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After long trip, Wong excited, though not jet-lagged

Cardinals' 2011 first-round Draft pick arrives from Honolulu via Dallas


JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals' position players -- all of whom were required to report by the end of the day on Thursday -- have been trickling into Jupiter all week. When it comes to distance traveled, though, no one has second baseman Kolten Wong beat.

Wong, who resides in Hilo, Hawaii, started his journey from Honolulu, where he had been while visiting his girlfriend. He jumped on a flight to Dallas, spent about four hours during a layover, then boarded a plane to Florida. Wong estimated that altogether the trip took 13-14 hours.

The jet lag, he joked, hadn't set in yet on Thursday, when Wong was at the Cardinals' complex getting some work in. This is the second time Wong, the club's first-round Draft pick in 2011, has been a non-roster participant in Major League camp.

"I'm excited to be back," Wong said. "When you're not in the big leagues, you see guys across from you and you get excited to be able to work out with them and see how they go about their business and how they are getting ready for the season. That's what I'm excited about."

The Cardinals' uncertainties at second base have led some to questions about whether Wong will get the chance to make a legitimate push for an Opening Day roster spot in St. Louis. Such a scenario seems unlikely for Wong, who has yet to play above Double-A, but that does not mean an impression can't be made.

And if his development continues as it has since he entered the organization, Wong could be in line for a promotion to the Majors sometime during the 2013 season.

"I always want to come in and give it my best and everything I've got," Wong said. "The second baseman job right now is in the air, but I'm not coming in to try and step on any toes. I'm just going to keep doing what I have to do to show the Cardinals that I'm ready to play and when it's my time to be called up, I'll be ready to play."

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