It appears that Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst will not be traveling down to Spring Training this year, but that hasn’t kept him from being in regular contact with the St. Louis Cardinals–specifically, Mike Matheny.
“He gets on the phone and we talk about our club,” shared Matheny. “Man, this guy–he’s on top of everything. It’s amazing. He’s throwing names, tell me about what’d you see out of this particular guy. I didn’t even know you knew him Red. It blows me away.”
Schoendienst has been a main stay around Spring Training for the last several decades, along with the likes of Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, and Ozzie Smith also lending their expertise. He wasn’t in uniform instructing, but nearby resident and former lefty Jim Kaat stopped by camp this afternoon.
“That’s just so unique with our organization,” continued Matheny. “Hats off to our ownership for appreciating and making sure that’s a mainstay with us and I think the other side is, there’s just something unique about this organization that wants those amazing players and managers to stay in contact. It says a lot.”
The full list of guest instructors is still fluid as some who’ve expressed interest have not been able to work out a trip as yet. This includes the Hall of Fame little brother of new pitching coach Mike Maddux.
“No, as many times as Mike and I have been together and talked on the phone all throughout the winter, I think (Wednesday) was the first time I even brought Greg’s name up,” shared Matheny. “I think he’s volunteering, doing some coaching, so probably tough for him to get around. But when he does, those are the kind of guys, I love listening to them.”
Greg Maddux is indeed volunteering as the pitching coach at UNLV, where his son Chase is a right-handed pitcher.
“Mike already talks about some of things–when you spend that much time together, you start to blend in your ideas. You’re hearing some unique conversations already about the art of pitching and I know part of that is how a brother helped a brother.”
–With the addition earlier in the week of Bud Norris, the St. Louis Cardinals placed Rowan Wick on waivers with the hope the pitcher would clear and could then be re-assigned in the organization. In fact, Wick’s name plate was not removed and his uniform continued to hang in his locker in the clubhouse. However, that plan was foiled as Wick was claimed by the San Diego Padres and packed up his belongings on Friday afternoon.
The 25-year old Wick was drafted by the Cardinals in the 9th round of the 2012 draft. Two years later, he hit 14 home runs in just 35 games at State College, but that offense didn’t continue after being promoted to Peoria and then Palm Beach. He then began the conversion from outfield to pitcher and progressed to appearing in 14 games at Memphis last season.
SIGHTS AROUND CAMP