Tag Archive | "Jupiter Florida"

Not So Quick – Cards Miller Cleared To Throw

St. Louis Cardinal fans and beat writers jumped quickly to the conclusion that Shelby Miller was “out of the competition” for a spot in the opening rotation due to reported shoulder stiffness on Wednesday.

Shelby Miller is showing up in shape to compete for the opening in the rotation.

News broke across the internet out of Jupiter, Florida on Wednesday that 22 year old Cardinal prospect Shelby Miller had sat out throwing drills on Wednesday with “shoulder tightness” according to the team.  Fans held their breath and pundits declared that the three way competition between Miller, Trevor Rosenthal and Joe Kelly for the final rotation spot was now down to two.

It did not seem to matter that manager Mike Matheny downplayed the problem saying that the team was not concerned about it.  No matter that the tightness appeared overnight and the righty did not feel any pain when he was throwing on Tuesday.  Never mind that the pitcher himself said that he would be back by the end of the week.  A fanbase that is still reeling from the loss of Chris Carpenter was ready to hit the panic button.

Thursday morning came and the team announced that Miller had been cleared to throw.  While they would continue with a conservative path and not push the hurler into games this weekend, there are no restrictions on the young man at this point and they expect him to be in game action early next week.

The fifth spot in the rotation is still up for grabs and is still locked into a three-way battle between some very exciting, young arms.

Don’t count Shelby Miller out just yet.

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St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training Games Mean Little But Should Be Fun

The day pitchers and catchers report is always a special day in the baseball community. It marks the symbolic end to the offseason, but another special day approaches this weekend to mark another step toward the birth of another baseball season.

Cardinals Spring Baseball

The St. Louis Cardinals will open their exhibition schedule at 12:05 p.m. Saturday against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida.  That will officially mark the beginning of spring training that more fans can follow, rather than breathlessly waiting on reports of how a second baseman looked while fielding ground balls or how a pitcher looked during a bullpen session.

Admittedly, spring training games aren’t a huge step up from regular spring training workouts. Pitchers will each throw just a few innings and batters who will eventually fill the regular-season lineup will take only one or two at bats, if at all. This year’s Cardinals roster is relatively set for Opening Day, but these will still be baseball games that will gloriously fill the afternoons throughout the rest of February and March.

Some fanatics will surely try to analyze these early games and try to draw conclusions about how a pitcher such as Shelby Miller will perform this season based on a two-inning performance in the first week of March. That outing won’t mean anything in the grand scheme of a season, but hey, it gives fans something to talk about that isn’t contract negotiations or performance-enhancing drugs.

Fans also get a bonus this year because the games will start about a week earlier than normal because the World Baseball Classic will take place during the first half of March, and teams needed some extra time with their players who would be gone for a couple of weeks because of the tournament.

The Cardinals will lose catcher Yadier Molina, rightfielder Carlos Beltran and reliever Mitchell Boggs to the World Baseball Classic, but those three already have defined roles that would only change if they got hurt, which is a whole other issue that comes with the World Baseball Classic.

Otherwise, minor leaguers will fill the field for much of the spring games, but this year fans will likely recognize several of the names in those box scores.

Outfielder Oscar Taveras is one of the Cardinals most highly touted prospects. He hit .321 with 23 homeruns and 94 RBIs with the AA-affiliate Springfield Cardinals last year, and MLB Network recently ranked him as the third-best prospect in all of baseball. In fact, the Cardinals had six players make MLB Network’s list of the top 100 prospects.

Miller came in at 25th, and he will be a strong contender for the fifth spot in the Cardinals starting rotation this year. Trevor Rosenthal ranked 43rd, and he figures to be an important part of the Cardinals pitching staff in 2013.

The other three Cardinals players on the list are unlikely to make the team, but the spring training games should give fans a chance to see second baseman Kolten Wong, as well as pitchers Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha, for the first time.

Folks have talked about those prospects for more than a year, and this year’s exhibition schedule should allow fans their first chance to see how excited they should be about the Cardinals No. 1-ranked minor league system.

Miller, Rosenthal and Joe Kelly will compete for the fifth and final rotation spot, and Daniel Descalso and Matt Carpenter will battle for the second base job. Otherwise, not much of what takes place during the 32-game schedule will have much of an effect on the Cardinals’ 2013 season.

And that’s OK. The Cardinals will be playing actual baseball games.

While temperatures in St. Louis remain in the 30s and 40s, that is good enough for now.

