Weather cools off a bit at spring training

News-DemocratMarch 13, 2014 

Summertime temperatures took a hiatus Thursday. The day opened with thick clouds and a threat of rain. The skies cleared, the wind picked up and temperatures didn't make it out of the 70s. This isn't the time, however, for me to complain, given that winter seems to have made another appearance in the metro-east. Hopefully, it's a short stay, since my return flight is Friday night.

One of the nice stories of spring training has been the play of outfielder Stephen Piscotty, a first-round draft pick in 2012. Piscotty has batted .333 (7-for-21) this spring with six RBIs, and has looked comfortable in right field after playing third base at Stanford. Piscotty didn't have a hit Thursday in the Cardinals' 11-0 win over Atlanta, but he made a sliding catch in right field. The 23-year-old's time is near, perhaps late this season or the start of 2015. Piscotty signed a $1.43 million bonus two years ago and said he was going to buy a guitar. His grandparents bought him a regular-sized guitar, but Piscotty purchased a travel guitar that he carries with him in his backpack. He learned how to play on YouTube videos and he takes the guitar with him on bus trips. Although he doesn't claim to be ready to play lead for Pearl Jam, he is proud of himself for learning a few chords.

Hey, how about a lunch making it into the postcard? MLB.com writer Jenifer Langosch and I hit the Tropical Smoothie Cafe before the Braves-Cardinals game. What a hit. I enjoyed a ham and swiss and a chicken pesto, both on flat bread. They were topped off with a healthy strawberry and banana smoothie.

Health update: Remember the woman I wrote about Monday who had the piece of luggage dropped on the left side of her face? Good news. I saw her and her husband in the hotel lobby Wednesday night and her face suffered no noticeable discoloration. She said any slight bruising there was early in the week was gone, and a slight sunburn had erased any of the leftover bruising.

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