(Jupiter, FL) With the St. Louis Cardinals first full team workout not taking place until Thursday, his arrival is officially early to Spring Training. But as he finished up his workouts the last couple of days at home, Stephen Piscotty was fully aware that most of his teammates were already waiting for him in camp.
“It fueled my fire, I was ready to get going but it also pushed me to finish strong back home,” said Piscotty, who arrived this morning and took part in batting practice.
While playing outfield in Memphis (AAA) appears more likely at the beginning of the season, the 24-year old does have a chance to earn a roster spot with the Cardinals.
“I’m just trying to get better every day,” said Piscotty. “There’s all the talk about trying to make the club, but if you worry about that you get yourself in trouble. For me, especially with the new swing, it’s more about just developing that and that truly is my main focus. That’s why I’m excited to be here and try that swing against the great arms we’ll see in Spring Training.”
As he detailed at the Winter Warm-Up, the new swing is designed for an increase of power with hopes of turning more of his doubles into homeruns.
“For the first probably two or three months, there was some thought process that needed to happen. Some thought that needed to go into angles. Now it just kind of feels second nature. So now I don’t have to worry about that too much, I feel like I’ve built up that muscle memory as best I can and really can just go back to thinking about my approach and trying to get good pitches to hit.”
–Ty Kelly, who is in the mix for a reserve infield spot, also arrived on Monday.
–Pitcher Keith Butler, who had season-ending Tommy John surgery last May, was at the Roger Dean facility to throw a live batting practice session in the afternoon. Butler, who was out-righted to Memphis during the off-season, shared he was feeling great. The right-hander has thrown 22 innings and appeared in 18 games for the Cardinals over the last two seasons.
NO MOUND WORK
–The mounds will not be in use for any bullpen sessions on Tuesday as the pitchers will instead focus on a variety of drills.
“You’re not going to see any side sessions,” explained Matheny. “You’re gonna see more work out on the field and then the following day, first day of full camp, we’ll have live bp and everybody’s kicking it into another gear.”
Over the last four days, each pitching group had two bullpen sessions (throwing every other day) in addition to their drill work and conditioning.