Winter Warm Up: The Long Road Ahead

Prepping for the Grind

While Lohse and Freese have to exercise caution going into the accelerated workouts of Spring Training this year, other players finished 2010 healthy and that allows them to achieve top form well before the start of the preseason.

Friend of the site Cadence and Jon Jay

Chris Carpenter is excited about the way his body and arm feel. “The last two years were the best I ever felt going into Spring Training, and this year is no different,” Carpenter said Saturday. He starts mentally preparing for the upcoming year after Thanksgiving; once Christmas and New Year’s Day pass he starts throwing and that signals “go time.” Carpenter feels the 2011 Cardinals’ rotation gives the team a chance to win every night. He praises having all five starters locked up early in the offseason because it allows the group to talk as a unit and keep track of each others’ workout routines up to and throughout the season.

Jon Jay realizes he is still a young player, but that doesn’t stop him from seizing every learning opportunity he can. He was happy with the way he broke in last year and he wants to use that experience to help him going forward. “I’m just trying to make the team right now,” Jay said. “I don’t look at (the outfield situation) as a battle; I know if I take care of what I can take care of I’ll be all right. I’m just trying to do the best I can do and go from there.”

Colby Rasmus has spent a lot of his offseason in the woods hunting. After a 2010 he calls “a learning experience,” Rasmus knows he can’t change anything that happened on or off the field. He didn’t pay any attention to the trade rumors that mentioned his name earlier this offseason, so he’s ready to move forward. He doesn’t expect to change much about his workout routine, and he already feels good and ready to go. “I’m enjoying the time (in the offseason), but I get to go on the Cardinals Caravan with some of the older players, so it’s kind of time to start buckling down after I get back.”

Chris Reed is a freelance writer from Belleville, IL who also writes about the Cardinals for InsideSTL on Mondays and Bird Brained whenever he wants. Follow him on Twitter @birdbrained.

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