Smiling Snell keeps open mind with St. Louis
Pitcher hopes to rebound with Cards, despite limited opportunity
JUPITER, Fla. -- Right-hander Ian Snell arrived at Cardinals camp on Saturday with a smile, eager to start pitching and open to whatever possibilities this spring brings him.
The smile in particular is a change of pace, even from a couple of weeks ago. Just last month, a weightlifting accident during a workout with his brother-in-law left Snell with a couple of cracked teeth and in need of surgery. He was out of commission for about two weeks and has only started throwing again since roughly the beginning of February.
Yet that didn't dampen his spirits. Neither did the fact that there are no jobs available for a Major League starting pitcher with the Cardinals this spring. Snell is eager to be in a winning environment and excited to learn from some of the best hurlers in the game.
"I just wanted to come here because there's a lot of good pitchers here that I can learn from," he said. "[Dave] Duncan's a great pitching coach. I've heard a lot of great things about him. Maybe he's the guy that can get me back on track and get me where I should be. This is my prime now. I'm 29. Got to go after it now."
In 2007, Snell turned in a big year for the Pirates and appeared to be a star on the rise. Since then, things have been difficult for him, but he thinks St. Louis may be the place for him to turn it around.
"I'm just trying to basically get back to where I was the first two years with Pittsburgh," he said. "That's when the pitching coach there was there for two years and not changing constantly. I kind of lost focus and, how do you say it, my confidence in a way, in Pittsburgh. I [went] to Seattle and I kind of got it back, and then lost it again. It's been tough. It's the game, you know?"
Snell may have a shot at the last spot in the Cardinals' bullpen, but he also could be headed for Triple-A Memphis to start. He is in camp on a Minor League contract with a non-roster invitation.
Lohse to keep tattoo from becoming distraction
JUPITER, Fla. -- As soon as word got out that right-hander Kyle Lohse had a new, elaborate tattoo, Cardinals fans began to wonder. Given the recent experience of tattooed reliever Justin Miller, the question was whether Lohse would have to cover up his new ink.
Lohse was way ahead of them. He said Saturday morning that he fully intends to wear a shirt under his uniform jersey that covers the ink when he pitches. Major League Baseball has at times required pitchers to remove or cover items on their bodies that could potentially distract hitters -- such as a tattoo on one's pitching arm.
"I'll probably wear a sleeve, like three-quarter," Lohse said. "I wear long sleeves anyway."
"I'm not too worried about it. It's not going to change anything. It doesn't matter if it's 30 degrees or 100, I always wear half a sleeve anyway."
JUPITER, Fla. -- General manager John Mozeliak said Saturday afternoon that Jim Edmonds still has yet to work out for the Cardinals, and he did not indicate that one has been scheduled. ... Zack Cox, the Cards' first pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, has already arrived in camp and has been taking ground balls with infield coach Jose Oquendo. Cox is considered a polished hitter for his experience level, but could use some refinement defensively. Catcher Tony Cruz, who has also played some infield, worked with Oquendo on Saturday, as well. ... Chris Carpenter, Jake Westbrook and Kyle Lohse all threw off the mound on Saturday. ... It's likely that quite a few pitchers and catchers will not be present on Sunday. That's report day, but for those who have already reported, it's the last day off for quite a while. Formal pitcher-catcher workouts get rolling on Monday.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.