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Cardinals Spring Training Pics From InsideSTL

Our friends over at InsideSTL spent last week hanging out at a picnic table, and eventually under a tent, in Jupiter, Florida and talking with any Cardinal players that came by and were willing to sit down for a few minutes.

What resulted were some great candid shots of the guys as well as a very candid interview with Adam Wainwright about his contract situation.

The images below were posted to their website and are being shared here with their permission.

Carlos Beltran

Picture 1 of 62

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

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Bird Food: Odds And Ends

The facilities at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida will soon be welcoming back an entire flock of players as the Cardinals’ Spring Training venue comes to life for 2011. Like last year, players should not only be expecting coaching on their baseball skills, but also a renewed team focus on the importance of nutrition as part of an athletic training program.

In 2010 the Cardinals implemented an organization-wide mandate to bring nutrition to the forefront of their baseball training program. Everything from team meals to vending machine options in the clubhouse was overhauled in support of this new focus on healthy food choices.

Towards the end of the 2010 season, I had the opportunity to meet with Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, Pete Prinzi, and visit with him about the specifics of the team’s nutrition program, including how the players felt about such drastic changes to their food supply.

Many thanks to Pete for giving us an inside look at how he helps the Cardinals maximize their performance through nutrition. What follows is part three of the transcript of our interview. You can read part two by clicking here.


Odds and Ends

Erika Lynn, I-70 Baseball: Earlier in the season, television audiences watched Albert Pujols pull nutrition bars out of his pocket during games. What were the bars?

Pete Prinzi: They were OH YEAH bars, his favorite, he eats them every game just like clock work.

I-70: I imagine there are many companies sending their products to the players/team hoping for such a promotion. With food and nutrition being a new focus, are players more conscious about what they are seen eating/drinking?

Prinzi: To a degree, I don’t think they are concerned with being seen with the wrong food, but more concerned with fueling their body to achieve the desired energy for performance.

I-70: What are pre-game meals for the Cardinals?

Prinzi: We provide mainly fast acting carbohydrates, but also some slow acting carbohydrates and lean meats.

I-70: Do they load carbohydrates?

Prinzi: Our starting pitchers will do a form of Carbohydrate loading.

I-70: During games, what foods/snacks are available to players to keep their energy up? We’ve seen the sunflower seeds and bubble gum. Is there more variety available to them during games, especially those extra inning games?

Prinzi: The seeds and gum are more traditional in nature. Certain fruits, bars, and shakes are utilized during our games.

I-70: Many young athletes are using protein powder from the health stores in an effort to gain muscle mass. Do Cardinals players use protein powders or nutrition supplements (powders/pills) to boost their diet intake?

Prinzi: We prefer a food first approach, but in certain cases we will supplement a player’s diet with protein powders or ready to drink shakes.

I-70: What is the view from a trainer or conditioning coach about protein powder?

Prinzi: It can be a useful tool, but not a necessity.

I-70: How much of your job has become MORE focused on nutrition this year as compared to previous years?

Prinzi: Not much more. I have always placed importance on nutrition ever since I started working for the Cardinals back in 1997 and was able to help Rick Ankiel go from 21% body fat down to 9%.

I-70: Wow! How did you help him achieve such amazing results?

Prinzi: Rick came to us at 19 and had a good amount of body fat and bad eating habits. He was eager to make a change in his habits and willing to follow my guidelines. A lot of hard work through training and diet yielded him the results he earned. Since then he has not looked back. To this day he is in excellent shape. It’s no accident though. He works incredibly hard.

And Now…. Just For Fun – Fans love to know fun facts about their favorite players:

I-70: What are some of the specific pre/post game food rituals of some of the Cardinals pitchers or position players?

Prinzi: Adam Wainwright has a specialty PB & J before every game.

I-70: Who is the most nutrition-conscious of the team (most careful about their diet)?

Prinzi: Chris Carpenter.

I-70: Who is the least careful about their nutrition?

Prinzi: Brendan Ryan.

Thanks again to Pete Prinzi! And if you would like to learn more about the specific principles of nutrition programs such as the one developed for the Cardinals by Sports Nutrition Consultant Dave Ellis you can visit http://www.fuelingtactics.com/

Erika Lynn is a contributor for i70baseball.com, BaseballDigest.com and writes about the Cardinals at Cardinal Diamond Diaries. You can also find her on Twitter: @Erika4stlcards.

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Bird Food: Nutrition During The Season

The facilities at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida will soon be welcoming back an entire flock of players as the Cardinals’ Spring Training venue comes to life for 2011. Like last year, players should not only be expecting coaching on their baseball skills, but also a renewed team focus on the importance of nutrition as part of an athletic training program.

