind the catcher and keep a watchful eye. Sure enough, minutes later, Wainwright started calling pitches, picking up exactly what Belisle was going to throw before the ball was released.

The exercise is one done routinely by St. Louis pitchers during these early spring days, when a tipping-pitches station is included in their workout rotation. Though this is a longstanding Spring Training requirement for the Cardinals, pitchers who have come over from other organizations say it's not so commonplace everywhere.

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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 groom infielders as backup catchers

Cardinals to groom infielders as backup catchers

JUPITER, Fla. -- Though unlikely to appear behind the plate in actual Grapefruit League games, infielders Pete Kozma and Greg Garcia are targeted to get some work this spring in preparation for serving as potential emergency catchers for the Cardinals this season.

Since their last emergency catcher (Daniel Descalso) is now with the Rockies, manager Mike Matheny said the club is looking to groom a few other players for the position. Usage would be minimal -- or, as the Cardinals hope, not at all -- but it would give the club a backup plan should a situation arise where both of its regular catchers are forced out of a game.

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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.

Heyward would welcome settled spot in lineup

Cardinals hope to put new right fielder in middle of order

Heyward would welcome settled spot in lineup

JUPITER, Fla. -- The November acquisition of Jason Heyward set off winter-long lineup projections that have trailed the Cardinals to Florida. Manager Mike Matheny doesn't mind, seeing the versatility of his starting position players as something he can exploit to jump-start the offense during inevitable season lulls.

The combinations of who could bat where have, however, already been shaved by one, with Matheny confirming Saturday that he will not open the season with Heyward as his leadoff hitter. That makes it ever more likely that Matt Carpenter will retain his place atop the lineup.

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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.

Garcia clarifies comments, is open to any role

Lefty says he's preparing to be a starter but will go to bullpen if necessary

Garcia clarifies comments, is open to any role

JUPITER, Fla. -- Concerned that comments he made two days earlier might be interpreted differently than he intended, Jaime Garcia clarified on Saturday that he would be open to any role that would offer him the chance to be on the Major League team. In other words, he's not demanding that he be a starter.

"My point wasn't to come in here and say, 'If I'm not a starting pitcher, I'm not going to go to the bullpen,'" Garcia said. "I never meant for it to sound like that.

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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.

Notes from Cardinals camp, Feb. 21

Walden's delivery draws attention; Matheny adjusting to new number

Notes from Cardinals camp, Feb. 21

JUPITER, Fla. -- Under much more favorable temperatures than the first day of camp, the Cardinals returned to the backfields of their Spring Training complex Saturday for another set of workouts.

Here are some notable sights, scenes and notes from the morning:

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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.

Go behind the scenes as the Cardinals film promos

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Go behind the scenes as the Cardinals film promos

In addition to the bullpen sessions, PFPs (pitchers fielding practice) and long toss that have become staples of these early Spring Training workout days, there is a much more entertaining element to these February days in Florida. You just can't see it.

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