Hooray for Jeff Luhnow, who announced recently that the Cardinals will be sending more players to winter ball then ever before. Hooray I say because it makes covering the farm system all the more fun year round. So far we know of the players going to the Arizona Fall League and the Hawaiian Winter League. Also we know David Freese is playing in Venezuela, and The Man, The Myth and The Legend of Amaury Marti will play in the Dominican.
From the sounds of things, Luhnow and the Cardinals are really encouraging their players to participate.
“There’s two ways to do winter ball,” Luhnow said. “One is to be reactive and just put the team in touch with the player. The other way is to talk to the player, tell him what it’s all about, try to encourage him and take some of the fear of the unknown out of it. Make sure you actively work with the club to place the player in a good situation. And that’s more the approach that [general manager John Mozeliak] has advocated this year.”
Last week I wondered what was the deal with Colby not playing in a winter league, and a lot of you equated that with Colby being as good as gone. Luhnow responds:
“I think he’s going to focus 100 percent on being ready for Spring Training and making this club,” Luhnow said. “That’s where his head needs to be. Forget who’s posted what online, or what people are saying about what he’s doing or not doing. He and I had a good long chat, and I believe he’s got the right attitude.
“When you talk to him directly, he has one goal and one goal only, and he’s pretty focused on it. I tried to communicate to him that I have that same goal. That we all do, really.”
As I said, I don’t think Colby is going to be goofing off all winter, not in the least bit. I still think if your boss encourages you to do something, you should do it. Colby did play for Team USA last year, maybe he figures playing almost all year is what could have led to his injury, I don’t know. You all can read into this all you want, I for one am just going to keep observing how things play out and not try and jump to any conclusions. I still believe it still is a good idea to do what your boss is asking, but things were hashed out and by all appearances Colby and the Cards are on the same page.
Even if Colby doesn’t make the team out of spring training, I would expect that Colby does not want to relive the miseries of the first two months of last season. I’m confident he’ll be ready.