(Jupiter, FL) Asked recently about Seth Maness having the stuff to be a starter in the Major Leagues, St. Louis Cardinals General Manager did not hesitate with a positive response–but then explained how valuable the right-hander is in his current role.
“His role that he’s done for us, he’s just been so good we would fine that almost as hard to replace where we have the depth in the rotation,” said Mozeliak. “But to envision him as a starter, I certainly could see that.”
With a vote of confidence like that, it makes it a little surprising that Maness continues to wear number 61 on his back instead of lower digit more customary for someone of his experience.
“Yeah, 61’s not really powerful,” laughed Maness. “I think I thought a little bit about it the beginning of last year. Some guys mentioned it to me and I was like, whatever, I’m going to stick with it.”
Maness did the same thing in college, staying with 43 all his years at East Carolina University. With Shane Robinson no longer part of the Cardinals organization that number is now available.
“Maybe a different time I might cross that bridge, but right now I’m going to stick with it.”
Maness is also going to stick with his role in the bullpen, but is open to returning to the rotation in the future.
“If the opportunity arises, yeah, it’s something that would be a challenge I’d like to try.”
Maness has yet to start a Major League game, but went 16-6 in 31 starts over his last two seasons (’12-’13) in the minors.
The trade of Allen Craig last year from St. Louis was felt deep into the clubhouse and throughout Cardinals Nation. Though he had struggled offensively, Craig was expected to be a core player for years to come. Yet with the struggles at the plate came the questions about his recovery from the lisfranc foot injury which kept him out of much of the 2013 postseason.
A motivated Craig tells Ricky Doyle of NESN that he has something to prove in 2015.
“It was night and day,” said Craig, of the difference this off-season. “I had a little bit of time. I went into (this) offseason with a pretty good plan of what I wanted to do as far as physically getting ready for the season, mechanically working on some things. It was a really productive offseason. I’m just looking forward to getting here and playing games.”
FREESE ALSO LEANS OUT
Like several other veteran players around the league, David Freese seems to have modified his off-season training program to become leaner.
Freese had surgery in October to remove a bone-spur from his left ankle and has reported to Angels training camp with more muscle and less fat according to Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times.
“I can’t explain it,” Freese told DiGiovanna. “I just know that now, things are different. I’m excited to be back here and to get to work. I’m glad I’m an Angel. They’re going to be glad I’m still an Angel. I’m confident of that.”