St. Louis Cardinals

Postcard from Florida: Departure day, potential roster, McGee on the prowl

It’s time to shut down another trip to south Florida. Photographer Derik Holtmann and I will be leaving in a few hours, returning to the metro-east late Friday and arriving in time to watch some wild NCAA Tournament action for the rest of the weekend.

Many of the Cardinals were on buses that just pulled out of the parking lot en route to Port St. Lucie for a Grapefruit League contest against the New York Mets. Center fielder Jon Jay will make his spring debut and Michael Wacha will be on the bump. Many players, including Adam Wainwright, Matt Holliday, Jhonny Peralta and Jason Heyward, stayed behind for a routine training day.

There are still two weeks remaining in camp, but here’s my swing at what might be the constitution of the roster when the Cardinals head north:

Pitchers (12): Wainwright, Wacha, John Lackey, Lance Lynn, Carlos Martinez, Randy Choate, Kevin Siegrist, Trevor Rosenthal, Matt Belisle, Seth Maness, Jordan Walden and Carlos Villanueva.

Catchers (2): Yadier Molina, Tony Cruz.

Infielders (6): Peralta, Matt Carpenter, Matt Adams, Mark Reynolds, Kolten Wong, Pete Kozma.

Outfielders (5): Heyward, Jay, Holliday, Randal Grichuk, Peter Bourjos.

Obviously, this wouldn’t be the roster the Cardinals would have all season. Players like Ty Kelly, Marco Gonzales, Jacob Wilson, Sam Freeman, Greg Garcia, Stephen Piscotty, Nick Greenwood, Tim Cooney and Tyler Lyons all could be up at various times, depending on injuries and performance.

Willie McGee, in camp instructing minor-leaguers in baserunning and outfield defense, still has his speed. He quietly entered the media room Thursday, tapped me on my right shoulder, got me to look that way, then suddenly he was on my left, laughing with satisfaction as he scurried away.

One last meal Thursday at Leftovers Cafe, where a 45-minute wait was worth it when I was served grilled grouper with a parmesan crust over a bed of fresh greens. Derik settled on a fish bowl chock full of shrimp, mussels, clams and fish in a curry broth.

David Wilhelm

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