With many talented hitters locked up on long-term deals -- and more offensive talent in the pipeline -- the Cardinals offer a great case in favor of bringing the designated hitter to the National League.
They lined the back of the makeshift news conference room Saturday -- Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, Allen Craig and Matt Holliday -- watching and welcoming another into their core. With his six-year extension now finalized, Matt Carpenter joins those four as the pillar around which the Cardinals intend to build.
Though skeptical that he hit triple digits with his fastball on Saturday (as the Roger Dean Stadium scoreboard advertised), Trevor Rosenthal was nonetheless pleased with how things went during his spring debut.
Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia said Saturday that he expects to resume his throwing program next week, but will first head to Dr. James Andrews' rehab facility in Birmingham, Ala., to get further consultation from the group of physical therapists regarding his rehab program.
Last spring, the Cardinals came to Spring Training hopeful of watching Matt Carpenter take the reins of the second-base job. This year, the organization will leave with assurances that he is part of its long-term core, signing him to a six-year extension reportedly worth $52 million with an option for 2020.
Kolten Wong, who afterward admitted that the results took a "weight of my chest," snapped out of his spring skid with a three-hit afternoon on Friday, during which he showed off several reasons why the Cardinals want to give him the chance to stick as an everyday second baseman.
For months, the Cardinals have been candid when asked about Oscar Taveras' chances of being on the Major League roster come Opening Day. The outfielder's April assignment, general manager John Mozeliak has said, will have much to do with how Taveras performs this spring. Of course, to make his case, Taveras first had to take the field. That opportunity finally came on Friday.
St. Louis right-hander Adam Wainwright, already tabbed as the Opening Day starter, became one of the last Cardinals to make his Spring Training debut. The 2013 National League Cy Young Award runner-up required just 25 pitches (15 strikes) over two scoreless innings in his start Friday afternoon against the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium.
In the past, an outing like the one he had Friday afternoon might've bothered Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn. Lynn gave up five runs on six hits in 1 1/3 innings in a 7-3 loss to the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. He struck out three batters and walked another.
Marlins right-hander Henderson Alvarez and Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright both tossed scoreless outings in their spring debuts, while Adeiny Hechavarria collected three RBIs in Miami's 7-3 victory over St. Louis on Friday afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium.
This is the only organization Shane Robinson has ever known. And if he has his choice, it will stay that way. Robinson has stuck with the Cardinals as a reserve outfielder in each of the last two years, but he may be facing a roster crunch due to enhanced depth.
Oscar Taveras is getting closer and closer to making his spring debut. Taveras, the Cardinals' top prospect, has been sidelined in Spring Training as he makes his way back from surgery on his right ankle.
The Cardinals' scheduled game against the Twins at Hammond Stadium on Thursday was cancelled due to rain. Adam Wainwright, who was scheduled to make his spring debut, will start on Friday against the Marlins.
Aside from Adam Wainwright, who will start for St. Louis on Thursday, the Cardinals have now watched each of their starting pitchers take the mound in a spring game. And with his outing on Wednesday, Shelby Miller set the early bar.
There are good arms all over baseball, but nobody's got more pitching than the Cardinals, who are the envy of 29 other teams. They had so much pitching they went to the 2013 World Series with a future ace as the just-in-case guy in the bullpen. Shelby Miller is working hard to make sure he's in the rotation the next time the Cards are in the postseason.
After weeks of working through the mechanics of challenging a call through Major League Baseball's expanded instant replay, manager Mike Matheny had his first true trial run on Wednesday. What he learned is that there are still a few adjustments to be made with how he handles the procedure.
Facing the Red Sox for the first time since Boston stalled St. Louis' championship pursuit, the Cardinals powered their way to an 8-6 victory with a two-run homer from first baseman Xavier Scruggs and run-scoring hits from four players expected to bat in the middle of the Cardinals' regular-season lineup.
Two months ago, the Cardinals announced plans to establish a Hall of Fame within the franchise's new museum, across the street from Busch Stadium. Now, the organization is ready to start filling it -- and it is turning to fans for help.
There's no question the Cardinals like to promote from within. It's been a big reason for their sustained success. And it's something every player in their farm system is well aware of, serving as motivation from the top to the bottom of their Minor League chain.