JUPITER, Fla. -- The competition got a little tougher for Adam Wainwright, who, in his third Spring Training live batting practice session, was challenged by the offense's biggest bats on Tuesday.
By design, Wainwright threw almost all fastballs to the group, which included Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina, in an effort to establish command down and to both sides of the plate. The only curveball he threw on the day was hung and promptly driven over the fence by Molina.
Afterward, Wainwright described his latest throwing session as another success, though he joked that he's been throwing off the mound for so long now that he feels like he's already completed a full Spring Training. Wainwright, who is returning from Tommy John surgery, has been throwing off the mound here in Florida since Jan. 12. Tuesday actually marked the one-year anniversary for the procedure.
"I don't feel fatigued at all, and that's exactly why I may, every now and then, throw less off the mound or just skip a light side [session]," Wainwright said. "I have thrown so much off the mound that I need to be smart about my [Spring Training] innings before my [regular season] innings. I don't want to burn all my bullets pregame."
Wainwright's velocity ticked up a bit on Tuesday, and he noted afterward that he feels he's in a good place with his delivery motion. His focus with that has been to straighten his body more toward home plate and less off to the left when he follows through.
The Cardinals have plans to get Wainwright into a game sometime next week, though the team has not officially announced which day that will be. He is likely to make five spring starts in preparation for the regular season.
"Today, I felt strong. It felt compact. The delivery felt nice," Wainwright said. "The group I faced today were about as good as you can get. There's something to be said about working your pitches against the best in the game."