A chilly, gray, windy morning has given way to a beautiful afternoon/evening here in Jupiter, but it’s not expected to get back to normal for another few days.
* The bus heads north at 9:15 a.m. ET tomorrow morning, and the travel roster is unsurprisingly a bit light on veteran stars. Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina and of course the injured Brendan Ryan are not on the list. They should all make their Grapefruit League debuts on Friday at home.
* Also not on the travel list is Felipe Lopez, who may not play for a few days.
“Felipe is joining us several days late, so I don’t know that he’ll play the first weekend,” TLR said on Wednesday morning. “He may not play till we get to Monday or Tuesday. I just want to make sure that his legs, especially, and his arm are in game condition. I think he worked out before he came down here, but it’s not the same.”
* Speaking of Lopez, he figures to get some outfield time down here. La Russa has been pretty emphatic about pointing that out. When someone asks about Lopez’s playing time in the infield, the manager pretty much always points out that he’s an outfield option as well.
Moreover, he’s even considered to be a possibility for some time in center field. However, the staff will want to see Lopez play some center down here in Florida before he gets thrown out there in a game that counts.
* The pitchers making the trip to Port St. Lucie tomorrow: Ben Jukich, Adam Ottavino, Francisco Samuel, Lance Lynn, Evan MacLane, Fernando Salas, Eduardo Sanchez and Charlie Zink. R.A. Dickey is scheduled to pitch for the Mets.
* Ryan Franklin’s first game appearance is set for Saturday.
* The Cardinals played two brief “coaches games” today, simultaneously. In the game I watched, a team featuring the starting outfielders defeated a team consisting of many catchers by a 3-1 score. However, La Russa announced at the end of the session, “Tied! Everybody goes to Fort Myers.”
In the past — though this is less common the past couple of years — the winning team in the last coaches’ game got to miss a long road trip.
Aimee Mann, “I Should’ve Known”
Squeeze, “Black Coffee in Bed”
Neko Case, “People Got a Lotta Nerve”
Crowded House, “Something So Strong”
New Order, “Every Little Counts”