McGee visits spring camp as guest instructor

Cards Hall of Fame member has worked with base runners, outfielders in past

McGee visits spring camp as guest instructor

JUPITER, Fla. -- Willie McGee dressed in uniform for workouts on Friday, hoping to go to work inconspicuously as a Spring Training guest instructor. The Cardinals had other plans.

"Like I told the guys this morning, too bad, because we're going to make a big deal of him," manager Mike Matheny said. "When you go about drawing up how to be a pro, McGee is a really good one to model yourself after."

Matheny added that McGee, a 13-year player with the organization and a Cardinals Hall of Fame member, has "carte blanche" to do what he wants while he visits. In past years, McGee has initiated base-running seminars and worked with the outfielders.

Here are other items of note from the day:

• After weeks of working through mechanical changes during his side sessions, reliever Kevin Siegrist had his first opportunity to test out his shorter, quicker stride during a ninth-inning appearance. The results grabbed everyone's attention.

"Boy, he looked good," Matheny said. "The ball was jumping out of his hand. I think that radar gun was light and he was still lighting it up pretty good. That looked a little more like what we're used to seeing from Kevin."

Siegrist opened the inning with a swinging strikeout before freezing Domingo Santana on an inside slider. A groundout wrapped up the game.

"Everything just is, I guess, easier to repeat out of that delivery," Siegrist said. "That shorter of a drive down the mound actually helps me with my offspeed pitches, I've noticed. I guess I'm staying less aggressive with it, body-wise, and just throwing it more with my arm."

• Matheny announced the team's starting pitching schedule through Tuesday. It includes Jaime Garcia (Saturday, at Washington), Lance Lynn (Sunday, vs. Miami), Michael Wacha (Monday, vs. Boston) and Carlos Martinez (Tuesday, at Houston). Adam Wainwright's first spring start has been delayed by an abdominal strain. As for John Lackey, he sat down with pitching coach Derek Lilliquist to script out a preferred spring program. It includes fewer game appearances than other starters.

"We're going to hold back on him," Matheny explained. "We're just kind of listening to him."

Jason Heyward recorded the Cardinals' second stolen base of spring when he swiped third in the first inning. Heyward stole 20 bases with Atlanta in 2014; that total would have tied for tops with the Cardinals last season.

• Prior to Friday's game, the Cardinals and Astros observed a moment of silence for Oscar Taveras, Edilia Arvelos and Brian Burwell. Taveras and his girlfriend, Arvelos, were killed in an October car accident. Burwell, a long-time columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, died in December after a battle with cancer.

Randal Grichuk went through a full workout on Friday and, assuming he recovers without issue, will be in the starting lineup against Washington on Saturday. Grichuk missed some time earlier in camp while nursing lower back soreness.

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.