Hello to one and all from the Winter Warm-Up, being held this year at the Hyatt Regency for the first time. Just a few tidbits from some of our sessions with players, and some other stuff:
* Mark McGwire will be at the Warm-Up on Sunday “in the 1 o’clock hour,” according to the club. He’ll appear on the main stage, and he’ll also take questions in a news conference.
* Chris Carpenter reported he’s in great shape this winter and enjoying a rehab-free winter.
“It’s actually been a lot of fun,” Carpenter said. “I’ve enjoyed my family a lot, didn’t have to worry about rehabbing stuff. it’s been a real nice winter. Enjoyed it a lot. … I feel like I’m as strong as I’ve ever been, as conditioned as I’ve ever been. My shoulder feels good. My elbow feels good. I started throwing a couple weeks ago, so I’m looking forward to it.
“Knock on wood, I’ve told my wife a bunch of times I’m not going to get too excited, because you never know what could happen. But my shoulder hasn’t felt this good since I don’t even know when. Three years. So I’m really excited about the way I feel.”
* Likewise, Jaime Garcia is optimistic about his health, and said he hasn’t been significantly restricted this winter. Garcia returned from ‘Tommy John’ elbow surgery late last season.
“The way I’ve been throwing and feeling, and the way I felt when I was in Memphis last year, I think I’m feeling the best I’ve felt, the best shape, my arm feels great,” Garcia said. “I don’t know how many innings I’m going to pitch, how many I’m going to be able to pitch. I just feel like this is the best I’ve felt.”
* Carpenter and Yadier Molina both expressed enthusiasm for the hiring of Mark McGwire, and neither voiced any real concern when asked about McGwire’s announcement of his past steroid use this week.
“Nothing,” Molina said when asked his thoughts on the announcement. “He’s a great person. He’s a great guy. I’m going to be happy to have him on my team.”
* John Mozeliak confirmed in a Q&A with fans that the Cardinals will take a look at Ben Sheets’ throw next week. However, there’s likely not much of a fit there.