Jordan Walker leads all hitters in baseball with a 1.667 OPS in Spring Training, as the young slugger continues to turn heads. While Walker’s performance has come over only 18 plate appearances, his speed, power, and overall hitting prowess has created some buzz that he might break camp with the Cardinals, MLB.com’s John Denton writes. Manager Oli Marmol didn’t close the door on the possibility, saying “I don’t know what the tipping point is, but he’s continuing to show he’s capable. We went into this camp saying there is going to be real competition and that’s what he is making this — a real competition.”
As a consensus top-five prospect in baseball, Walker isn’t exactly coming out of nowhere, but the expectation was that he would begin the season in the minors since Walker has yet to play any Triple-A ball. Even if Walker’s bat might be ready for prime time, he only started playing in the outfield last season, as the Cards moved him off his original third base position since Nolan Arenado obviously has the hot corner spoken for at the MLB level. St. Louis also technically has a full outfield complement already, with Dylan Carlson, Tyler O’Neill, and Lars Nootbaar slated for starting duty, Alec Burleson and Juan Yepez in backup roles, and versatile infielders Tommy Edman and Brendan Donovan able to play on the grass when they aren’t elsewhere on the diamond. That said, the Cardinals have traditionally not been shy about promoting their top prospects, and the team’s decision-makers might face a real choice if Walker keeps crushing the ball.
More from St. Louis…
- Jack Flaherty is tentatively scheduled for his first spring outing as part of a piggyback start with Jordan Montgomery, though Flaherty has been dealing with both flu-like symptoms and discomfort in his calf. Marmol told John Denton and other reporters that the team was monitoring Flaherty’s health and could push the right-hander’s debut back for a second time, with an eye towards getting Flaherty on the mound later this week. Neither the illness or injury seem like any major concern at this time, and Flaherty was able to throw a simulated game last week. [UPDATE: Flaherty’s outing will be pushed to Monday, Marmol told Denton and other reporters. Flaherty will get an extra day to recuperate, and is scheduled for three innings of work against the Astros.]
- Adam Wainwright is also dealing with some aches and pains, as the veteran starter told reporters (including Lynn Worthy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch) that “I had some back spasms stuff going on a couple weeks ago, and it shut a muscle down that I’m really trying to get to turn back on right now.” Between the back spasms, the related glute muscle issue that is impacting Wainwright’s running, and a minor blister problem, it isn’t surprising that Wainwright’s first couple of Grapefruit League outings have been forgettable, with a 7.20 ERA over five innings. Wainwright did note that his velocity was slightly up in his second start, and feels he’ll be ready to go when he pitches for the United States team during the World Baseball Classic.
Is the wbc going to be televised? If so, which network?
It’s on the fox network. Fox, fs1, fs2
It’ll be interesting to see how much worse the Cardinals staff is this year now that Molina has retired.
It’s not like they are going to a nobody. Contreras is a highly capable backstop to replace Molina. There probably won’t be much regression, if any.
They won 93 games, their division, and had a top 10 staff ERA all while Molina played in just under half of their games (78). They’ll be fine
The Cardinals regression is likely to come from their starting pitchers. Between injury history and ages, they seem a bit thin. Also SPs seem to often be overrated in their minor league system. They don’t pan out too often, to match their hype.
They will have to begin looking to the trade market to fill their void.
Planning for injuries can’t be done. Martinez, Reyes, and Flaherty weren’t overrated. Injuries are the reason they didn’t pan out.
It wasn’t injuries for Martinez, he was just insane.
Martinez being nsane could have been overlooked if his shoulder wasn’t always injured. Andujar was insane but everyone ignored it because he took the ball every 5 days and pitched like an ace.
Being insane in Missouri, IS often overlooked. Josh Howley? Really!!
Wow. So common sense and logic is “insane” to you? Clearly you’re a non-free-thinker from a blue state.
Is that why he’s completely out of baseball now at 31 years of age? Nope, but the domestic abuse issue certainly played a factor. Have you ever met or seen the guy outside of Cardinal functions? You don’t feel safe around him to say it nicely.