In 2010 the Cardinals implemented an organization-wide mandate to bring nutrition to the forefront of their baseball training program. Everything from team meals to vending machine options in the clubhouse was overhauled in support of this new focus on healthy food choices.

Towards the end of the 2010 season, I had the opportunity to meet with Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, Pete Prinzi, and visit with him about the specifics of the team’s nutrition program, including how the players felt about such drastic changes to their food supply.

Many thanks to Pete for giving us an inside look at how he helps the Cardinals maximize their performance through nutrition. What follows is part two of the transcript of our interview. You can read part one by clicking here:


During the season with the hectic travel and practice schedules

Erika Lynn, I-70 Baseball: How does travel affect the players’ nutrition and training programs?

Pete Prinzi: Sometimes it is very difficult to get quality meals or training facilities given the late hours we arrive in certain cities.

I-70: Which players primarily cook for themselves?

Prinzi: Players with families tend to eat at home.

I-70: Which eat mostly at restaurants or eat food prepared by the team chef?

Prinzi: On the road most players will eat at a restaurant if we play a day game. Immediately after a game, though, just about every player will eat something prepared by the team chef.

I-70: What foods are available to the Cardinals when they are in opposing teams’ visitor clubhouses?

Prinzi: That greatly depends on the visiting clubhouse manager. Some clubhouse managers do a great job while others have very low standards and a lot to be desired. Many players complain about certain visiting clubhouses and the food they offer.

I-70: Are these the candy and sugared sodas that the Cardinals have limited in their own clubhouse?

Prinzi: Each visiting clubhouse is different. Some have them and others don’t.

Mid-season Changes

I-70: During the summer months, what changes are the players making in their diets to maintain electrolyte and fluid balance while playing in such heat?

Prinzi: In addition to using drinks like Gatorade endurance and other fluids, the players consume foods higher in potassium, calcium, and sodium.

I-70: What signs of dehydration are players watching for to avoid muscle cramps which may interfere with playing time?

Prinzi: In addition to thirst: Dry mouth, fatigue or weakness, dark colored urine, and loss of appetite.

I-70: What sports beverage does the team provide in the dugout?

Prinzi: Gatorade endurance.

I-70: Last year, Colby Rasmus began losing weight midseason due to a reported hiatal hernia and the team involved a dietitian to help him adjust his diet. What specific food changes helped Colby?

Prinzi: He avoided acidic foods. He ate fish, lean meats, broccoli, carrots, rice, bananas, and apples.

I-70: How did Colby maintain strength when he was unable to eat sufficient calories?

Prinzi: It was very difficult. We tried a food first approach, and then used nutritional supplements when necessary.

Lasting Effects

I-70: Do you consider the Cardinals players to be knowledgeable about basic nutrition principles?

Prinzi: It depends on the individual. Some are very well informed.

I-70: What type of staff is involved in the maintenance of this plan to make nutrition a team focus?

Prinzi: Starting with Rip Rowan our clubhouse manager, he over looks Chuck and Simon, to insure the players are happy with the meal preparation. Our ATC’s Barry Weinberg and Greg Hauck also help to re-enforce the benefits of proper nutrition.

I-70: Which players have been the most welcoming/interested in this new nutrition focus?

Prinzi: Chris Carpenter and Matt Holliday.

I-70: Do any of the proactive nutrition changes made by the team this year translate into differences fans can see in the players on the field?

Prinzi: The differences will be subtle, such as a player keeping is weight under control or another player having more stamina throughout the course of the game.

I-70: What is the barometer to measure the effectiveness of this program?

Prinzi: Body weights through the course of the season and feedback from the players concerning energy levels.

I-70: Which player has most obviously benefited from this nutrition overhaul?

Prinzi: Colby Rasmus or Yadier Molina.

Thanks again to Pete Prinzi! And if you would like to learn more about the specific principles of nutrition programs such as the one developed for the Cardinals by Sports Nutrition Consultant Dave Ellis you can visit http://www.fuelingtactics.com/

Erika Lynn is a contributor for i70baseball.com, BaseballDigest.com and writes about the Cardinals at Cardinal Diamond Diaries. You can also find her on Twitter: @Erika4stlcards.

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Bird Food: The New Nutrition Focus Of The St. Louis Cardinals

The facilities at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida will soon be welcoming back an entire flock of players as the Cardinals’ Spring Training venue comes to life for 2011. Like last year, players should not only be expecting coaching on their baseball skills, but also a renewed team focus on the importance of nutrition as part of an athletic training program.

