JUPITER, Fla. -- Under windy conditions and blue skies, the Cardinals officially opened Spring Training by holding their first workout on Thursday. Position players will still be trickling in over the next few days, but for the pitching staff and a group of seven catchers, preparation for the 2014 season has begun.
"It's great to be down here," general manager John Mozeliak said shortly after workouts commenced. "Obviously, this is always an exciting day getting everything going, just knowing the excitement that is surrounding this camp and the expectations. For all of us coming from St. Louis, getting a break from that weather is welcoming as well.
"Overall, we think we have all the right pieces in place to get this going. Hopefully we get off to the right start today."
Thirteen pitchers took the mound on Thursday, including four -- Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, Carlos Martinez and Shelby Miller -- who are in the crowded hunt for a rotation spot. Before taking the fields, all players underwent physicals, and manager Mike Matheny gave his first spring speech to the club.
His message was one of responsibility and opportunity. He told the group to take advantage of the chance to make a six-week impression before the regular season begins.
"I'm just anxious to watch," Matheny said. "We have so many young guys. I'm expecting a lot of energy, a lot of excitement, a lot of hopping and moving around. I know that with the veterans that we have, that's their nature anyhow."
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.Less