JUPITER, FL. (KMOV.com) -- Tim Cooney now joins Carlos Martinez on a slowed throwing program in Cardinal camp, as trainers decided to build up the lefty’s upper body strength before he threw to hitters.
“He was just a little achy, so we slowed it down,” Mike Matheny said.
The move was designed to get ahead of any potential injuries, and make sure Cooney’s body is ready to push forward with spring work.
“In February we pump the breaks a little bit,” Matheny said.
Yadier Molina continues to work back from his injury on a timetable based entirely on how he responds to workload.
In the meantime, he remains a teacher. The veteran catcher floats all over the complex, talking to young catchers, workshopping with pitchers, taking pickoff throws and playing catch. In order to allow himself the time to fully engage in drills, the backstop arrives at the complex early to do all of his training ahead of time so he can fully participate.
Brandon Moss has put last season to bed, and found relief in a new year.
“I think the hardest part in spring training is, with the things you corrected in the offseason and the things you’re hoping to maintain, not going back to the default mode of what you were doing last year,” he said. “If something isn’t working right away, then you automatically want to go back. I’m thankful I don’t have to worry about that this year because there is no part of last year I want to go back to.”
His batting practice session happened during one of the windiest parts of the day, and lefties had it the worst. Even balls that were crushed fell short, drifting down in the outfield grass. Having dealt with warning track flight paths last season, Moss was clearly more comfortable this time around with balls not going where he had hoped. After it finished, he turned to the crowd of spectators and with a big grin, jokingly said, “some days you just suck.”
The Cardinals are focusing on flexibility and core strength in their workouts, incorporating Pilates as an offering in this year’s routine.
There have been flexibility-based workouts before, but players seem very much enjoy the new offering. Mike Matheny even did a session Wednesday morning, his first of camp.
An instructor holds four sessions a day, two in the morning and two in the afternoon.
There were no live batting practice sessions Wednesday, and pitchers worked on side drills like bunting and coverage. Some threw bullpen sessions, but most were working on auxiliary things.
After practice wrapped up, players returned to a surprise in the clubhouse. Hall of Fame sportswriter Rick Hummel turned 70 Wednesday, and to celebrate, his wife bought dozens of boxes of pizza and a big cake.
As players returned, they descended upon the pizza along with their standard post-practice meal. Despite playful urging, none cracked and went after the cake.