Spring Training News – Let the Competition Begin


09spring_logo250x147.gifPitchers and Catchers reported to work on Saturday, but they were not the only players 
 working out at the Cardinals camp in Jupiter,
Florida.    Since the moment Jason Isringhausen faltered in 2008, the biggest question in Cardinals Country has been, “Who’s going to close?”  The oldest question is, “Will Chris Carpenter ever return to the rotation?”

 

Now, there are other questions.  With both Miles and Kennedy gone:  “Who is going to play second?”  With Troy Glaus rehabbing from surgery until May: “Who is going to play third?  Then, the glut of able-bodied outfielders begs the question:  Who will fill those outfield spots, who will be on the bench, and who will be back in AAA Memphis?”

 

Barring injuries, the only certain positions are Albert Pujols at first, Yadier Molina behind the plate and Khalil Greene at shortstop.  Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick will most likely find themselves some spot in the outfield on opening day, and Skip Schumaker will lead off somewhere.

 

So much uncertainty means competition.  Big time competition.  The players know it, and they are there early to get any edge they can.  Everybody in the running for 2B, 3B or an outfield spot is already in camp working out.  No one is taking anything for granted.

 

Many of the 2009 Major League teams will be defined by the free agent they signed or did not sign in the off-season.  The 2009 Cardinals will be defined by the strength of their farm system, a system that has come through in the past.

 

I like it.  I like it a lot.  Most fans would be more comfortable with fewer questions and more proven veterans, but I like the kids.  The young, hungry, talented kids with something to prove.  The 25 men on the opening day roster will be young warriors.  They will have earned their spot.  They will know what it takes to win.

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9 comments

  1. redbirdchatter

    Julia – We’ve had some good kids–Pujols, Molina.
    Jeff – Looks that way. They had Joe Mather taking grounder too. Surely, they are thinking 3rd with him. I’m trying to picture a 6′ 4″ 2B? Skip played SS some in college, so maybe it’s not a stretch to see him at 2B.
    -Kathy

  2. rockymountainway

    Youth is a good thing in my opinion! Of course nobody wants to see a whole squad of Triple-A players but sometimes just the idea of hope coming from a young player is reason to watch. Spring Training is so great to watch for all that hope : )
    Tom
    http://rockymountainway.mlblogs.com

  3. redbirdchatter

    Chris Carpenter is looking and feeling good this spring. With him, Wainwright, Lohse and Wellemeyer leading the rotation, our starting pitching is about as good as it gets.
    -Kathy

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