Holliday flies under the radar on first day
With attention on Pujols, outfielder reports with less fanfare
JUPITER, Fla. -- A year after making one of the most anticipated arrivals at Cardinals Spring Training, Matt Holliday tried to sneak in on Thursday.
In his second spring with the Redbirds, Holliday is less a curiosity, less of a news story, than he was 12 months ago. By comparison, Albert Pujols' contract situation drew dozens of members of the national sports media to Jupiter. That didn't bother Holliday, who was happy to have all of that attention going to the man in the next locker over.
"It's fine with me," he told reporters. "I just kind of fly under -- other than you guys [who] are standing in front of my locker all the time [waiting for Pujols]. ... That was my plan: Arrive when he arrives so I can sneak around."
Holliday arrived in Jupiter with his whole family in tow, including wife, Leslee, and their three children. That makes it easier to come to camp after a winter at home. But even so, he's not quite in the same hurry to get to Spring Training that he was when he was younger.
"I used to get there a couple weeks early," he said. "But now I try to get here a little bit closer to reporting day, just so it doesn't feel so long. But [manager] Tony [La Russa] does a good job if you need a day off or a couple days of rest."
La Russa preps for full roster to show
JUPITER, Fla. -- In two days, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa's daily Spring Training schedule sheets will get a lot more complicated.
For now, only pitchers and catchers see their names written on the sheet. On Saturday, infielders and outfielders will be on there as well. Quite a few of them have been around for several days now, but their workouts remain unofficial until full squad workouts formally begin. Full-squad report day is Friday, followed by the first workout for infielders and outfielders on Saturday.
"Looks like most of the guys are already here," La Russa noted with a smile on Thursday. "It's what you expect from a club that's going to try to get ready and compete."
The only two prominent Cardinals who have yet to report are a pair of veteran outfielders. Jim Edmonds' status remains hazy as he recuperates from surgery on his left Achilles tendon. Lance Berkman is fully expected to be on time, as are the few remaining Minor League players who have yet to arrive.
La Russa joked that perhaps Berkman reported to his long-time employers, the Astros.
"I was going to tell the guys to call over to Kissimmee, [Fla.,] make sure that Lance didn't [show up there]," La Russa said.
As for pitchers and catchers, their routine doesn't change much in the next couple of days. Pitchers will continue throwing bullpen sessions on Friday and Saturday, and then on Sunday, live batting practice will begin.
JUPITER, Fla. -- Cardinals third baseman David Freese said Thursday that workouts have gone very well for him in the early days, and that he expects to participate more or less normally in early defensive drills. ... Neither manager Tony La Russa nor general manager John Mozeliak had any new update on Jim Edmonds' situation on Thursday. ... John Smoltz, who pitched for the Cardinals in the final season of his Major League career, was in camp on Thursday as a representative of MLB Network. ... Former Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf has, as usual, been a regular guest of La Russa's and the Cardinals' already this spring.
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.