SPRINGFIELD, Mo–Opening night for the Springfield Cardinals may be Thursday at Hammons Field.

But the Springfield Cardinals are already in town and hit the diamond Monday afternoon for their first Hammons workout of the season.

The team also had their pictures taken and met with the media in preparation for the Double AA opener.

The Cardinals will host Wichita for a short three game homestand before hitting the road.

Jose Leger returns to Springfield for his third season as the Cardinals manager.

Also back are a number of players who ended last fall in Double AA.

Leger says that will be a big plus.

And he’s also excited about his pitching staff that has experience and has improved since last season.

“Our pitching and our bullpen. Our pitching in general. I think our starting rotation is going to be a lot of strike throwers, guys who know how to pitch. We’re going to have Michael McGreevy make the opening day start. Then he’s going to be followed by Connor Lunn and Logan Gragg. So the first three pitchers have experience already in the league,” said Leger.