The skies were very threatening early this morning (see the photo gallery for an idea of how threatening), but the Cards were able to get the bulk of their workout in.
* Speaking of the weather, it did in fact affect the schedule today. The Cardinals started work one hour early, and compressed all of the live batting practice into a very short span. Pitchers were done throwing by 10 a.m. ET, which was good because some pretty heavy rain landed in Jupiter not long after that.
* Still, there were definitely some things to see while the workout went on. Kyle McClellan looked pretty sharp once again, while Rich Hill’s command wasn’t very sharp. They alternated simulated innings, and they should pitch on the same day going forward — starting with Sunday’s game against the Marlins. I’ve written this before, but it’s pretty clearly a two-horse race for the fifth starter spot unless they both really just implode.
* This morning brought the best play I’ve seen in camp so far, and most of my colleagues appeared to agree. On a double-play drill, Julio Lugo was playing shortstop. He ranged to his left, picked up the ball almost in front of the second-base bag, and flipped it between his legs to Skip Schumaker, who turned the double play. Terrific stuff, fun to see.
* Another from the fun-in-the-cage department, following yesterday’s jawing
. Today, Albert Pujols was batting against McClellan. The right-hander threw him two fastballs, and Yadier Molina called them like a pitcher’s umpire — both strikes. Pujols took exception, and when McClellan threw him another fastball, Pujols scorched it up the middle for a sizzling liner.
I wish I could tell you exactly what he then said to Molina, but by Spanish is unfortunately still almost nonexistant. He definitely jabbed him verbally, though, and even gave him a playful poke in the chest with his bat.
* ESPN’s Eduardo Perez made an appearance at camp today. Perez remains one of my favorite people I’ve ever covered as well as one of the most popular people in baseball. He got big hugs from everybody from the security personnel at the field to media members to players to coaches. Perez, a former Cardinal, is serving as the manager of the Puerto Rican national baseball team and also signed on for another year on Baseball Tonight.
* I was chided in the clubhouse today by Kyle Lohse, who disputed my account of his back-and-forth with Albert Pujols yesterday. Lohse is of the opinion that Pujols’ deep drive off of him yesterday was not, in fact, a home run — that it bounced on the warning track before clearing the fence. All I’ll say is, that’s a dusty, gravelly warning track — and I didn’t see one bit of dust kick up when the ball bounced.
* The Cardinals announced today that Spring Training radio broadcasts will begin on Saturday. Every Saturday and Sunday game, all spring, will be on KTRS and the Cardinals Radio Network. So will every Thursday game except this week’s Grapefruit League opener, and every Tuesday game except for March 9. It’s a total of 17 games.
New Order, “Sub-Culture”
The Postal Service, “Nothing Better”
Joe Jackson, “Nineteen Forever”
Thomas Dolby, “She Blinded Me With Science”
INXS, “Need You Tonight/Mediate”