The Baby Birds are back

Sports

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — This summer, the Springfield Cardinals will add another level to the nickname Baby Birds.

“We know that we have a really young team, but these guys are going to compete,” Cardinals Manage Jose Leger said.

Two players that will draw the most eyes, Ivan Herrera and Nolan Gorman, won’t even turn 21 before the start of the season.

Gorman is the second ranked prospect in the Cardinals organization. He’ll start the season at his natural third base, but will also see time at second.

“It’s about getting at-bats these first couple of weeks and getting comfortable,” Gorman said. “Then moving over to second base and really try to prove myself over there. Just kind of show all the work that I have been putting in this offseason and during big league camp and minor league camp.”

To restrict travel, the minor league schedule features six-game series with an off-day every Monday. That combined with roster expansion ensures health and postgame recovery remain a priority.

“Pitchers are coming into the season on a restricted limit of pitches going into games, but I think we are pretty deep in our bullpen,” Leger said “We are ready for it, we already have it planned out and having those extra three guys in the roster is going to help.”

It all starts Tuesday night against Wichita.

Leger says they have been in contact with players over the past few months to make sure everyone is ready come first pitch of 2021.

“We’ve gone a year and a half without playing an organized, actual baseball game, so I am just really pumped to get back out there,” Cardinals first baseman Luken Baker said. “We worked our tails off the whole quarantine time, COVID time, the last three months at spring training and I’m just really excited to get back out there.”

“Hard to get sleep last night for sure, knowing that we had a game today,” Gorman said. “I’m super excited to get back on the field and face another team. For sure that’s going to be super fun and I know the guys are ready to get back out there.”

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