Wacha, Garcia among Cards to throw first BP

Position players track pitches as 13 hurlers get work

Wacha, Garcia among Cards to throw first BP

JUPITER, Fla. -- At about 10:10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, the door to the Cardinals' Spring Training clubhouse opened and infielder Greg Garcia walked out. Behind him a procession of players followed, at which time the Cardinals were ready to hold their first full-squad workout of 2015.

Most players were on the field for about two hours before the day's structured work came to an end. Here are some highlights from the day's activities:

• Cardinals Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith reported to camp Wednesday to serve as a guest instructor for the fourth straight spring. Fittingly, Smith, a 13-time Gold Glove winner, spent most of his time working with and talking to the infielders.

• The club had 13 pitchers -- Michael Wacha, Matt Belisle, Jaime Garcia, Seth Maness, Kevin Siegrist, Randy Choate, John Gast, Nick Greenwood, Mike Mayers, Tim Cooney, Zach Petrick and Miguel Socolovich -- throw batting practice for the first time in camp. Position players rotated through so that each had an opportunity to track live pitches.

• Wacha described himself as "definitely right where I need to be" after throwing to hitters. Though he has not dealt with shoulder discomfort since returning from the disabled list last September, Wacha does realize that his spring work is being scrutinized as everyone wants to ensure he is healthy.

This marked his first time back on the mound with someone in the batter's box since he threw an ill-fated fastball to Travis Ishikawa last October.

"I was happy with the way the ball was coming out of my hand," Wacha said of Wednesday's session. "It's good to get back on the mound and face hitters again. I think you get a little bit more adrenaline going. It's closer to games, obviously, and definitely a step in the right direction."

• Jaime Garcia drew a crowd on Field 3 as he took the mound to face hitters. General manager John Mozeliak, owner Bill DeWitt Jr. and manager Mike Matheny all stopped by to watch. Matheny stationed himself near second base, taking notes as he observed the lefty.

Garcia on his recovery

The Cardinals are still unsure how Garcia will contribute this season, but are encouraged by his early declarations of health.

"[It went] real well," Garcia said afterward. "It's good to get hitters up there. I was able to make some good pitches. [It's] another step to getting ready."

• Former Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf was a guest at practice Wednesday. Wolf, who will be inducted into the National Football Hall of Fame later this year, is a frequent visitor at the Cardinals' complex during Spring Training.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.