Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick both checked into camp today. Pujols did a little hitting in the cage, but Ludwick didn't work out at all.
He's in the middle of contract negotiations with the Cardinals, and may have to fly to Las Vegas tomorrow for an arbitration hearing on Tuesdays, if he and his agent failed to reach a new deal with the Cardinals.
He says he's hoping he doesn't have to leave South Florida and miss time in camp. Rick Ankiel was in the same boat as Ludwick... arbitration eligible.. and reached an agreement before his case went to the arbitrator. Ludwick's hoping the same thing happens for him.
Chris Carpenter threw off the mound again today, and told me afterwards that his arm feels great and he's right on track to be ready for the start of the regular season.
Brett Wallace arrived today. This is his first spring training, after being the Cardinals first round pick in last year's draft.
Wallace may have the thickest legs in the history of baseball. He looks like a middle linebacker, or possibly a husky catcher, but his position of choice is third base. I watched him take infield practice and he is surprisingly agile for a big guy.
He has an awkward throwing motion, but has no trouble getting the ball across the diamond. If he continues to hit as he did in college at Arizona State, and in the minors last year at Quad Cities and Springfield, he'll force the Cardinals to find him a spot somewhere on the field.
He's a longshot to make the team out of spring training even with Troy Glaus out for the first month, but Wallace appears to be getting the "fast track" treatment from the Cardinals. He and Colby Rasmus would have to be considered the organization's brightest prospects for the future.
The rock musician from the band "Disturbed" was not here today. Tony La Russa does have another friend watching the workouts... former Green Bay Packers executive
Ron Wolff. The people watching at Cardinals spring training is always interesting.