It was still the shoulder that kept him from realizing his talent. I conceded he’s crazy. Why are you still arguing it?
Or you could admit when your wrong. Teams don’t give up on talent from injury. There is always a team willing to try and rehab. Ask Chris Carpenter. Teams turn their back on insane no matter the talent. Ask Trevor Bauer. No one wants to touch Carlos Martinez. I don’t think anyone who’s ever met him would be shocked if an Aaron Hernandez type story came out about him.
Okay, let’s go back to the start of this. It started with someone saying the pitchers are overhyped. They weren’t. The talent was there for all of them who were hyped. I know you think I’m wrong if I disagree with you. That doesn’t make it so. Martinez time in St. Louis ended because he couldn’t stay on the field. He would still be pitching somewhere if he could pitch they way he did early in his career.
Ol’ Uncle Charlie
Don’t forget, Martinez had a shoulder which needed off-season rehab work and when he came to into spring camp, the trainers immediately saw he had not been doing the work to get his shoulder right.
That shut him down and that’s when he ultimately lost his starting job and moved to the pen.
We’ll never know the full extent of every detail that caused Martinez’ career to fizzle, but lack of work ethic, constant partying and other lacking commitments to the game were absolutely part of the problem.
His career was over as soon as he settled the incendient where he followed someone to to strip club with his boys to beat him beyond recognition. His talent kept him in the league until that concluded. And when he basically admitted it without admitting it, he was done. He is an evil person you don’t want to cross paths with.
Contreras won’t leave in the middle of the year to watch his basketball team so there’s that.
I see the fans are still upset about a decision that was completely inconsequential in the final year of a Hall of Famer’s career.
I know they always seem to get things done before catastrophe hits, but Cards starting pitching is in series trouble next year. WAINO is gone. Miles M. Along with Montgomery and Flaherty are all free agents. Libatore hasn’t been that impressive when he gets MLB auditions. I can see them resigning Mikolas & Monty, but that still leaves 2 maybe 3 spots open in rotation if they go 6 man with Matz still under contract. Money will have to be spent in STL come Dec of this year.
Well, it is pretty much a new staff so I think it will be better.
Cardinals devil magic goes a lot deeper than one player. Only thing that might kill it is AI (roboUmps).
Motor City Beach Bum
Two players from that 2020 draft who I loved were Jordan Walker and Garrett Mitchell. I liked both more than Torkelson or Austin Martin both of whom have had issues since being drafted. Still lots of time to sort their careers out. St Louis knows how to draft. P.S. I see no mention of Nolan Gorman above…please trade him to the Tigers for pitching 😉
Flaherty already with discomfort that is keeping him off the mound. Color me surprised.
I believe Flaherty is not having discomfort pitching. The delay was reported from flu like symptoms.
Try reading the article. I literally says he is experiencing discomfort in his calfs.
I’ll take calf soreness over shoulder or elbow any day
Yes. That’s a better injury but the point is that it’s always something with Jack. He doesn’t want to pitch in STL. And with his most recent outburst over “reasonably set” he again proves he’s not a good fit for the STL. He has people to makes his points, he doesn’t need to speak out against MLB rules. He needs to go somewhere where his liberal views will be tolerated, Saint Louis isn’t it and he surely already knows that.
Is manipulating service time still a thing? If so, no harm in stashing him in the minors and going with their original three for a bit. Gives Jordan more consistent ABs outside of spring training where pitchers are still working on things (and..more time in the field), and gives St Louis an extra year of control.
The Cardinals are more likely to put him on the opening day roster in hopes of getting an extra draft pick than manipulating service time.
@standup i agree that being down in aaa for a few months so he gets constant work and allows him to work in the of in a pressure free environment, but if the cards believe he is ready and can help the big club he will be on the opening day roster. cards for the most part don’t play the service time game.
PPI, Prospect Promotion Incentive was created in new MLB contract. Super boring. Rules would get the Cards a bonus draft pick if Walker gets service time and finishes high in the year end rookie awards.
