Martinez nearing live BP: Cardinal camp notebook Day 5 - KMOV.com

Martinez nearing live BP: Cardinal camp notebook Day 5

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JUPITER, FL. (KMOV.com) -- MLB officials, including the league’s chief baseball officer Joe Torre, were in Cardinal camp Saturday morning, going over clarifications on rule changes.

There won’t be any official exceptions for mound visit time limits based on language barrier, but the rule appears to be more of a guideline for umpires to use at their discretion.

“That’s not a hardline 30,” Mike Matheny said. “I imagine I’ll get reprimanded a time or two, that’s just part of it. The purpose was to have us be conscious about the time we spend out there, and let us know the league is being conscious of how many times we’re sending in the second baseman, then the catcher, and then going out slow.”

Matheny also mentioned teams are aware the changes are aimed to improve the game, especially those designed to make the game more appealing for fans.

The sliding and neighborhood play rule is expected to be a lot like the home plate rules of years past. Teams received several video clips of slides, with examples of what is and is not acceptable under the new rule. Matheny and his coaching staff will get together with players to talk through the particulars of the changes and the coaching staff will decide if any changes are made to the instructional drills in response.

The neighborhood play, like most video review elements that have been introduced, will be a work in progress as teams explore when and how often to review.

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Stephen Piscotty returned to camp today, and was eased into work as he recovers from food poisoning.

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Carlos Martinez “let it go” a little more in a recent bullpen session and is getting close to facing hitters in live batting practice.

Though he’s on a slower timetable than other pitchers, the team doesn’t expect the spring schedule to affect his ability to be ready for the season. By regimenting the work and easing Martinez into full-throttle throwing, the Cardinals expect him to be fully prepared by the time regular season games roll around.

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The Cardinals will play Florida Atlantic University at Roger Dean Stadium Wednesday. Austin Gomber, a fourth-round pick drafted in 2014, has been penciled in for action against his alma mater.

Though a starter hasn’t been announced, the big lefty will make an appearance against the Owls.

Gomber threw 135 innings in Peoria last season, starting 22 games and finishing with a 2.67 ERA. Most notably, he struck out 140 hitters and walked just 34. His season was good enough to earn him a share of the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year award. He and highly-touted fireballer Alex Reyes were the winners, and it was the first time ever there were co-recipients in the pitching category.

He has tremendous command of all his pitches, and it should make for a fun performance against his former school.

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The team had a shorter day Saturday, as the spring training season ticket holders were treated to an autograph signing on the main field at 1. p.m.

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The first ping pong match of the spring (at least that I have witnessed) took place after the workout and featured Matt Adams and Jedd Gyorko. It was a fairly civil affair, and the two split with one win each.

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