SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — It’s no secret that once minor leaguers get promoted, they have no intentions of returning.
The reality is, most still do.
“It’s a little different,” St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Dylan Carlson said. “You know, but it definitely makes you grateful and kind of reminds you of where you came from.”
That was the case this weekend in Springfield as the Cardinals played host to not one, but two major pieces of the big league birds puzzle.
Dylan Carlson and Jack Flaherty.
“He wants to get back just as much as I do,” Flaherty said. “So we’re talking about him and kind of seeing what he saw out of him and yeah, we just it’s good to see him.”
“It was awesome. And it was even better to see, the way he pitched (Sunday), he did a great job,” Carlson said. “And he definitely looked real good.”
Carlson spent the summer of 2019 in Springfield. He was named the Texas League Player of the year that season.
“Springfield’s a really special place to me, a great baseball community, great fans, great city to play, and I wish everyone would get the opportunity to play here,” Carlson said. “It’s a really special place.”
Carlson has been nursing a hamstring strain that he suffered in late May. An injury, that requires pateince.
“It’s kind of boring, you know, it’s those repetitive things over and over again, just strengthening,” Carlson said of the rehab process. “At the end of it, you pretty much just wait and wait for it to heal. So feel strong, feels ready to roll.”
Flaherty’s has been more of a concoction. Missing time with an oblique injury and more recently a shoulder tear.
“It feels great to be back out there,” Flaherty said. “You know, obviously it’s been a long kind of kind of year. So it’s just, you know, it’s been it’s been a lot, but you learn to deal with these things and continue to work through them.”
The plan is for Flaherty to increase his workload a few innings with each start until he is ready to return to St. Louis.
“Sometimes you gotta remember why you love the game,” Flaherty said “You know, it’s all part of it. Sometimes this happens. Everything’s just another bump in the road and you just get back up and just depends how you deal with it.”
Both are hoping to return soon. And they say they’ll be ready thanks to the minor league work.
“Obviously, it’d be nice to contribute, help these guys win some games,” Carlson said. “But, you know, the main focus was just on testing and making sure we’re ready to go.”
The expectation is both will spend time in Memphis this week before a potential call-up.