Walker is overshadowing everyone but Winn and Gorman have both impressed so far this spring. Gomez and Burleson have also hit well. Small sample sizes but reason to be optimistic
I think Walker is going to hit his way into being the starting left fielder. Winn will go back to AAA. That outfield is very crowded. That’s a good thing because the pitching looks quite shakey at this point. Trades are inevitible. I hope Wainwright didn’t stay one year too long.
Thank goodness the Cardinals are loaded with young talent and will be able to move them for any elite pitching that will be available later in the season. Nice insurance policy that other teams don’t have the luxury!
Motor City Beach Bum
St Louis and Milwaukee are stacked with young outfielders. It’ll be interesting to see if they use that prospect capital at the trade deadline to upgrade needs if they are neck and neck. Certainly a good problem to have.
My thoughts exactly 57. I couldn’t be happier that Gorman is hitting his way back into the equation. Excellent problems to have. Wainwright concerns me. I really wish we had signed one more starting pitcher, even a bad one. I don’t want to start the season depending on one of the young guys before they’re ready or forcing Pallante into the rotation. Hopefully Woodford is out of the doghouse and ready to take on some meaningful innings.
Every time I see an American League team looking for an outfielder, I think, “We’ve got Tyler O’Neill! Give us pitching!”
Personally, I think part of giving O’Neill innings in centerfield is to up his value. The rest is mostly because he’s playing center for Team Canada in the WBC. He’s not going to be a regular centerfielder in St. Louis.
O’Neill has the most service time so it makes sense that he would be the one most available
But if he’s right, he’s much better than Nootbar or Carlson
Good chance he is if Walker breaks camp with the big club. Nootbar is more likely to start than Carlson in that scenario
So much young talent and not enough spots to play them.
I understand wanting to talk about it, but spring stats mean absolutely nothing. That said, you can learn about a guy from watching his approach; but the stats are irrelevant. Way too small sample size, plus he’s facing pitchers that may never make the bigs or may not be ready yet.
Guys are still shaking off winter rust, others might be working on stuff with their mechanics, and most probably aren’t at 100% yet. Teams are more worried about how guys looked, rather than how they performed.
The cards rotation is gunna be thier weakness this season just too many question marks wainos velocity has dipped some and with flahertys health
One of my biggest concerns of the spring is Dakota Hudson continuing to struggle. I’m convinced his problems aren’t physical or mechanical as much as mental. Every pitch he throws lacks confidence and conviction. I don’t know if he doesn’t trust his stuff, or his Tommy John surgery caused him not to trust his body. Either way he looks afraid all the time. If that doesn’t change in a couple of weeks, he will need to start the season in the minors. There’s no other way. If he can’t regain some confidence after a couple of months in the minors, we have to face the reality he isn’t a viable major league pitcher. I hate to say any of this because I used to think he was very under-rated living in Flaherty’s shadow. As of right now he can’t be counted on to fill a spot in the rotation this season or next. Best of luck Dakota. We need you.
Unfortunately I think the Dakota Hudson experiment is coming to an end. He’s never really been good for us, even the deceptive year in 2019 wasn’t actually good. He gets a good amount of ground balls, but people just keep hitting the ball very hard against him.
I agree there’s a mental block there, but I think the mechanics and physical limitations are serious. He’s losing velocity each year. Just since 2019 he’s lost about 2-3mph off his fastball. Losing velocity like he is when he already has been getting hit hard, is not very promising for his future.
I don’t even see a bullpen role for him. Maybe a team is desperate enough with injuries they’ll need him to eat some innings but other than that I think what we see is what we get.
Hopefully I’m wrong.
I agree, a move to the bullpen won’t help. I would rather have that spot filled by someone who can throw strikes. Bite my tongue, but Drew VerHagen is a more promising option in the bullpen than Hudson.
Cardinals just need to sign Baur, and the fans need to get off our high horse.
Fans would probably be split on the issue, but the front office would never do something like that.