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  • Spring Trainning Notes

    JUPITER, Fla. -- Jason Simontacchi is feeling OK now. But for a while this offseason, he was a little nervous. Simontacchi felt some pain in his right shoulder in January, leading him to curtail his pre-spring throwing.

    That means that he's being handled a little gingerly in the early parts of Spring Training, but Simontacchi says his arm is fine and he's ready to ramp up his workload.

    "I threw a bullpen (Saturday)," Simontacchi said. "I threw one two days ago and it was the first time where I was feeling good about letting it go. All it was was fastball, changeup. No pain whatsoever. I'm just behind on a scale of arm strength, but considering I didn't throw that much, (I'm doing well)."

    Manager Tony La Russa said that Simontacchi would be brought along somewhat slowly in the early part of Spring Training. But Simontacchi expects to pitch in a game during the first week of Grapefruit League competition.

    "Normally, I'm in midseason form right now," he said. "I'm not concerned at all. I think Dunc (pitching coach Dave Duncan) said I'll be throwing on the eighth or something like that. I'll get three more bullpens in, and I'm ready to go."


    Kiko OK: La Russa expressed some puzzlement on Friday that the team had not been able to reach right-hander Kiko Calero during the offseason. But Calero was dressed and throwing for the first day of workouts.

    "He was surprised that they had so much trouble connecting," La Russa said. "Maybe there was a wrong phone number or something. He's been throwing. That stuff always gets cleared up once you show up."

    Calero parlayed a strong spring into an Opening Day roster spot last season. He's once again without a guaranteed job, but he could fit in as either a starter or a reliever, if things break right this spring.





    "He's an interesting guy to watch," the manager said.

    Bullpen math: Calero is just one of a slew of pitchers competing for two spots in the St. Louis bullpen. Jason Isringhausen, Julian Tavarez, Cal Eldred, Steve Kline and Ray King all seem to be set, leaving just two more openings -- if that. Mike Lincoln also seems to be a favorite to win a job, and if Simontacchi is healthy, he has a good chance as well.

    But La Russa insists there is a competition for spots, with Calero, Jimmy Journell, lefty Doug Creek and Evan Rust all likely to get a look.

    Journell may be the most exciting of the bunch. Once considered the organization's top prospect, he's still just 26 years old, and he pitched well in relief for Triple-A Memphis last year.

    "This is a great opportunity for Journell," La Russa said. "There's a couple spots there."



    Numbers game: A number of Redbirds have changed numbers for the 2004 season, most notably lefties Rick Ankiel and Steve Kline. Ankiel has taken Kline's old No. 49 after years wearing No. 66, while Kline now sports 34. Non-roster invitee Wilson Delgado is wearing Ankiel's familiar No. 66. Danny Haren has changed from No. 50 to No. 55.

    Swing away: Cardinals pitchers are facing hitters a little earlier than usual this year. A number of hurlers threw live batting practice on Saturday. That's a change from previous years, when there was a slower buildup to that stage. Among the pitchers who threw to batters were Haren, Mike Lincoln and Journell.

    More arrivals: The Cards reported zero no-shows among pitchers and catchers on Saturday. Meanwhile, position players continued to arrive. Steve Cox, Marlon Anderson and Mark Quinn all showed up in the clubhouse at Roger Dean Stadium during the day Saturday. The official reporting day for position players is Tuesday, with full-squad workouts getting under way Wednesday.
    I agree with Davhaf.....Kaiser March 9,2004

    Official Lounge co-sponsor of Jason Motte.

    Mick Jagger is in better shape than far too many NBA players. It's up in the air whether the same can be said of Keith Richards.

    Bill Walton


  • #2
    Numbers game: A number of Redbirds have changed numbers for the 2004 season, most notably lefties Rick Ankiel and Steve Kline. Ankiel has taken Kline's old No. 49 after years wearing No. 66, while Kline now sports 34. Non-roster invitee Wilson Delgado is wearing Ankiel's familiar No. 66. Danny Haren has changed from No. 50 to No. 55.
    There ya go cg even the big boys do it

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