The shift into the second phase of Spring Training for the St. Louis Cardinals pitchers began today as they stepped on the mound to face live hitting.
“First live BP is just to let them get their spikes in the ground,” explained Pitching Coach Derek Lilliquist. “Seeing hitters—one simple thought process. Second live BP the starter-type guys will go on and off–two 15-17 pitches on-off with a reliever in between and then progressing in to games.”
Bullpen sessions were adjusted on Wednesday to ensure at least two days rest for the pitchers as they headed into the live sessions. That will be extended to three days prior to the second session.
“Pitchers like to call it live pitching practice, not BP,” corrected Michael Wacha with a smile. “Just looking forward to facing hitters again and working on just throwing strikes. That’s the main part in this first live pitching practice, just trying to throw strikes down in the zone and throw quality strikes.
“We don’t care if they get a hit off us, mainly, right now. It’s just making quality strikes, quality pitches and that’s the main focus going forward.”
You definitely have to get your touch back and it’s coming along nice and I’m able to throw it for strikes.”
Carlos Martinez and Tyler Lyons will receive the starter’s innings for the Cardinals opener in Grapefruit League action on February 28th. And while no surprise, Mike Matheny acknowledged that Adam Wainwright will start the season opener.