During the regular season the performances of individuals don't matter, good or bad, when the home team loses.
But spring training is a different animal. And I was thrilled to see that new St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta homered twice Monday even if the Redbirds were on the wrong end of the score for the third time in four spring training games.
Homers aren't everything. But a strong show of power is noteworthy when the guy providing it spent 50 games on suspension last year for performance enhancing drug use. Whether you believe Peralta's story that his transgression was taking diet pills or not, it's only natural to wonder if he could still hit without the assistance of a little helper.
In addition to it being a positive to see that Peralta still has plenty of pop in his bat, it's also a plus to see that he has enough pride to come to play against his former team. Perralta's feelings were a little bit hurt last year when the Detroit Tigers publicly questioned if they should bring him back for the post season once his suspension was served. And it also has to hurt a player's pride when his team makes no effort to prevent him from leaving as a free agent.
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The Tigers didn't cut the Cardinals any breaks. They played a team heavy with legitimate major league players. Meanwhile most of the damage against the Redbirds came against a prospect who is extremely unlikely to come north with the club when the real games begin.
Boone Whiting gave up five runs, four of them earned, on five hits and a walk in just one inning of work. The number 93 on his back shows how far away he is from the major leagues.
On the down side, second base prospect Kolten Wong was hitless in three at-bats against Detroit to fall to 0-for-9 this spring with four strikeouts. While his exposure to major league hitting has been limited, it seems impossibly to deny at this point that he's pressing. I'm sure glad the Cardinals have Mark Ellis as an insurance policy. If they didn't, there would be that much more pressure on Wong. Hopefully Wong is one good day from a breakout.