Spring Training: Freese pumped to be playing again
St. Louis Cardinals' Allen Craig reacts to a close pitch during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros, Friday, March 4, 2011, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) By David J. Phillip
St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols (5) bats during a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros, Saturday, March 5, 2011 in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) By Carlos Osorio
St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Jon Jay (15) misplays a foul ball hit by Houston Astros' Tommy Manzella during the third inning of a spring training baseball game, Saturday, March 5, 2011 in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) By Carlos Osorio
Houston Astros first baseman Brett Wallace (29) stretches to make the out on St. Louis Cardinals runner Tyler Greene (27) during a spring training baseball game, Saturday, March 5, 2011 in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) By Carlos Osorio
Jupiter, Florida (KMOV,com) -- KMOV.com's Brian Feldman is in Jupiter, Florida covering the Cardinals and is posting regular updates from spring training. It is Sunday and the Cards squaring off against Florida.
Mar. 7, 2:28 p.m. -Lance Berkman joking in the clubhouse that there's going to be a centerfield controversy now. He's so good, he says, people will go from questioning his ability to play the OF to demanding he play center. Very funny stuff.
Mar. 7, 2:26 p.m. -Talked to David Freese as well. He was pumped to be back out there. Still a little weary of running the bases but knows he's healthy. That's the key.
Mar. 7, 1:51 p.m. -Talked to Westbrook. Says he thought he was rushing last start. Made a big effort to slow down today. Glad to throw 60+ pitches.
Mar. 7, 1:37 p.m. -Its always amazed me how players will condition ON THE FIELD during Spring Training games. Literally running on the warning track. Balls can still be hit out there.
Mar. 7, 1:34 p.m. -Tony bringing in Trever Miller to face lefty Denard Span in a Spring Training game? Wow. Talk about being competitive. Or he just wants to give him work vs lefties as much as possible. Or both.
Mar. 7, 1:31 p.m. -Of course after I say that Kelly gives up a quick run. And then gets taken out of the game. Oh well. Valuable learning experience.
Mar. 7, 1:01 p.m. -Joe Kelly pitching for the Cards. A pretty underrated prospect. Doesn't have the nastiness of Shelby Miller or Carlos Martinez...but gets the job done. Should be a big leaguer at some point. They really like him.
Mar. 7, 1:01 p.m. -Huge ovation for Joe Nathan as he comes in to pitch for the Twins. Their closer missed all of last year with an arm injury. He's one of the best.
Mar. 7, 1:01 p.m. -Westbrook doesn't finish the 4th but still manages to go 3.2 innings. One run. Seemed like a strong start for him. He's going to be needed in a big way this year.
Mar. 7, 1:03 p.m. -A healthy Freese is invaluable to this team. He's a bona fide middle of the order hitter who flat out drives in runs. They did not have that last year when he was out. I still contend they make the playoffs last year if he remained healthy all season long.
Mar. 7, 1:01 p.m. -David Freese comes through with an RBI single to make it 2-0...followed by Jay's double to make it 3-0 STL. Freese was clutch last year and a huge reason why, when he was hurt, this team struggled.
Mar. 7, 12:51 p.m. -3 shutout innings (so far) for Westbrook. I say "so far" because I don't see anyone warming up in the bullpen. Maybe he'll go a 4th...
Mar. 7, 12:44 p.m. - Rasmus goes down swinging to end the top of the 3rd. Gonna be interesting to see if he cuts down on those this year. That's a big problem for him.
Mar. 7, 12:38 p.m. - Perfect start for Westbrook so far through 2 innings. Given up a few fly balls though which is pretty abnormal for him. We'll find out why later on when he's available for interviews.
Mar. 7, 12:29 p.m. - Freese up with 2 on and 1 out in the 2nd. He flies out to right. Oh well. The big story of the day nearly wrote itself.
Mar. 7, 12:23 p.m. - Jon Jay a ridiculous diving catch to rob Jason Kubel. Wow. I don't understand the people who are down on him defensively. He can play all3 OF spots, has a good arm and covers decent ground. He's not a Gold Glove guy but who cares?
Mar. 7, 12:19 p.m. - David Freese making his first start and gets Matt Tolbert on a nice 5-3 play. Freese is so beyond smooth out there...
Mar. 7, 12:11 p.m. - Theriot scores Skip on sacrifice fly. Another hard hit ball. Day starting off very well for the Cards offensively. 1-0 STL.
Mar. 7, 12:08 p.m. - Skip Schumaker first pitch of the game...rips a triple down the right field line. Hey...he might be a little aggressive for a lead off guy...but when he hits no one is complaining.
Mar. 7, 11:14 a.m. -Gorgeous day today here at Hammond Stadium. Not a cloud in the sky as Cards take pregame BP. Great turnout by St. Louis fans here in Fort Myers. I'm actually quite surprised.
Mar. 7, 10:55 a.m. -Jake Westbrook makes his 2nd start of Spring Training today