The St. Louis Cardinals will begin their Grapefruit League schedule on Friday and rookie Jack Flaherty will have the honors of taking the mound.
“It’s game one of Spring Training,” downplayed Flaherty. “I mean Weaver started game one last year, I’ll start this year but I’m not going to sit here and be like ‘wow, it’s amazing’. Everybody here is ready to just kind of get going and get playing. We get a few days under our belt being together as a squad. Four days or whatever it is, then games get going. That’s when the fun really gets started. You get to see everybody in their element and see what everybody’s done and see kind of where everybody’s at.”
This past September, Flaherty made his MLB debut with the Cardinals and threw 21.1 innings in six total appearances. In the minors, he posted a combined 14-4 record between Springfield (AA) and Memphis (AAA) with 147 strikeouts in 148.2 innings pitched.
“I’m not one to really engage or talk too much, I learn by watching,” said Flaherty of the experience he gained from his first big league camp last year. “Watching the way a lot of guys went about their business–very detailed, everything is very detailed oriented, very specific about what they are doing each and every day and how they go about their business. I kind of took that and tried to run with it and put it into my own program. Maybe tinker my program a little bit. So just from that aspect, just watching how they go about their business, it was definitely fun to watch.”
The 22-year old right-hander is among those slated for a live bullpen tomorrow, where he expects to learn more about what kind of pitch count or workload to expect in Friday’s start.
–Former pitcher Chris Carpenter arrived in camp this morning. The team Hall of Famer is going to have a larger role in the organization this season, working as a mentor for the big league and minor league teams.
Mike Matheny is also hopeful that Hall of Famers Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, and Bruce Sutter will also be able to join the team at some point during Spring Training.
–The other Carp, as in Matt Carpenter, was held out of practicing today due to the tightness in his back. He was however on the field watching and listening to the instruction for the various drills.
SIGHTS AROUND CAMP
photo credit: Brian Stull/STLBaseballWeekly.com