New faces shine in “Live Pitching Practice”

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John Gant, courtesy of stlbaseballweekly.com

JUPITER, Fla.- The St. Louis Cardinals took part in the first day of “Live Batting Practice” today, or as manager Mike Matheny advocates, “Live Pitching Practice.”

This is the first time batters faced their pitchers for spring training. Starters threw 20 to 30 pitches, with relievers doing the same, reported Derrick Goold.

For pitching coach Derek Lilliquist, the two pitchers that caught his eye were both new faces, reported Rick Hummel.

John Gant, previously from the Atlanta Braves, is known for his unique motion of lifting his left leg and putting it down again before releasing his pitch. However, Lilliquist hinted that the righthander has more moves than his distinctive delivery method.

Jordan Schafer, a lefty from the Los Angeles Dodgers, has never thrown a pitch in the majors. He was converted to the pitching position from the outfield last year after a .228 career batting average. Lilliquist said that he saw Schafer as a, “possible project,” but is now looking at the possibilities after being shown secondary pitches.

The Cardinals want pitchers going to the World Baseball Classic to be ready for the competition. Seung Hwan Oh is scheduled to pitch during the first exhibition game Saturday (Feb. 25) against the Miami Marlins.

Keely Fresh

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