Woodford answered the bell. Wainwright should start opening day. Walker should be there to see it. And more!
JUPITER, Fla. — Cardinals manager Oli Marmol stopped short of saying it, and Jake Woodford prefers to let his pitching do the talking, so I’ll be the one who ventures out onto a limb that grows sturdier by the start.
Woodford’s on the opening-day roster. If not, a Cardinal sin has been committed.
Last season the right-hander was more effective than the Cardinals would publicly acknowledge. Since then, he’s taken the feedback the team gave him and put it to good use, adjusting his slider to produce results that should make his arsenal and approach more sustainable at the major-league level. He didn’t pout. He performed.
“I could have been frustrated, but that’s not going to get me anywhere,” Woodford said Monday about often riding the Memphis shuttle last season. “To me, that wasn’t really a choice. There’s only one way forward. They wanted me to work on certain things. I went home and worked on certain things. Getting frustrated doesn’t get you anywhere.”
Woodford has had a great spring and it got even better Monday, when he shoved five scoreless innings against the Marlins in the Cardinals’ 5-0 exhibition win. His Grapefruit League ERA is down to 2.04 through 17 2/3 innings. He’s totaled five more strikeouts (18) than he’s allowed hits (13), with just five walks.