JUPITER, Fla. -- Using all the rooms, nooks and crannies that their spring complex had to offer, the Cardinals were able to salvage a day of work on Friday despite the persistent rain that left the fields too soggy for much outdoor activity.
With Friday being just the third day of full-squad workouts, manager Mike Matheny wanted to get creative in building a schedule that would still allow players to maximize their time at the facility. That meant sending players in the hallways for sled pulls, opening up the multipurpose room for stretching and creating time for conversation.
The nine pitchers scheduled to throw side sessions on Friday each did so in the batting cages, after which the hitters rotated through stations to get in their work. A handful of pitchers, including Adam Wainwright, did spend a short time in the rain throwing long toss on the outfield grass.
"We're going to try to stay on pace with getting the things accomplished that we would have gotten out there and do it in just a different space," Matheny said. "You can kind of sense and feel when you need to back off a little bit. It's not today. I've thought in the past, 'What can we do if we really need to get something done?' And then a lot of it was this morning: 'This is what we have right now. This is what we need to get accomplished.' And then [it's] just using the space to the max."
The instructional element of Friday's workout was multifaceted. Some players were directed to the weight room, where they learned about new technology and apparatuses available to them. Others spent time in the training room discussing arm care and injury prevention.
Matheny encouraged young pitchers to shadow the veterans to learn more about their routines and approach. He also gathered everyone together to talk about game situations, allowing the hitters to hear how pitchers approach certain moments and then having the hitters share their perspective on the same.
"I think it's just challenging a lot of our younger guys to think at a different level," Matheny said. "Sometimes just those discussions can be as valuable as anything else."
With rain again in the forecast on Saturday, the Cardinals may be forced to modify their next workout as well. The club has just five workout days remaining before the start of Grapefruit League play.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.