Cards' Salas thankful for World Baseball Classic experience
MIAMI, FL - JUNE 25: Fernando Salas #59 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches during a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on June 25, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) By Mike Ehrmann
St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Fernando Salas throws during the sixth inning of Game 2 of baseball's National League championship series against the Milwaukee Brewers Monday, Oct. 10, 2011, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) By Matt Slocum
ORLANDO, Fla. – Fernando Salas is back from the World Baseball Classic and ready to regain his quest to win a spot in the Cardinals bullpen.
Salas left camp for about a week to pitch in the WBC for Team Mexico, who was eliminated in the first round.
“It was a good experience,” Salas said. “I was happy because I got to play with my country. It was a very good experience for me.
“I feel good. My arm feels good. I think it helped me for the season.”
Salas was arguably the MVP of the Cardinals bullpen in 2011 but was overworked and struggled mightily in 2012. He’s refreshed and feeling healthy this spring but doesn’t have a roster spot guaranteed.
The right-hander is battling with several guys including Eduardo Sanchez and possibly Joe Kelly or Shelby Miller for a spot in the bullpen. And he feels he has what it takes to contribute.
“I’m trying hard,” Salas said. “I’m ready for the season and to help the team. I want to stay healthy. I’m ready.
“I feel good. Every season is different. I feel good. Last season is over, 2011 is over, this season is the most important for me and I want to help the team. When I stay healthy, I think I can help the team.”