St. Louis Cardinals Player News: Last 24 hours, All Positions

News: Schafer, a non-roster invitee to spring training, impressed pitching coach Derek Lilliquist in his first session against hitters Sunday, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. "It was not advertised as that," said Lilliquist. "He had his breaking ball and his changeup. Very interesting guy."
Impact: The 30-year-old is one of the more intriguing projects in Cardinals camp, given his conversion from outifelder to pitcher last season in the Dodgers organization. Schafer has an extensive minor league career that dates back to 2005, and has also accrued 1,292 big league at-bats over 463 games. However, considering his career .228/.308/.307 line in the majors, the move to pitcher may be his last chance to stick with a team at this level. Schafer got that quest off to a solid start Sunday, and both Lilliquist and manager Mike Matheny look forward to evaluating him for a job as a possible southpaw specialist out of the bullpen later into the exhibition schedule against the likes of Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Christian Yelich. "Early on, the hitters aren't ready," said Lilliquist. "So maybe 10, 12 games into it, they're staying in the game longer and by that time they're getting three at-bats. Then, put him in and see how he matches up."
News: Gant, acquired in the Dec. 1 trade that sent Jaime Garcia to the Braves, impressed in his first session against hitters Sunday, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. "Gant has a little sneakier stuff than was advertised," said pitching coach Derek Lilliquist.
Impact: The 24-year-old right-hander brings a quirky pitching motion, and apparently, a repertoire impressive enough to catch the eye of his new pitching coach in his first up-close look at Gant against hitters. The 6-foot-5 hurler, who has a fastball, curve and changeup at his disposal, acquitted himself decently over his first 20 major league appearances in 2016, a stint that included seven starts. Gant was only 1-4, but did whiff 49 over 50 innings for the Braves, enduring a near two-month absence due to an oblique injury that knocked him out of the starting rotation. His best chance of breaking camp with the major league club could well be in the bullpen, given the Cardinals' solid starting rotation.
News: Oh, who threw against hitters for the first time Sunday, "looked great" according to pitching coach Derek Lilliquist, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Impact: The veteran closer is thus off to an auspicious start this spring, a good sign considering he'll be counted on as the Cardinals' full-time closer in 2017. Oh earned the job last season after successfully converting 19 of 23 save opportunities in the wake of former closer Trevor Rosenthal's multiple DL stints.
News: Wainwright "looked great" while throwing to hitters for the first time Sunday, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Impact: The two-time 20-game winner turned in an uneven campaign in 2016, compiling a solid 13-9 record but also giving up a career high in homers (22) and generating his highest ERA (4.62) since a three-appearance stint in 2005, his first season with any major league game action. Wainwright also exhibited some uncharacteristic control problems, as evidenced by a 1.40 WHIP that equaled the second highest of his career. However, the 35-year-old righty still slots in as the Cardinals' projected No. 2 starter behind ace Carlos Martinez, so Sunday's report, which came courtesy of pitching coach Derek Lilliquist, represents an encouraging start.