Greetings from Port St. Lucie, where the sun is shining brightly and the wind is blowing briskly. The Cardinals are taking batting practice as I write this, and there will be a baseball game in an hour and a half. Life is good.
Anyway, on with the tidbits.
* Allen Craig has a sore left quadriceps muscle and was scratched from the travel roster today. He’s likely out for a few days.
* The Cardinals agreed to terms on 2010 contracts with all 24 of their pre-arbitration players. I’ll have stories on each of these top two topics on the site a little bit later today.
* TLR said that several factors played into his leaving some of the team’s top stars back in Jupiter today. One is the fact that the Mets are starting knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Another, though, is that they’re going to hit live off of Adam Wainwright.
Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina and Felipe Lopez (plus youngster Tyler Henley for left-handed balance) are all hitting off of Wainwright back at camp.
One factor that went unmentioned: it’s nice to have the biggest stars play in the first home spring game, which is tomorrow.
* Veteran position players will likely get 2-3 at-bats today.
* From the pitchers who made the trip today (see the list here
), three are not expected to pitch: Lance Lynn, Ben Jukich and Fernando Salas. They are here as protection, in case some of the scheduled pitchers are not able to last as long as hoped.
* TLR said that Julio Lugo has a chance to make an impression at shortstop this spring, and that his defense there is something of an unknown. Lugo was once a plus defensive shortstop, before knee troubles hampered him significantly.
“Tyler [Greene] will play the second half today, and Tyler will start there tomorrow,” the manager said. “Julio can definitely make an impression there.
“It’s unknown because it’s a brand new year. I knew him before he had his knee injury. Now it’s a year later. He’s in as good a shape as anybody we have in camp. He’s in great shape. He looks like he’s 25 years old.”
Today’s playlist is simple and classic. It’s side one of the Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street, which I played on the way up this morning.
“Rip This Joint”
“Shake Your Hips”