Simmering sun: Cardinal camp notebook day 2 -

Simmering sun: Cardinal camp notebook day 2

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JUPITER, FL. ( -- Day 2 with the full squad was an earlier affair. Wednesday’s session began around 10 a.m., and by 11, the Florida sun was punishing anyone unfortunate enough to have forgotten sunscreen. Catchers, clad in full gear for much of the workout, took it the hardest.

Mike Ohlman, a 25-year-old backstop who finished his first season with the Cardinals in Double-A Springfield in 2015, said he can already feel the heat at work.

Miss Tuesday's camp digest? You can catch up here.

“I can feel myself slimming,” he said afterward, sitting in a sweat-soaked shirt in front of a heaping plate of food. The sun had sapped his appetite and he had turned his attention to the TV screen while he cooled down.

“I normally have no trouble eating,” he chuckled.

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The heat didn’t scare off Ozzie Smith or Willie McGee, both of whom took part in the drills Wednesday. The pair covered fielding and base running as instructors, and even got in on the action.

Smith, 61, hopped into double play drills to turn a few himself, which drew exclamations from the current Cardinal players.

Despite his love of the game, his easy demeanor and his vast knowledge, The Wizard said he has no plans to expand his coaching role any time soon.

“It becomes too consuming,” he laughed. “You say you’re going to do it for a day or do it for a week, and then all of a sudden it’s two weeks. All of a sudden it’s two months. As baseball people, we’re very superstitious. So say the club goes on a two or three week winning streak. [Then it’s] ‘why don’t you come with us?’ Then you’re sucked back in. I enjoy my golf, I enjoy the life I live now. Right now I’m not sure it’s the right time. That might happen at some point, but right now I’m enjoying the other things I’m doing.”

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Yadier Molina continued to play catch and instruct, though there’s no upcoming mile marker for his progress. Mike Matheny said the process is defined by how the catcher’s hand responds to activity, and he will continue to follow a regimen to work back to significant action.

“With the splint that he has, he was able to do some light catching and also allows him to throw the ball a little bit,” Matheny said. “He’s continuing to get his throwing arm in shape. Progressing along the program.”


Fans and players alike got their first showcase of Korean hurler Seung-hwan Oh, who threw about 25 pitches to Greg Garcia and Eric Fryer. The gallery was the biggest so far, and the righty test drove every pitch he had.

“He threw a little cutter there, some two seamers, changeups, a big curveball,” Garcia said. “You find yourself guessing in between and you’re not going to be able to square up the baseball.”


The award for the unluckiest draw in live BP assignments has to go to Charlie Tilson and Jeremy Hazelbaker. Tuesday the pair faced Jaime Garcia, whose movement gives hitters fits if their in midseason form, much less spring training. Wednesday, it was Trevor Rosenthal staring back at them. Rosenthal’s fastball was moving so fast in the bright sun it looked like he was throwing a golf ball, and the pair did their best to pace it. Neither had much success.

When it comes to pairings against pitchers, it wasn’t a mistake. The coaching staff takes great pains to organize every assignment.

“You wonder why we are sitting in that room?” he asked, referring to the office pow wows with his coaches. “It’s because of the little details. Who’s warming up who, who’s catching who, who’s facing who and why. There has to be a why in everything we do. If we don’t we’re missing an opportunity.”

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