One of my favorite days of the year is finally here! It’s the day that signals spring and summer are just a little bit closer … it’s MLB’s Pitchers and Catchers Report Day!
I’m usually very excited in the lead up to this day. This year? Not so much. I think it has something to do with my beloved St. Louis Cardinals losing in the playoffs to the Chicago Cubs. Bleh.
And, the team was unusually vocal in their attempts to secure a desired free agent, in Jason Heyward, and said desired free agent goes to the Cubs.
It had this fan wondering what on earth is wrong with her team.
And, if you really sit down and think about things. There is not a lot wrong. In fact? There is a lot to be excited about.
- The Cardinals didn’t fork over ALL the money to pay Heyward. Nor did they pay ALL the money to get David Price. More power to them for going out and getting all the money. The team now has more money at its disposal. And that has to be a good thing … Right?!
- The bench is dramatically better from last season. No more Jon Jay, Peter Bourjos, Tony Cruz or Pete Kozma. Or even Mark Reynolds – who I’ll actually miss.
- They did get Jedd Gyorko and Brayan Pena. Jedd will give rest to several infielders. I wouldn’t be surprised if he even made Kolten Wong have to work a little harder. Wong is great but he has his moments … and if he has too many, the team has an option. Pena is an actual legit option to back up Yadier. Remember that feeling of OMG when Yadi was out because Tony Cruz was going to be exposed. Well. Whew! Brayan has some experience and can hit some too.
- Greg Garcia and Tommy Pham will be other bench options. Both are such an exciting players. It will be fun to see them get chances.
- Matt Adams will be back and has some competition. He could be a bench option too if Brandon Moss has a great spring. And both could end up bench options if Matt Holliday taking reps at first base becomes a more serious idea. And there is always Stephen Piscotty. Speaking of …
- Oh my goodness, we’re going to have a full season of Stephen Piscotty! I’m beyond excited to see what this young man can do! The bat, the glove, some speed, the baseball IQ. The kid is great and it will be nice to watch. He gives you an outfield option and a first base option with a bat.
- A healthy Randal Grichuk. Yes, please! When he is healthy and he is on, he is amazing to watch.
- A healthy Yadier Molina. He got his cast off and is looking to be ready for opening day. I hope he is ready for opening day. Having him behind the plate is just too important to this team.
We haven’t even gotten to pitching yet!
- Adam Wainwright will be back after a good chunk of the season off recovering from a torn Achilles. He has a rested arm and a desire to prove the naysayers wrong regarding his abilities to come back better than ever. … Y’all. This is Waino we’re talking about.
- Carlos Martinez. I enjoyed what I got to see last season from him. I felt sad when the team lost him to shoulder issues. If you watch his Instagram, he has been working all offseason to get better. I am looking forward to seeing what happens this season for him.
- Michael Wacha. I think we all have really high expectations for him. Last season, he didn’t really meet them. Let’s hope he does so much better this year.
- Jaime Garcia. Holy crap, I can’t even believe I’m excited to see what he does this season. Let’s just make sure we get him to his happy place before his starts and have some Sprite or Pepto ready. No more upset tummies for big games, Ok buddy.
- Seung Hwan Oh. The Final Boss. Look. With this guy’s background as a top closer in Korean baseball, it’s hard to imagine he won’t give Trevor Rosenthal a run for the closer position. In fact? I hope he does. Sure Rosenthal gets me significantly angry with his Typical-Cardinal-Closer-Antics. It gets old. And that Manager Mike Matheny babies him. Well, enough is enough. Give Mike an actual option for once. Oh, I hope Oh has a great spring. … Yes, I am so looking forward to him pitching just for the puns!
And then there is the stuff about baseball that are unexpected and awesome! The players that come out of nowhere to become options.
Baseball starts today, you guys! Thank goodness.