In 2010 the Cardinals implemented an organization-wide mandate to bring nutrition to the forefront of their baseball training program. Everything from team meals to vending machine options in the clubhouse was overhauled in support of this new focus on healthy food choices.

Towards the end of the 2010 season, I had the opportunity to meet with Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, Pete Prinzi, and visit with him about the specifics of the team’s nutrition program, including how the players felt about such drastic changes to their food supply.

Many thanks to Pete for giving us an inside look at how he helps the Cardinals maximize their performance through nutrition. What follows is part one of the transcript of our interview.


Last year in Spring Training, Matthew Leach of mlb.com wrote an article describing the Cardinal’s new focus on nutrition in which GM John Mozeliak was quoted saying “We have emphasized nutrition, and we’re going to make a very strong effort to push that this year.”

Erika Lynn, I-70 Baseball: Before this new focus on nutrition how did the clubhouse food and players’ diets differ from today?

Pete Prinzi: The food provided was not geared towards optimizing performance on the field.

I-70: Was the food unhealthy?

Prinzi: In some cases it was not healthy and at other times it was just not the right food at that time of the day.

I-70: Were the players’ diets really that bad?

Prinzi: Some of the player’s diets were bad only because they made the wrong choices.

I-70: Was it frustrating for you, as someone with an interest in health and nutrition to see these professional athletes not doing their best to eat right and fuel their bodies in the best way possible?

Prinzi: My education and experience taught me the right way to fuel the body for competition, so I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t a priority if we were looking for the edge in competition.

I-70: What do you think inspired the club’s focus on nutrition?

Prinzi: Originally, our minor league system was the focal point. The nutrition program was initiated by Jeff Luhnow, our Farm Director. John Mozeliak, our GM, then thought the nutrition program should be uniform throughout our organization to include the Major League team. A top down approach to nutrition.

I-70: Is this a league-wide initiative or did it come from within the organization?

Prinzi: Some organizations incorporate a nutrition program, but it’s still a growing phenomenon in baseball.

I-70: In Spring Training, doughnuts, cereal, candy and sugar sodas were removed and replaced by healthier options. Is this still the case?

Prinzi: No candy or sugar sodas, but better cereal choices are available for the players.

I-70: Did players complain about the changes?

Prinzi: Some complained, but as they became educated, they came to appreciate the benefits.

I-70: Which players were the most vocal opponents of those changes?

Prinzi: The guys who could eat anything thing they wanted without gaining a pound.

I-70: The plan used by players such as David Freese and Kyle McClellan during the offseason was termed the “Prinzi Plan”. What is the Prinzi Plan?

Prinzi: The Prinzi Plan is just a nutritionally sound approach to eating that yields the desired results. For example, between batting practice and before the games we provide fruits, lean meats, whole grains, beans and pastas in low fat sauces.

I-70: Do the players adhere to a nutrition plan during the entire baseball season or do they lose interest/motivation.

Prinzi: Many of the players continue to practice the basic outlines of the plan through a change in eating habits.

I-70: Do the Cardinals employ a chef to prepare meals for the players?

Prinzi: Yes, Chuck Rowan and Simon Lusky.

I-70: How many meals do players typically eat at the clubhouse during a homestand?

Prinzi: 2-3 meals plus snacks.

I-70: What types of foods are available to them during practices, games, etc?

Prinzi: Fruits, vegetables, nuts, dairy, and lean meats.

I-70: Before the 2010 season, David Freese made a dedicated effort during the off season to lose weight without sacrificing strength. Many casual athletes are trying to accomplish the same goal. What tools did you use with David that fans at home could use to achieve similar results?

Prinzi: David did make a great effort to follow the plan laid out for him. His discipline was one of the main reasons for his success. I used sound and proven nutrition techniques with David and he followed them consistently.

I-70: What distinct diet habits would you consider to be the most important changes players can make in order to optimize their performance on the field?

Prinzi: Eat breakfast! Sounds rather simplistic, but it really is the most important meal. Stay away from candies and high glycemic foods prior to performance which could lead to a crash in blood sugar. Hydration is also one of the most neglected diet habits that can effect on field performance.

Thanks again to Pete Prinzi! And if you would like to learn more about the specific principles of nutrition programs such as the one developed for the Cardinals by Sports Nutrition Consultant Dave Ellis you can visit http://www.fuelingtactics.com/

Erika Lynn is a contributor for i70baseball.com, BaseballDigest.com and writes about the Cardinals at Cardinal Diamond Diaries. You can also find her on Twitter: @Erika4stlcards.

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