Spring Training 2011 is officially in full swing, with pitchers and catchers reporting and position players on the way on February 18—even with Albert Pujols's contract situation unclear, we are confronted on this beautiful morning with the fact that somewhere out there St. Louis Cardinals baseball players are playing baseball. Derrick Goold posted a list Monday of pitchers who've already hit the mound yesterday, among the Jaime Garcia, Adam Wainwright, Jake Westbrook, and Ryan Franklin.
Adam Ottavino, whose shoulder injury nearly required surgery, is also back on the mound. He joins Ian Snell, new acquisition Bryan Augenstein, P.J. Walters, and Brandon Dickson among the presumptive members of the Memphis Redbirds' next rotation.
The Cardinals' rotation will be a crucial part of their 2011 chances—not only will they need to get ace-ly performances from Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, and Jaime Garcia, they'll also need a good performance from that AAA depth to patch any leaks that might spring from a rotation that had an extremely solid front-three in 2010.