St. Louis Announces Alternative Training Site Plan
With the Triple-A season now delayed, teams must find an alternate training site. The St. Louis Cardinals have finally found theirs.
The St. Louis Cardinals have announced that the GCS Credit Union Ballpark in Sauget, Illinois, home of the independent Frontier League’s Gateway Grizzlies, will serve as an alternate practice site in 2021.
There will be 28 players on site, who will be managed by Triple-A staff. The names of the players aren’t clear yet, but they’ll likely be several of the organization’s top prospects and numerous pitchers the team believes can contribute at the major league level.
Major League Baseball recently delayed the start of the Triple-A season, hence the need for an alternate practice site. It’s been delayed for a month but there’s been support for it to become part of the game year-round, given the players are close to the major league team if injured. .
It could, however, be particularly useful for the Cardinals for a different reason this season. They are light on pitchers and just lost Miles Mikolas for an uncertain length of time. In his absence, the team can shuttle pitchers to ensure their arms stay fresh throughout the season. They can do it with other parts of the roster, sure, but the demand for new pitchers and options out of the bullpen has never been greater with the increase to 162 games.
While that doesn’t give the Cardinals an advantage per se, it does give them some flexibility for the regular season that they otherwise wouldn’t have had. But now that the plan for the alternate venue is in place, it allows the club to prepare it for action with three weeks until opening day.