Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lefties Gast, Siegrist Are Ready for 2015; Cards Notebook; Lefties Say They've Recovered from Various Ailments from 2014; Baseball

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lefties Gast, Siegrist Are Ready for 2015; Cards Notebook; Lefties Say They've Recovered from Various Ailments from 2014; Baseball

Article excerpt

JUPITER, Fla. * Every time lefty John Gast took the mound last season during his return from expansive shoulder surgery he knew what any hitter, any radar gun, or any statistic was going to tell him after his innings of work.

"I never really had the ability to let it go," Gast said Tuesday morning at the Cardinals' spring training facility. "There was always a little bit of hesitation. That translated into all of my pitches. It was something that I just had to push through."

He had a blunt take on what it meant for his season.

"It (stunk)," he said.

Gast and lefty reliever Kevin Siegrist were two of several pitchers who took the mound Tuesday for light bullpen sessions. More than two dozen Cardinals have reported to camp several days before the official start of spring training, and Tuesday was one of the busier days yet for the bullpens. Michael Wacha threw for a second time off the mound with coach Derek Lilliquist, manager Mike Matheny, and general manager John Mozeliak watching. Mitch Harris threw far earlier in the morning, and Nick Greenwood had a light bullpen session. Gast and Siegrist stood out mainly because of a similar sensation they felt last season.

Their pitches didn't crackle like they should.

They did not have the pitch bolt off their fingers like normal.

"I don't want to say the explosiveness wasn't there," Siegrist said. "The velo was fine, but it just felt it's hard to explain. The hitters told me (with their reactions) that there wasn't any deception."

Said Gast: "The most drastic was the velo."

Both of them had their reasons for the feeling.

Siegrist, 25, had muscle tears throughout his hand, nerve discomfort in his neck and forearm irritation that sabotaged his consistency and comfort. He said the health concerns are behind him, calmed by the rest he had late last season and early this winter. Gast, 26, was coming back from shoulder surgery that offered no promises of his return. Gast had a muscle that runs the length of his left side tear away from its anchor. …

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