Early Saturday Warm-Up tidbits

Matthew Leach
MLB.com

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.
-M.
* I’ll be tweeting through the weekend, so come on over to Twitter and check it out.

4 Comments

He may not be a “fit,” but I could see Sheets on a VERY incentive-laden one-year deal. Then when (not if) he gets hurt, Garcia steps into the #5 slot, having been spared some inning count early in the season, which would do him a service.

By fit, I mean it’s hard to see the Cardinals and Sheets seeing eye-to-eye on contract terms.

-M.

It sure is good to read the positive comments, particularly from our pitchers, about how good they feel relative to other years, especially after slogging through the predictable muck on the Cards Never Wavered On McGwire thread (had to leave a little rant, myself). I have to think that with his record of being hurt, we MAY have a VERY good shot at Sheets. Other clubs will shy away while we can afford to look at “risks” like Sheets and Bedard. This, to me, says he may find it difficult to get anything resembling what he wants…AND we have an acknowledged wizard with rehab projects in Dave Duncan. We may end up being one of very few teams who can afford to take a chance on him on a 1-year, performance incentives-heavy contract…Just as we waited out Scott Boras and Matt Holliday, Mozeliak can take the same approach with Sheets! And win. By the way, remind me to NEVER play poker with Johnny Mo!!!

“Predictable muck?” Thanks for the kind words.

-M.

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