Piscotty gets maximum exposure in spring

Cardinals' top prospect plays every game date; Lynn gets enough work

Piscotty gets maximum exposure in spring

JUPITER, Fla. -- With his entrance as a defensive replacement in the fifth inning Thursday, Stephen Piscotty became the only Cardinals player to appear on every Grapefruit League date this spring. That entailed playing 26 of 27 games, as a split-squad day with two simultaneous games served as the only reason he couldn't contribute to them all.

Piscotty, who will open the season as a Triple-A outfielder, appreciated the extended look, as it gave him an opportunity to take the swing changes he's made over the last six months into a game setting. Working with a former coach at Stanford University this winter, Piscotty sought to find a swing that would allow him to drive the ball more.

That work continued in earnest this spring with Cardinals hitting coach John Mabry.

"I would say a lot of learning got done," said Piscotty, who finished with a .216 Grapefruit League average. "I full well knew that I was going to go through some stuff. I could have taken a guess as to what was going to happen, and this was right on script. It's what I want, and I'm ready. And I'm just trying to be courageous with it."

Piscotty will suit up for the Major League team in Friday's exhibition game against Memphis before officially being optioned back there. But he enters the season as the organization's top prospect and seemingly on the cusp of cracking his first Major League roster.

"If I get that chance to go up there, I don't want to come back," Piscotty said. "I want to make sure I'm ready."

Other news and notes from the final day of camp:

• Though the Cardinals were ready to push Lance Lynn to around 90 pitches in his last Grapefruit League outing, Lynn exited with a final count of 74 over six innings. Manager Mike Matheny noted that with the work Lynn has had this spring, he should have no trouble eclipsing the 100-pitch mark in his start next Tuesday.

Randal Grichuk, who has been battling an illness the last two days, returned to action with a pinch-hit at-bat. Earlier in the day, he, Jon Jay and Mark Reynolds played in a Minor League game to accrue some extra at-bats.

• The Cardinals' upcoming trip to Memphis will be a brief one, as the team won't leave Florida until Friday morning and will then depart for Chicago after Friday's exhibition game. The Cardinals are bringing 31 players with them for the contest but will be leaving six behind to begin the year on the Triple-A squad.

• With a final record of 13-11-3, the Cardinals secured their 10th winning Grapefruit League season in the last 12 years.

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.