Cardinals reliever Walden expected to be full participant in spring training

BY foxsports • January 29, 2016

While Jason Heyward has departed the St. Louis Cardinals in free agency for the Chicago Cubs, the Redbirds still have one piece of the trade with the Atlanta Braves in reliever Jordan Walden.

Walden was limited in 2015, appearing in only 12 games before his season ended prematurely on April 30 with a biceps injury. Instead of opting for surgery, the setup man elected to rehab the injury. 

While Walden's first season with the Cardinals was cut short, he is expected to be a full participant in spring training, and on the same pitching program as all other relievers in the spring, according to

Despite Walden missing most of the season, the Cardinals still managed to finish third in baseball with a 2.82 ERA in the bullpen. With him in the mix, and healthy, for 2016, it is possible for the St. Louis reliever corps to be even better. Prior to his injury, Walden pitched with a 0.87 ERA in the 12 appearances he made at setup. 

Due to Walden's decision to not have surgery, he is entering 2016 with a question mark as to whether his health will hold all season. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak has a backup plan with the signings of Jonathan Broxton and former Korean closer Seung-hwan Oh should Walden fall injured again.

In his last full season, in 2014 with the Braves, Walden recorded 20 holds with 62 strikeouts and a 2.88 ERA in 50 innings pitched.