Cardinals notebook: Reyes returns to mound, outfield competition - KMOV.com

Cardinals notebook: Reyes returns to mound, outfield competition features plenty of exciting names

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St. Louis Cardinals' Randy Arozarena celebrates as he rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the New York Mets Saturday, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photos) St. Louis Cardinals' Randy Arozarena celebrates as he rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the New York Mets Saturday, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photos)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fl. (KMOV.com) -- Alex Reyes took the the mound for his fourth bullpen session of the spring Friday, throwing 50 pitches under the watchful eyes of pitching coach Mike Maddux and Chris Carpenter.

The young righty threw two sets of 25 pitches, mixing in a healthy amount of breaking balls.

Though it’s still early, Reyes is flashing his dynamic stuff on the back fields. Several times throughout his 20 minute session, the 23-year-old snapped off a sharp breaking ball following a dynamic fastball.

His workload is slowly being built up, but his recovery is still promisingly on track. He will likely throw Wednesday with an increased pitch count.

Young outfielders stealing the show

The Cardinals showed off more of their young outfield talent against the Mets Saturday, starting Adolis Garcia in center and Randy Arozarena in right. Harrison Bader manned left after starting Friday’s game in center field.

The trio went gangbusters at the plate, with Arozarena belting the Cardinals’ first spring homer to lead off the third inning. Later that same frame (the Cards batted around), Garcia hit a ball that may not have landed as off this writing. Garcia’s left field homer, now officially registered with the FAA as an unmanned aircraft, drove in three.

Arozarena also doubled and drove in two and Bader added a single, double, stolen base and two runs. It was a fun showcase of the organization’s glut of center field prospects, and something manager Mike Matheny is enjoying experimenting with.

“They’re all plus runners,” he said. “Defensively, at bats, all of it. It’s really good. Surprising pop from Arozarena, watching the ball jump for Garcia, it’s always fun to watch young guys getting after it.”

The competition for the fourth outfield spot is an early storyline in camp, one with a lot of talented characters and an intriguing set of outcomes. So far, the young outfielders have gotten to play most, if not all, of a game. As the everyday outfielders begin to work into the lineup, at bats will become less frequent for those auditioning to break camp with the team. That’s when the race will really heat up.

High voltage Voit

Luke Voit, set for an extended audition in Matt Carpenter’s absence, is making the most of his early at bats.

The 27-year-old power hitter leads all spring hitters in batting average (min 5 at bats) with an .800 average.

The big swinger has a double and three RBI in two games worth of work. A miniscule sample size, but an important early impression to make for a someone with an genuine shot at a bench role coming out of spring.

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