JUPITER, Fla. (AP)St. Louis Cardinals receiver Yadier Molina will arrive late for what could be his last spring training.
Molina, 39, is entering his 19th and likely final season with St. Louis. The 10-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove winner agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal in August.
“I don’t have any details other than he contacted me a few days ago just to tell me he was going to be delayed for personal issues,” the president of baseball operations for St. Louis said Monday. John Mozeliak. “I said it was fine. I hope to speak to him in the next few days to get some clarity.
Relievers Genesis Cabrera and Giovanny Gallegos will also be latecomers. Cabrera had problems with his flight. Gallegos is late for personal reasons.
Right-hander Alex Reyes, a 2021 All-Star who saved 29 games, has issues with his shoulder. St. Louis has sent him for more testing, and Mozeliak wouldn’t speculate on when Reyes will appear this spring.
Reyes, 27, is expected to compete for a spot in the starting rotation.
Adam Wainwright immediately got back to work, kicking off the Spring Team’s first live bullpen session. Wainwright, 40, is also entering what could be his last major league season.
Nolan Arenado drove a pitch from Wainwright to the wall at right center. When the other Arenado hitters cheered the homer, Wainwright strode to the front of the mound, ripped up a few blades of grass, and tossed them into a blowing right wind.
“It was helped by the wind,” Wainwright said afterwards in the clubhouse. “That would have been a double.”
Wainwright’s walk to the mound drew cheers from a group of Cardinals fans gathered in the backfield. COVID-19 protocols prevented fans from watching spring training in person last year.
“The fans are back, is that great?” said Wainwright. “It feels like baseball again.”
Wainwright is coming off one of his best seasons with a 17-7 record and 3.05 ERA in 32 starts last year.
Facing Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill, the 6-foot-7 right-hander showcased his full arsenal on about 35 shots.
“His lead was working well,” O’Neill said. “He was throwing a good change on that. Obviously, he has Uncle Charlie. It was classic Waino there.
As Wainwright approached his pitch limit, Arenado called for another at bat. He quickly singled to leave a substitution that Wainwright left in the area.
Leaving the mound, Wainwright threw his glove at Arenado, then hugged him.
“It was exciting,” Wainwright said. “I felt like I was on stage or something. I was having fun. It was fun. I was trying to play a little bit.
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