It doesn’t sound as if the Cardinals are planning to make another addition to their roster. Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch quotes president of baseball operations John Mozeliak in stating that the team has accomplished much of what it set out to do this winter. “Any move we would make now would sort of complicate things,” said Mozeliak. “Even if we were to break (camp) today, we’re going to have guys competing for at-bats already. And we still feel we have a lot of depth in our pitching.” Beyond that, Mozeliak indicated that he “[sees] no reason” that left fielder Marcell Ozuna wouldn’t be ready for Opening Day. Ozuna played through a shoulder injury in 2018 and underwent offseason surgery, but Mozeliak notes that the outfielder is already swinging a bat and is on track to begin a throwing program when he reports to Spring Training in February.
More from the division…
- Nick Senzel will be given every opportunity to earn starting centerfield duties this season, per John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Reds have no shortage of outfielders, with Yasiel Puig, Scott Schebler, Jesse Winker and Matt Kemp all in the corner outfield mix, but none of them are natural fits in center. Phil Ervin will have the chance to take some at-bats, but he profiles better in the corners as well. The hope appears to be that Senzel will prove a quick study, able to secure his spot in the bigs by learning yet another new position. Senzel, of course, comes to big league camp a third baseman by trade, and he’s spent some time at second base as well – but with Eugenio Suarez locked into a long-term deal at third, and Scooter Gennett at least temporarily installed at second, Senzel’s path to the the bigs goes through the only position on the Reds lineup card without a starter in place.
- Former first round pick Luke Hagerty is attempting a comeback at age 37, writes ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Hagerty hasn’t pitched professionally since 2008 when a case of the yips drove him from the game. Hagerty has reworked his arsenal and his mindset at the Driveline Baseball Program, the same facility where Kyle Zimmer of the Royals trained last season. At a recent Driveline pro day tryout, the 6’7″ Hagerty averaged a 96.9 mph fastball, impressing himself and the area scouts in attendance. Sixteen and a half years after they signed him the first time, the Cubs signed Hagerty again, this time to a minor league deal. The first time through the Cubs system, Hagerty suffered from the yips, a hiccup rooted in psychology wherein an automatic physical ability, like throwing a baseball over the plate, suddenly and without apparent cause, becomes no longer automatic. The yips are a hurdle that Hagerty appears to have cleared, however, and the southpaw is throwing electric stuff. If Hagerty does make it to the show, he would be the oldest player (without international experience) to make his major league debut since Satchel Paige in 1948. Even Jim Morris, made famous by Dennis Quaid in Disney’s The Rookie, was three years younger than Hagerty when he took his last/best shot at the bigs.