Walden faces hitters for first time since July

Right-hander recovering smoothly from rotator-cuff injury

Walden faces hitters for first time since July

JUPITER, Fla. -- For the first time since his July rehab was cut short by continued arm trouble, Jordan Walden took the mound and tested his pitches against batters.

Walden, one of 14 Cardinals pitchers to throw live batting practice on Wednesday, threw about 25 pitches as part of the exercise. He described the session as a relief and an encouraging step forward as he seeks to prove himself recovered from a rotator cuff injury, which limited him to 12 appearances in 2015.

"It was something I was looking forward to," Walden said afterward. "I spent my whole offseason doing rehab. When you spend the whole offseason doing something, to finally get out there is a stress reliever. Everything is feeling strong. I'm happy with the way it went."

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Walden acknowledged that he did not throw near maximum velocity, preferring for now to focus on command over mph. Asked if any of the hitters he faced offered feedback afterward, Walden said he was told that his fastball had "a little life on it."

Seung Hwan Oh talks spring debut

Throwing simultaneously with Walden, on a nearby field, was Seung Hwan Oh, the club's newest bullpen addition. The South Korean pitcher was wild early -- rustiness, Oh explained later -- but the movement on his pitches had hitters taking notice.

"It's been a few months since I pitched against any hitters, so it's very exciting for now," Oh said, speaking through interpreter Eugene Koo.

Oh said that pitching coach Derek Lilliquist caught him tipping pitches and suggested a change in how he sets his glove when beginning his motion.


• During Wednesday's infield drills, Jedd Gyorko took ground balls at shortstop, a position that will be a priority for him this spring. Though the Cardinals will give Gyorko work at all four infield positions, his showing at short will help the Cardinals determine the composition of their Opening Day bench.

• One special snapshot on Day 7 of camp came as two Cardinals center fielders -- one past, one present -- spent time chatting during a period of some downtime between drills. Jim Edmonds, who won six Gold Gloves with the Cards, offered some instruction and advice to Randal Grichuk, who is about to get his first chance to be an everyday center fielder in St. Louis. Grichuk dons No. 15, Edmonds' old number.

• The Cardinals will hold their annual Spring Training photo day before workouts on Thursday. Various card companies and media outlets will be in camp to snap shots of players that will be used throughout the 2016 season.

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